The Clarion-Ledger, 2/10/8

Mississippi’s judicial watchdog has ordered a full investigation into the actions of Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter in an attorneys’ fees dispute involving embattled trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs.

The Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, which met Friday, wants the investigation to examine DeLaughter’s actions in the case in which he ruled in 2006 in favor of Scruggs, who faces a federal trial on unrelated bribery charges.

“If they had not called for a full investigation, it would give the whole state pause as to whether the judicial system does anything to police itself,” said Clarksdale lawyer Charlie Merkel, whose client lost to Scruggs in that case.