Scruggs pleaded not guilty to six charges of conspiracy to bribe a judge.
Nevertheless, his law firm has since withdrawn from the Scruggs Katrina Group, a group of law firms he brought together after Hurricane Katrina devastated Mississippi and New Orleans and that took on insurance companies on behalf of Gulf Coast residents who had been denied insurance payouts.
“They just felt like, with this indictment pending, that it would be best that they just withdrew from the Scruggs Katrina Group so that it wouldn’t be a distraction to their clients’ litigation,” said attorney Joey Langston of the Langston Law Firm in Boonville, Mississippi.
The Barrett Law Office, along with two other area firms, has taken over Scruggs’ cases, a switch that Scruggs’ corporate foes took in stride.
“We don’t see any change from Scruggs to Don Barrett,” said Fraser Engerman, a spokesman for State Farm, the largest Mississippi home insurer and one of Scruggs’ fiercest opponents.