Graves, Robertson removed from whistleblower suit

A federal judge in Mississippi has removed two high-profile Missouri lawyers from a whistleblower lawsuit involving State Farm Insurance and Hurricane Katrina.

Senior Judge L.T. Senter Jr. said Monday that former U.S. attorney Todd Graves and former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Chip Robertson “should have known” that their clients — sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby — had entered into an improper business relationship with a third legal consortium, the Scruggs Katrina Group, led by famed lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs.

Graves said the ruling would be appealed but noted that the judge did not find that he or Robertson had improperly viewed the stolen documents, as State Farm alleged in its request to have the firms disqualified.

“The allegations were ridiculous and over the top,” Graves said.

A State Farm spokesman said the company was pleased with the ruling, but declined further comment.

Anthony DeWitt, a partner with Leawood-based Bartimus Frickleton, also said the ruling would be appealed.

“The judge is wrong,” DeWitt said.

KC Star