Kings of Tort to be released nationwide on December 2nd

The amazing story behind tort magnate Dickie Scruggs’s judicial bribery scandal is presented by Pediment Publishing. Kings of Tort is the authoritative work on documenting this nationally known story and the relatively unknown 25 year history behind it. The book will be made available in retail outlets throughout the country on December 2nd. More Information including advance ordering of the book is available at http://www.kingsoftort.com.

Kings of Tort chronicles the sordid tale of judicial bribery and political intrigue in Mississippi, birthplace of the tobacco litigation and long known as one of the most tort-friendly jurisdictions in the nation. It features the story of Dickie Scruggs, who was largely credited with bringing down Big Tobacco in the early 1990s. From his ascent to a net worth of nearly a billion dollars to his seemingly unfathomable downfall stemming from his role in attempting to corrupt two local judges by improperly influencing the outcome of cases, the book documents how those in Scruggs’s own trusted circle of tort barons turned on him and cooperated with federal authorities. It also shows the political influence he wielded with judges, attorneys general, and even his own brother-in-law, former US Senator Trent Lott.

The Dickie Scruggs judicial bribery case has been covered extensively by the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, New York Times, LA Times, The Clarion-Ledger, Sun Herald and dozens of other Mississippi and national media outlets. Scruggs’s story during his meteoric rise through the Big Tobacco litigation was documented on PBS Frontline, ABC’s 20/20, and CBS’s 60 Minutes. Eventually, the 60 Minutes story became the subject of a movie, “The Insider,” featuring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.

The book also chronicles the legal bribery story of Scruggs confidante and tobacco lawsuit partner Paul Minor, son of Mississippi political columnist Bill Minor. He was convicted, along with the two judges he improperly influenced, and is currently serving an 11 year prison sentence. Minor is currently fighting his conviction on appeal from prison through his attorney Abbe Lowell, who defended former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial.

Kings of Tort is an engaging read that examines the power of these tort barons and the unmistakable pattern of how corporate defendants were trapped in what Scruggs called “magic jurisdictions” and subject to coordinated political, criminal and civil pressure to produce enormous settlements. It’s a must read for those interested in the legal profession, politics or just a fascinating human story of greed and hubris.

About the Book

Gleaned from published media reports, court documents and interviews from many of the key players, the book was written by Alan Lange and Tom Dawson. Lange is a businessman from Jackson, Mississippi, and runs the widely acclaimed political website YallPolitics, which focuses on politics and law in Mississippi. Dawson, from Oxford, Mississippi, is a former Assistant US Attorney who retired from his position in early January 2009. His highly decorated career as an Assistant US Attorney and Associate Independent Counsel with the Department of Justice spanned over three decades and he served under seven presidents. As lead prosecutor on the Scruggs case, Dawson had a bird’s eye view of the largest judicial bribery scandal in Mississippi history.

Lange and Dawson have conducted extensive research with over 200 external reference citations to over 100 different sources documenting the story. Lead author Alan Lange stated, “So much of this story has been reported on in bits and pieces in the media. By putting all of the sources in one place for public review along with the narrative, we allow the readers to decide the truth on this complex story for themselves.” The entire reference section in the back of the book has been made available for free at the KingsOfTort.com website. This online reference section is fully linkable and takes readers to all of the court records, media reports and book references that documented the various parts of this amazing story.

Books will be available at local bookstores and retailers throughout the Southeast and available nationally through online booksellers on December 2, 2009.

About the Publisher

Pediment Publishing is based in Battle Ground, Washington and publishes a wide range of books often partnering with newspapers and other media organizations for non fiction, compilation publications of all types. In 2008, Pediment published “Boo: A Life In Baseball Well Lived” documenting the storied career of Mississippi-born, Boston Red Sox great Boo Ferriss. That book was written by Clarion Ledger sports columnist Rick Cleveland with a foreword by best selling author John Grisham. More information about Pediment can be found at http://www.pediment.com.