Scruggs letters: Ole Miss Law School Dean Samuel M. Davis

Dear Judge Biggers:

I am writing on behalf of Dick Scruggs to attest to my knowledge of his character and accomplishments.

I have known Dick and his wife Diane for almost 50 years. As you may know, I was born in Pascagoula, grew up there and attended public schools there until I graduated from high school in 1962. Dick moved to Pascagoula during his junior high years, and I became acquainted with him shortly thereafter. Diane Scruggs and my wife Carolyn have been friends since their days together in kindergarten and in dance class, pre-dating Dick’s move to Pascagoula. I knew Dick socially throughout my high school years, and lost track of him after I went off to college. We reconnected while I was in law school at Ole Miss during 1966-69 when Dick was finishing up his undergraduate work at Ole Miss.

After law school, I left Mississippi and was gone from the state for most of the next 27 or so years until my return as Dean of the School of Law in 1997. During occasional visits home, I saw Dick in Pascagoula, after he had moved back there following his years at Watkins Eager in Jackson. I also kept up with him as he gained a national reputation as a result of the tobacco litigation and settlement. In the last 11 years, I have seen a great deal of Dick and his family, especially after he moved his office to Oxford.

All of the above is mentioned here only to show that I have more than a passing acquaintance with Dick Scruggs. Our friendship extends over many years, and I still count him as a friend. Over the years I have held Dick in high regard, having nothing but the greatest respect for his character and integrity. He is a person of strong character, and one of his defining traits is his generosity of spirit. He has always shown great loyalty to family and friends.

Dick has been very generous in his philanthropy to many outstanding institutions, organizations and causes. I can personally attest to the strong love for and support of the University of Mississippi and in particular the School of Law, from which he received his degree in 1976.

Dick has always been motivated to help people, especially the ‘little guy.’ He has no fear of taking on tough challenges, as evidenced by his taking on the asbestosis cases on behalf of employees of the old Ingalls Shipyard (later Litton Industries), his taking on the major tobacco companies, resulting in the historic multi-billion dollar settlement, and more recently his taking on some of the major insurance companies in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Perhaps his inner strength stems from his being raised in a single-parent home (his mother, who was a secretary at Ingalls, was a very strong person in her own right) as well as his service as a pilot in the Navy flying fighters off the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.

Dick Scruggs is a devoted husband and father and a faithful friend. As his friend, I offer these observations, extending over a lifetime, for your consideration.

Warmest personal regards.

Sincerely, Samuel M. Davis

Sun Herald
6/27/8