The Clarion-Ledger, 11/14/8

A federal grand jury in Oxford is expected to hear testimony this month or next on whether imprisoned former trial lawyer Dickie Scruggs influenced Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter – a case prosecutors already are calling “Scruggs II.”

Scruggs’ prosecution earlier this year in an unrelated judicial bribery case received plenty of national media attention, but Matt Steffey, professor at Mississippi College School of Law, expects this new case to attract more. DeLaughter is known nationally for his successful prosecution in 1994 of Byron De La Beckwith for the 1963 assassination of Medgar Evers. “I expect a media feeding frenzy,” Steffey said.

Scruggs is serving a five-year federal prison sentence in Kentucky after pleading guilty in a scheme to bribe a Lafayette County judge to get him to rule in favor of Scruggs in a $26 million legal-fees dispute involving Hurricane Katrina litigation.