WSJ Law Blog, 5/12/8

Mississippi — to its economic and political credit — is growing inhospitable to its “rich” tort bar, which, as a result, is becoming “less fabulously rich,” according to the WSJ Edit Page’s Stephen Moore. Reading the opinion piece, we couldn’t help think of our fallen friend, Dickie Scruggs, who was once very fabulous but has become somewhat less fabulous in the past six months with his criminal conviction on a charge of conspiring to bribe a judge.

The New Yorker magazine today has a ginormous feature on Scruggs. For Scruggs hounds (like us) who’ve been following the saga all along, reading time is best spent on the last few pages. The reporter, Peter Boyer, turned up some nice details about how the bribe went down. The infamous Timothy Balducci didn’t set out to bribe Judge Lackey, though he eventually did, Boyer writes. And even P.L. Blake made a cameo in the whole affair. Our favorite details: When the feds nabbed Balducci and tried to enlist him in nailing Scruggs, AUSA Tom Dawson told him “‘The only question is, will you see your children graduate from high school.’ Balducci did not hesitate. ‘What do you want me to do.’” Balducci then went on to give a “dazzling performance,” according to a defense team member, in getting Scruggs to make the ultimate incriminating statements, on the government’s wire.