In Saga of Scruggs & Son, Will There Be Blood?

One issue that’s been kicked around on various Web sites (click here and here): In a Shakespearean twist, will we see Dickie testify against his son?

Probably not, say lawyers. For starters, as part of his plea agreement, Dickie did not agree to cooperate with the government’s case. And, while lawyers say the government could grant immunity to the elder Scruggs and ask the judge to compel him to testify, that could open up problems for the government. First, prosecutors likely wouldn’t know what to expect from Dickie on the stand, given that he likely wouldn’t agree to a sit-down with prosecutors beforehand. Furthermore, putting Dickie on the stand could taint any case the feds may want to pursue against Dickie arising out of the Bobby DeLaughter bribery situation. Lastly, “the jury might not react well to it,” says Daniel Gitner, a white-collar defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor. “There’s something potentially unseemly about making a father testify against his son.”

But if Dickie does take the stand, things could get weird. He could find himself cross-examined by Mike Moore, the former attorney general of Mississippi who led the charge against the tobacco industry along with Dickie. Earlier this week, Zach hired Moore as counsel.

WSJ Law Blog
3/19/8