SCRUGGS: Wilson deserves nothing because his lawyer’s “unclean hands”

Dickie Scruggs and his son Zach have filed answers to the complaint in which they deny just about everything.

There is also a list of affirmative defenses, including that the Plaintiffs do not have a claim because of their “unclean hands,” estoppel and that payment has been received.

Scruggs also denies jurisdiction and venue.

Here is the full answer below, to see the complaint look below the answer:

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
WESTERN DIVISION
WILLIAM ROBERTS WILSON, JR., and PLAINTIFFS

Defendant Richard F. Scruggs, P.A. (“Defendant”), states the following affirmative defenses
and otherwise responds to the averments of Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint. In support, Defendant
states the following:
FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
This Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter of some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims.
SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Venue is not proper in this Court as to some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims.
THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as to some or all of their
theories of recovery.
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FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs have failed to join indispensable parties, in the absence of which this Court cannot
accord complete relief among existing parties.
FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred or subject to avoidance, in whole or in part, by
accord and satisfaction.
SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred, in whole or in part, by estoppel.
SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred, in whole or in part, by their unclean hands.
EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred or subject to avoidance, in whole or in part, by
payment had and received.
NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred, in whole or in part, by release.
TENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred, in whole or in part, by res judicata.
ELEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred, in whole or in part, by collateral estoppel.
TWELFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims are barred, in whole or in part, by waiver.
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THIRTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
The acts and/or omissions of persons other than Defendant and for whom Defendant is not
legally responsible were the sole proximate cause or a contributing proximate cause of Plaintiffs’
damages, if any.
FOURTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Intervening or superceding acts and/or omissions, for which Defendant is not legally
responsible, proximately caused Plaintiffs’ damages, if any.
FIFTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs have failed to mitigate their damages, if any.
SIXTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
To the extent Plaintiffs have previously received any sums, through settlement or otherwise,
for the damages allegedly incurred, Defendant is entitled to an avoidance, offset, credit or reduction
for those amounts.
SEVENTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Plaintiffs’ claims for punitive damages are barred by the United States Constitution, the
Mississippi Constitution and Mississippi law.
Having pled affirmatively, Defendant responds to averments of the Amended Complaint
paragraph by paragraph:
1. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
2. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
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3. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs is currently
incarcerated at the Federal Correction Institute in Ashland, Kentucky. Defendant further admits that
Defendant Richard F. Scruggs resided in the City of Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi, before
his incarceration. Except as admitted, Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny
the remaining averments. Therefore, Defendant denies the remaining averments.
4. Defendant admits these averments.
5. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
6. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
7. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
8. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
9. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
10. Defendant admits that Defendant David Zachary Scruggs pled to a single felony count
for misprision of a felony in a matter unrelated to the averments in the Amended Complaint.
Defendant further admits that Defendant David Zachary Scruggs has resided in the City of Oxford,
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Lafayette County, Mississippi. Except as admitted, Defendant is without sufficient information to
admit or deny the remaining averments. Therefore, Defendant denies the remaining averments.
11. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
12. Defendant admits that certain defendants were previously members of the Mississippi
Bar and were bound by applicable rules of conduct as attorneys licensed to practice law in Mississippi
state and federal courts. Except as admitted, Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or
deny the remaining averments. Therefore, Defendant denies the remaining averments.
13. Defendant denies that jurisdiction is proper in this Court.
14. Defendant denies that jurisdiction is proper in this Court.
15. Defendant denies that jurisdiction is proper in this Court.
16. Defendant denies that venue is proper in this Court.
17. Defendant admits that Wilson made certain claims against certain defendants in
litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Except
as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
18. Defendant admits that Wilson made certain claims against certain defendants in
litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Except
as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
19. Defendant denies these averments.
20. Defendant denies these averments.
21. Defendant admits that the United States District Court for the Southern District issued
a Memorandum Opinion and Order (dated April 25, 2005) in the litigation brought by Wilson against
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certain defendants which was published at 371 F. Supp 2d 837. Except as admitted, Defendant denies
these averments.
22. Defendant admits that the United States District Court for the Southern District issued
a Memorandum Opinion and Order (dated April 25, 2005) in the litigation brought by Wilson against
certain defendants which was published at 371 F. Supp 2d 837. Except as admitted, Defendant denies
these averments.
23. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
24. Defendant denies these averments.
25. Defendant denies these averments.
26. Defendant denies these averments.
27. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
28. Defendant incorporates by reference his responses to the averments in paragraphs 1
through 27 of the Amended Complaint.
29. Defendant denies these averments.
30. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
31. Defendant denies these averments.
32. Defendant denies these averments.
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33. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
34. Defendant denies these averments, including all averments in subparagraphs a-g.
35. Defendant denies these averments, including all averments in subparagraphs a-c.
36. Defendant denies these averments.
37. Defendant denies these averments.
38. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
39. Defendant admits that Timothy Balducci has pled guilty to a felony and that he has
testified under oath as generally reflected in the transcript attached to the Amended Complaint as
Exhibit “2”. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
40. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
41. Defendant admits that a federal grand jury indicted Judge DeLaughter as reflected in
the Indictment attached to the Amended Complaint as Exhibit “4”. Except as admitted, Defendant
denies these averments.
42. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
transcript of the Change of Plea as to Count 1 of the Indictment attached as Exhibit “5” to the
Amended Complaint and as more specifically reflected in the Indictment and Plea Agreement related
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to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments, including all averments in
subparagraphs a-e.
43. Defendant denies these averments.
44. Defendant denies these averments.
45. Defendant denies these averments.
46. Defendant denies these averments.
47. Defendant denies these averments.
48. Defendant denies these averments.
49. Defendant denies these averments and denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief,
including specifically the relief requested in subparagraphs a-c and e-h.
46. Defendant incorporates by reference his responses to the averments in paragraphs 1
through 49 of the Amended Complaint.
47. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
48. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
49. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
50. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
51. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
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52. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
transcript of the Change of Plea as to Count 1 of the Indictment attached as Exhibit “5” to the
Amended Complaint and as more specifically reflected in the Indictment and Plea Agreement related
to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
53. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
54. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
55. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
56. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
57. Defendant admits that the Indictment attached as Exhibit “4” to the Amended
Complaint includes charges against Defendant Richard F. Scruggs, as reflected in that Indictment.
Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
58. The Amended Complaint has no document attached as Exhibit “6”. In any event,
Defendant denies these averments.
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59. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
60. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
61. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
62. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
63. Defendant denies these averments.
64. Defendant denies these averments.
65. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
66. Defendant denies these averments and denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief,
including specifically the relief requested in subparagraphs a-d.
67. Defendant incorporates by reference his responses to the averments in paragraphs 1
through 66 of the Amended Complaint, including the second paragraphs numbered 46-49.
68. Defendant denies these averments.
69. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
70. Defendant denies these averments.
71. Defendant denies these averments.
72. Defendant denies these averments.
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73. Defendant denies these averments.
74. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
75. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
76. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
77. Defendant denies these averments and denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief,
including specifically the relief requested in subparagraphs a-c and e-f.
78. Defendant incorporates by reference his responses to the averments in paragraphs 1
through 77 of the Amended Complaint, including the second paragraphs numbered 46-49.
79. Defendant denies these averments.
80. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
81. Defendant denies these averments.
82. Defendant denies these averments.
83. Defendant denies these averments.
84. Defendant denies these averments.
85. Defendant admits that Defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty as reflected in the
Waiver of Indictment, Plea to an Information and Sentencing transcript attached to the Amended
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Complaint as Exhibit “3” and as more specifically reflected in the Information and Plea Agreement
related to that same plea. Except as admitted, Defendant denies these averments.
86. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
87. Defendant is without sufficient information to admit or deny these averments.
Therefore, Defendant denies the averments.
88. Defendant denies these averments and denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief,
including specifically the relief requested in subparagraphs a-d and f. Defendant further denies that
Plaintiff is entitled to any of the relief requested in subparagraphs a-i on pages 23 and 24 of the
Amended Complaint.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Defendant requests that this Court dismiss the
Amended Complaint with prejudice, enter judgment in favor of Defendant and tax all costs of court
against Plaintiffs. Defendant requests such other relief as appropriate under the circumstances.

Here is the complaint:

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
OXFORD DIVISION
WILLIAM ROBERTS WILSON, JR. AND PLAINTIFFS
ROBERTS WILSON, JR., P.C. successor to
WM. ROBERTS WILSON, JR., P.A.
VS. CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:09CV006-NBB-SAA
RICHARD F. SCRUGGS, RICHARD F. SCRUGGS, P.A.,
SMBD, , INC. f/k/a SCRUGGS LEGAL, P.A.
f/k/a SCRUGGS, MILLETTE, BOZEMAN AND DENT, P.A.,
SLF, INC.. f/k/a THE SCRUGGS LAW FIRM, P.A.,
EDWARD J. PETERS, STEVEN A. PATTERSON,
TIMOTHY BALDUCCI, DAVID ZACHARY SCRUGGS, and
JOHN DOES 1-10 DEFENDANTS
AMENDED COMPLAINT
COME NOW Wm. Roberts Wilson, Jr. and Roberts Wilson, Jr., P.C., successor to Wm.
Roberts Wilson, Jr., P.A. (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Wilson”), by and through their
attorneys, and, there having been no answer or other responsive pleading filed, pursuant to Rule 15,
hereby file their amended complaint against Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F. Scruggs, P.A., SMBD,
Inc. f/k/a Scruggs Legal, P.A. f/k/a Scruggs Millette, Bozeman and Dent, P.A., SLF, Inc. f/k/a
Scruggs Law Firm, (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Scruggs”), Edward J. Peters, Steven A.
Patterson, Timothy Balducci, David Zachary Scruggs and John Does 1 through 10, and in support
thereof, state as follows:
PARTIES
1. Wm. Roberts Wilson, Jr. is an adult resident citizen of the City of Tuscaloosa,
Alabama.
2. Roberts Wilson, Jr., P.C. is an Alabama professional corporation with its principal
place of business in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is the corporate successor of Wm. Roberts Wilson,
Jr., P.A.
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3. Richard F. Scruggs is a convicted felon incarcerated at the Federal Correctional
Institute – Ashland, located in Ashland, Kentucky. At the time of filing this Amended Complaint,
the status of Scruggs is currently stated as “in transit” on the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website. Prior
to his incarceration, Richard F. Scruggs resided in the City of Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi.
4. Richard F. Scruggs, P.A. is a Mississippi corporation. The principal business address
is listed with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office as 120-A Courthouse Square, Oxford,
Lafayette County, Mississippi.
5. SMBD, Inc. formerly known as Scruggs Legal, P.A. formerly known as Scruggs,
Millette, Bozeman, Dent, P.A. is a Mississippi corporation with its registered office and principal
place of business at 120A Courthouse Square, Oxford, Mississippi. SMBD, Inc. is the corporate
successor of Scruggs Legal, formerly known as Scruggs Millette Bozeman & Dent, P.A.
6. SLF, Inc. is a Mississippi corporation whose principal business address is listed with
the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office as 120-A Courthouse Square, Oxford, Lafayette County,
Mississippi. SLF, Inc. is the corporate successor of The Scruggs Law Firm, P.A.
7. Edward J. Peters is an adult resident citizen of the Town of Terry, Second Judicial
District of Hinds County, Mississippi.
8. Steven A. Patterson is a convicted felon and adult resident citizen of the Town of
New Albany, Union County, Mississippi, soon to be taken into custody of the Bureau of Prisons.
9. Timothy Balducci is convicted felon and adult resident citizen of Monroe County,
Mississippi, soon to be taken into custody of the Bureau of Prisons.
10. David Zachary Scruggs is a convicted felon incarcerated at a federal halfway house
located in Lee County, Mississippi. Prior to his incarceration, David Zachary Scruggs resided in
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the City of Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi.
11. John Does 1 through 10 are other persons or entities who might be liable to Plaintiffs
and are persons who, inter alia, contributed money to attorneys fees and expenses during the illicit
conspiracy to defraud Wilson described below.
12. At all times complained of Defendants Richard F. Scruggs, Timothy R. Balducci,
Edward J. Peters and David Zachary Scruggs as well as the professional members of SMBD, Inc.
and SLF, Inc. were licensed attorneys bound by the rules of conduct for attorneys and also bound
by their professional oaths to conduct themselves according to said rules and oaths as officers of the
United States District Courts and as officers of the Courts of the State of Mississippi including the
Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi.
JURISDICTION
13. Jurisdiction is proper in this Court based on the provision of 28 U.S.C. §1331 based
on federal questions under 18 U.S.§1864 (civil RICO action) and 28 U.S.C. §1343 (civil rights
violation).
14. Jurisdiction is proper in the Court based on 28 U.S.C. §1332, because there is
complete diversity of citizenship between each of the Plaintiffs and each of the Defendants and the
amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
15. Jurisdiction is proper in this Court because Plaintiffs also seek relief for fraud
perpetrated in a federal court proceeding.
VENUE
16. Venue is proper in this Court inasmuch as one or more of the Defendants resides in
the Northern District of Mississippi and one or more of the wrongful acts complained of took place
in the Northern District of Mississippi.
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FACTS
17. Wilson and all of the Scruggs Defendants, except SLF, Inc. were formerly party
opponents in a lawsuit pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Mississippi (Jackson Division) styled Wm. Roberts Wilson, Jr. and Wm. Roberts Wilson, Jr., P.A.
vs. Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F. Scruggs, P.A., Scruggs Legal, P.A. f/k/a Scruggs, Millette,
Bozeman & Dent, P.A., Civil Action No. 3:02CV525(L)(N).
18. In that case, Wilson complained that Scruggs had breached an express trust
agreement by embezzling, commingling, converting and using trust monies belonging to Wilson for
the purpose of funding litigation against tobacco companies on behalf of many States on a
nationwide basis. Wilson asserted that the resulting attorney fees from the tobacco settlement
which flowed to the Scruggs Defendants should therefore be the subject of a constructive trust in
Wilson’s favor and against the Scruggs Defendants.
19. According to an Order of said United States District Court, Wilson had successfully
stated a claim for constructive trust due to Scruggs’s breaches of an express trust agreement between
Wilson and Scruggs. Wilson v. Scruggs, 371 F. Supp. 2d 837 (S. D. Miss. 2005).
20. The constructive trust was to be impressed due to Scruggs’s embezzlement, conversion
and use of Wilson’s asbestos fees which Scruggs, as Wilson’s trustee, had the highest duties to
diligently, efficiently and speedily collect and disburse to Wilson. Id. Instead, Scruggs had
converted Wilson’s funds to the use of SMBD, Inc. and SLF, Inc. to fund litigation against tobacco
companies on behalf of the state of Mississippi and others.
21. By Order and Opinion of the United States District Court dated April 25, 2005 and
reported at 371 F. Supp. 2d 837 (S.D. Miss. 2005), the federal case of Wilson v. Scruggs was stayed
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pending an adjudication of asbestos fees due to Wilson by the Circuit Court of the First Judicial
District of Hinds County, Mississippi in a case pending before Circuit Court Judge Bobby
DeLaughter styled Wilson v. Scruggs, Cause No. 94-251-582. Id.
22. After adjudication of asbestos fees due Wilson by the Hinds County Circuit Court, the
stay in the federal case was to be lifted so that the constructive trust claim over Scruggs’s tobacco
proceeds could be decided by the federal court. Id.
23. After the stay of the action pending in the United States District Court, the Hinds
County Circuit Court case of Wilson v. Scruggs remained active on the docket of Circuit Court Judge
Bobby B. DeLaughter. Unbeknownst to Wilson, however, before trial was scheduled to be held in
the Hinds County Circuit Court, all of the Defendants, along with Langston and others, had engaged
in a conspiracy to illegally influence Judge DeLaughter to render an opinion that no trust
monies/asbestos fees in addition to those already paid by Scruggs were due Wilson in order to
impede the United States District Court in the federal action from subsequently imposing a
constructive trust over the tobacco settlement proceeds paid the Scruggs Defendants from the
tobacco litigation which had been funded in whole or in part by Wilson’s asbestos fees. The
Scruggs Defendants, along with Defendants Timothy Balducci, Edward J. Peters, Steven A.
Patterson, David Zachary Scruggs and non-parties Joseph C. Langston and others did enter into a
conspiracy to illegally and feloniously corrupt and improperly influence Hinds County Circuit Judge
Bobby B. DeLaughter in Scruggs’s favor and against Wilson so that the United States District Court
would be thwarted and defrauded out of its intention to hear evidence supporting the imposition of
a constructive trust over the tobacco settlement proceeds. As a result of this scheme, Wilson was
defrauded out of his cause of action in the United States District Court for constructive trust over
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tobacco proceeds, the corpus of his trust in the asbestos fees, and other relief.
24. Circuit Court Judge Bobby B. DeLaughter and a former United States Senator joined
the conspiracy and agreed to aid and abet Scruggs, Balducci, Patterson, Peters, David Zachary
Scruggs and Langston and others in their attempt to thwart and defraud the United States District
Court and Wilson.
25. All of the Defendants in the instant action worked in concert, together with their
unnamed co-conspirators, to accomplish their intended goal of depriving Wilson of his trust property
and his right to a federal trial in the United States District Court, all in contravention of Wilson’s
right to a fair trial and an impartial determination of the issues pending before both the Hinds County
Circuit Court and before the United States District Court.
26. The conspiracy proved to be quite successful, as, prior to the trial in the State Action,
Judge DeLaughter, motivated by promises of being nominated for a federal judgeship, entered a
number of rulings that effectively gutted Wilson’s case for asbestos fees against Scruggs. Judge
DeLaughter eventually rendered a bench opinion on the first day of trial holding that Wilson was
entitled to no additional asbestos fees beyond the amount that Scruggs has belatedly paid prior to
the date of trial.
27. Wilson did not learn of the instant Defendants’ wrongful acts committed in
conspiracy with one another and with Circuit Court Judge Bobby B. DeLaughter until much later
when Joseph C. Langston entered an Information and Guilty Plea in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Mississippi in a case styled, United States of America vs. Joseph C.
Langston, No. 1:08CR003(M):
[T]he Government would show that in December 2005 Joseph C. Langston and
Timothy R. Balducci began representing Richard F. Scruggs in litigation arising out
of a dispute of attorneys’ fees. In January of 2006, Langston and Balducci entered
an appearance as attorneys for Richard F. Scruggs in the case of Wilson v. Scruggs,
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a lawsuit assigned to State Circuit Judge Robert “Bobby” DeLaughter.
At about that time, Langston, working with Balducci and Steven A. Patterson,
contacted and retained the services of Ed Peters, a close personal friend of Judge
DeLaughter. For his services, Langston agreed to pay Peters $50,000 in cash. After
paying the $50,000, the parties agreed that they would also divide any money over
and above what Scruggs was willing to pay in the Wilson matter.
In the end, based on this reverse contingency fee, Peters received an additional
$950,000 for his services. After hiring Peters, Langston and Timothy R. Balducci
and Steven A. Patterson were in regular contact either by phone or by facsimile
concerning the case; and the three traveled regularly from the Northern District of
Mississippi, to meet with Peters in person to discuss issues concerning the Wilson
litigation.
While Peters was not fully cognizant of the issues surrounding the litigation, he
would relay whatever information he received from Langston, Balducci, and
Patterson to Judge DeLaughter before any of this information was filed with the
Court. In at least one instance, Judge DeLaughter e-mailed a rough draft of an
opinion he planned to enter to Peters. And Langston and Balducci and Patterson
would be able to see it before any . . . final version was filed.
During the course of the litigation, Langston and Scruggs were also aware that Judge
DeLaughter was interested in a position as a federal judge. Based on this knowledge,
Scruggs told Langston to let the Judge know that if he ruled in his favor he would
pass his name along for consideration regarding the federal judgeship. Langston then
informed Peters, who, in turn, passed the information along to Judge DeLaughter.
The Government would further show that, in fact, DeLaughter’s name was submitted
for consideration for a federal judgeship, and DeLaughter was so notified.
See Waiver of Indictment/Filing of Information Plea of Guilty to Count One of the Information
before the Honorable Michael P. Mills, U.S. Chief District Judge, filed 1/16/08, at p. 16, line 17 to
p. 18, line 6, attached hereto as Exhibit “1”.
COUNT I – COMMON LAW FRAUD
28. Wilson reincorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through
27.
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29. At all relevant times Richard F. Scruggs was acting on his own behalf and in
association with and as an agent and principal of Richard F. Scruggs, P.A, SMBD, Inc. and SLF, Inc.
30. At all relevant times David Zachary Scruggs was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.
and SLF, Inc.
31. At all relevant times Timothy Balducci was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.,
Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F.Scruggs, P.A., and SLF, Inc.
32. At all relevant times, Edward Peters was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc., Richard
F. Scruggs, Richard F.Scruggs, P.A., and SLF, Inc.
33. At all relevant times Steven A. Patterson was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.,
Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F. Scruggs, P.A. and SLF, Inc.
34. All of the Defendants in the instant action together with the named and unnamed coconspirators
perpetrated the following affirmative acts of fraud against Wilson:
a. Wilson relied on the words, verbal and written, of the Hinds County Circuit Court
with the implicit representation that they were rendered by an officer sworn to
impartiality and wholesomeness and not a corrupted, bribed individual;
b. Wilson relied on the robe and the seat behind the bench as a representation by the
Hinds County Circuit Court that the judicial officer sitting there was impartial and
not a corrupted, bribed individual;
c. Wilson relied on the absence of Bobby DeLaughter’s name and the absence of the
name of Edward J. Peters in the “of counsel” portion of the pleadings as
representation that neither was in fact working as counsel for Scruggs;
d. Wilson relied on every word in filings by Scruggs that the words were not written
by the Judge of the Circuit Court who was in fact working for Scruggs;
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9
e. Wilson relied on the pleadings and briefs filed by the defendants, which carried the
implicit representation that such pleadings and briefs were filed in good faith as
arguments of counsel, and without ex parte assistance and direction by the Circuit
Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter;
f. Other affirmative frauds that may be shown by the evidence at the trial of this cause.
g. Wilson relied on these affirmative acts of fraud to his detriment when, after
unsuccessful interlocutory appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court and after the
Hinds Circuit Court rendered its bench opinion that Wilson was entitled to no
additional asbestos fees from Scruggs beyond those he had belatedly paid, he settled
his federal claim for the imposition of a constructive trust over tobacco proceeds,
interest, attorneys fees, punitive damages, actual damages and other relief for an
inadequate amount dictated by the results of the Hinds County bench opinion.
35. The following frauds of concealment were perpetrated by the Defendants in the
instant action and their un-named co-conspirators:
a. All of the named Defendants and their un-named co-conspirators, except Steven A.
Patterson, were officers of the Hinds County Circuit Court and of the United States
District Court during all times complained of;
b. All of the named Defendants and their un-named co-conspirators, except Steven A.
Patterson, had an affirmative duty to inform Wilson, the federal authorities, the
Mississippi State Bar Association, the Mississippi Judicial Performance Commission
and the Mississippi Supreme Court of the unethical, illegal and felonious acts that
were occurring, but all failed to do so and maintained their silence in furtherance of
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10
the conspiracy to defraud Wilson, the Hinds County Circuit Court and the United
States District Court;
c. Wilson relied on the silence of these officers of the Courts in light of the rule of law
that imposed an affirmative duty to disclose illegal and unethical conduct by the
officers of the Circuit Court of Hinds County and the United States District Court,
which rule of law required the immediate, forthright and prompt disclosure that ex
parte contacts were occurring, that the Circuit Court was doing the defendants’
research and making their arguments for them, and that a bribe or attempt to
corruptly influence the Circuit Court and to defraud and thwart the judicial processes
of the United States District Court was occurring.
36. By virtue of the rules of law, state and federal, that required prompt, forthright and
immediate disclosure, Wilson was reasonable in his reliance on the silence that no such actions were
occurring and that he was obtaining a fair and impartial determination from a fair and impartial
judge, not tainted by corruption, all of which was a misrepresentation of the true facts.
37. The defendants’ actions described above resulted in deprivation of Wilson’s claims
for actual and punitive damages, interest, attorneys fees and costs in the Hinds County Circuit and
caused Wilson to be defrauded into settling and dismissing his constructive trust case in the United
States District Court for a sum that was far less than the true value of the claim had it been tried
without the fraud of the defendants described above.
38. Wilson did not learn of the Defendants’ wrongful acts committed in conspiracy with
one another and with Circuit Court Judge Bobby B. DeLaughter until much later when Joseph C.
Langston entered an Information and Guilty Plea in the United States District Court for the Northern
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11
District of Mississippi in a case styled, United States of America vs. Joseph C. Langston, No.
1:08CR003(M). See Exhibit “1,” Waiver of Indictment/Filing of Information Plea of Guilty to
Count One of the Information before the Honorable Michael P. Mills, U.S. Chief District Judge,
filed 1/16/08, at p. 16, line 17 to p. 18, line 6.
39. Timothy R. Balducci, who pled guilty to yet another scheme between Balducci and
the Scruggs defendants to bribe a Lafayette County Circuit Court judge, has also testified under oath,
confirming the bribe of Judge DeLaughter in the Hinds County action described above. See Exhibit
“2” attached hereto and incorporated by reference, Transcript of the Testimony of Timothy R.
Balducci dated February 20, 2008 in United States of America vs. Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs; No.
3:07CR192(B) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
40. The defendant Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty on February 10, 2009, to the scheme
to attempt to corruptly influence Judge DeLaughter in the Hinds County Circuit Court action.
(Indictment, Guilty Plea and Transcript attached hereto as composite Exhibit “3”).
41. Judge DeLaughter has also been indicted by a federal grand jury for his participation
in the bribery scheme. (Indictment, filed 1/6/09, ¶ 18, attached hereto as Exhibit “4”).
42. The bribe of Judge DeLaughter was part of a pattern and practice of bribery, mail
fraud and racketeering engaged in by the separate Defendants over the course of years. These
separate schemes amount to a pattern of racketeering activity by the Defendants as exhibited in the
following cases:
a. Jones vs. Scruggs, Circuit Court of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Richard F.
Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs, Steven A. Patterson, Timothy R. Balducci and
others engaged in a scheme to bribe a Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge. The
Case 3:09-cv-00006-NBB-SAA Document 4 Filed 03/26/2009 Page 11 of 24
1Although not named as an individual herein Sidney A. Backstrom was a member of
SLF, Inc. f/k/a The Scruggs Law Firm, P.A. along with David Zachary Scruggs and Richard F.
Scruggs.
12
scheme was unsuccessful but resulted in the indictments of Richard F. Scruggs,
Steven A. Patterson, David Zachary Scruggs, Sidney A. Backstrom1 and Timothy R.
Balducci when the Lafayette County Circuit Court informed federal officials of the
illegal approach. Richard F. Scruggs, Steven A. Patterson and Timothy R. Balducci
entered guilty pleas to attempting to bribe the Circuit Court Judge in Lafayette
County. David Zachary Scruggs entered a guilty plea to misprision of a felony.
b. Eaton vs. Frisby, Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. Eaton is another case
on the docket of Circuit Court Judge Bobby B. DeLaughter in which Ed Peters
worked behind the scenes to corruptly influence Judge DeLaughter on behalf of other
counsel for Eaton. In that case as well, Peters never entered appearance but was
working with Judge DeLaughter behind the scenes as well as with Eaton’s counsel
to fraudulently obtain a favorable ruling for Eaton.
c. Kirk v. Pope. Circuit Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. Kirk is a case in which
Peters frequently engaged in ex parte contact with DeLaughter. In this case,
however, Peters did appear as counsel of record.
and
d. Other cases which might come to light involving one or more of the instant
Defendants and their un-named co-conspirators engaged in a scheme of mail fraud,
bribery or corruption.
and
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13
e. Other wrongful acts which might be shown by the evidence at the trial of this cause.
43. All of the Defendants in the instant action worked in concert and, together with their
unnamed co-conspirators, to accomplish their intended goal of depriving Wilson of his trust property
and his right to a federal trial in the United States District Court and his right to a fair trial and an
impartial determination of the issues pending before both the Hinds County Circuit Court and before
the United States District Court.
44. Through their conduct in conspiring to bribe Judge DeLaughter to enter rulings in
Scruggs’s favor, the Defendants fraudulently induced Wilson to enter into the Settlement Agreement
resolving his federal cause of action for far less than the true value of the case.
45. As part of their fraud, the Defendants actively concealed from Wilson the fact that
they had bribed Judge DeLaughter into making rulings favorable to Scruggs as described above.
46. The Defendants’ affirmative acts of concealment were designed to prevent and did
prevent Wilson from learning of the fraud until the true facts were revealed in the criminal
prosecution of Langston and Scruggs, long after Wilson had been induced to enter into the
Settlement Agreement resolving his federal cause of action for far less than its true value.
47. The Defendants’ acts of fraud and concealment were material to Wilson’s decision
to enter into the Settlement Agreement, resolving his federal cause of action for far less than it was
worth, and he reasonably relied on these fraudulent actions to his detriment when he settled his claim
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi for the imposition of a
constructive trust over tobacco proceeds and other relief for an inadequate amount dictated by the
results of the corrupt orders and opinions of the Hinds County Circuit Court.
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14
48. Wilson was injured as a result of the Defendants’ fraud inducing him to settle in the
United States District Court for an inadequate amount and his damages therefrom are equal to the
difference between the inadequate amount paid to him pursuant to the Settlement Agreement and
the amount he would have obtained (a) after a trial of his claim or (b) by settlement of his claim had
he known the true state of the facts at the time the Settlement Agreement was made.
49. All of these acts of fraud, affirmative and concealed, were relied on by Wilson and
his counsel to the detriment of Wilson and caused grievous economic damages to Wilson.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the plaintiffs demand judgment from and
against all of the defendants, jointly and severally, for the following:
a. Actual damages resulting from the defendants’ fraud, in an amount to be proven at
trial;
b. Punitive damages;
c. Attorneys fees;
e. Pre-judgment interest;
f. Post judgment interest;
g. Imposition of a constructive trust over any and all tobacco monies payable to the
Scruggs Defendants or any of the Defendants who conspired to defraud Wilson;
h. Such other general and equitable relief as the Court deems just and proper.
COUNT II – 18 U.S.C. §1961, et seq –CIVIL RICO 18 U.S.C. 1962
46. Wilson reincorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through
45 above.
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15
47. At all relevant times, SMBD, Inc.’s activities and the activities of its predecessor
Scruggs Legal, have affected and continue to affect interstate and foreign commerce. For example,
SMBD, Inc. prosecuted cases in many states other than Mississippi, including the tobacco litigation
and the proceeds from such cases were paid from other states to SMBD, Inc. in Mississippi
including the proceeds which were at issue in Wilson’s United States District Court case against the
Scruggs Defendants for the imposition of a constructive trust over tobacco.
48. Defendant SMBD is an “enterprise” within the meaning of § 1961(4) of the
Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 to 1968.
SMBD is a Mississippi corporation that at all relevant times possessed and continues to possess an
ongoing organizational structure. During the relevant time period, SMBD, and its predecessors,
functioned continuously as a law firm, of which Richard F. Scruggs was the controlling partner.
49. Richard F. Scruggs was at all times relevant to this action and still is a RICO “person”
within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1961(3).
50. Throughout the period relevant to this action, Richard F. Scruggs was the controlling
partner of SMBD, Inc. and conducted and participated in the conduct of SMBD, Inc.’s affairs
through a pattern of racketeering activity in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c).
51. In particular, Richard F. Scruggs engaged in the above described scheme to defraud
Wilson of asbestos fees, tobacco proceeds, and other amounts that Wilson was lawfully entitled to
recover from Scruggs, by bribing the Circuit Court judge hearing the case.
52. In addition to his scheme to defraud Wilson, Richard F. Scruggs also engaged in a
similar scheme to defraud another attorney of attorney fees derived from the Hurricane Katrina
litigation on which they worked together. As in the case before DeLaughter, Richard F. Scruggs
Case 3:09-cv-00006-NBB-SAA Document 4 Filed 03/26/2009 Page 15 of 24
2Jones v. Scruggs arose out of another instance when Scruggs refused to honor an
agreement to divide attorneys fees. Mr. Jones had to sue Mr. Scruggs to enforce the agreement.
16
sought to affect the outcome of that case, Jones et al. v. Scruggs et al.,2 by attempting to bribe Judge
Henry Lackey to rule in his favor. However, in the case of Jones, et al v. Scruggs, et al Scruggs was
unsuccessful and in fact, Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty in United States of America v. Richard F.
“Dickie” Scruggs, Cause No. 3:07CR192, in this Court to the federal offense of having conspired
to attempt to bribe a state judge. (See Change of Plea as to Count I of the Indictment Before the
Honorable Neal B. Biggers, U.S. Senior District Judge, attached hereto as Exhibit “5”.)
53. Richard F. Scruggs’s acts of bribery in the cases of Wilson v. Scruggs and Jones v.
Scruggs constitute at least two predicate acts of “racketeering activity,” within the meaning of 18
U.S.C. § 1961(1).
54. In addition, Richard F. Scruggs has engaged in conduct in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
1341 (mail fraud) and 1343 (wire fraud) by mailing or causing to be mailed various documents, and
by making or causing to be made telephone calls or e-mails in interstate commerce, for the purpose
of carrying out his schemes to defraud Wilson and the plaintiff in the Jones case.
55. Indeed, on February 10, 2009, Richard F. Scruggs pled guilty to the crime of mail
fraud, specifically in connection with his scheme to bribe Judge DeLaughter. In particular, Richard
F. Scruggs admitted that, on January 19, 2006, for the purpose of executing and attempting to
execute a scheme and artifice to defraud in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere, he
knowingly caused to deposited in a post office or other authorized depository for mail matter in the
Northern District of Mississippi to be delivered by the postal service, according to the directions
thereon, Joseph C. Langston’s and Timothy R. Balducci’s Entries of Appearance for filing in the
Case 3:09-cv-00006-NBB-SAA Document 4 Filed 03/26/2009 Page 16 of 24
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Hinds County Circuit Court case of Wilson v. Scruggs, Cause Number 251-94-582, all in violation
of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 2, 1341, and 1346. (Ex. 3 at p. 7, lines 6-18; see also p.
27, lines 7-10 (noting Richard F. Scruggs’s agreement with the prosecutor’s summary of what he did
in this case).)
56. In addition, and in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(3), Wilson avers that it is
reasonably anticipated that further investigation or discovery will produce evidence that Richard F.
Scruggs also engaged in additional acts of mail and wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and
1343.
57. For example, the original Indictment filed against Richard F. Scruggs in Criminal
Case No. 3:09CR002 charged him with two additional acts of mail fraud:
a. On or about February 27, 2006, for the purpose of executing
and attempting to execute the aforesaid scheme and artifice to
defraud in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere,
[Richard F. Scruggs] . . . knowingly caused to be deposited in
a post office or other authorized depository for mail matter to
be delivered by the Postal Service in the Northern District of
Mississippi according to the directions thereon, Circuit Judge
BOBBY B. DELAUGHTER’s “Memorandum Opinion and
Order Adopting in Part and Rejecting in Part Special Master’s
Report and Recommendation of January 9, 2006” in the
Hinds County Circuit Case of Wilson v. Scruggs, Cause No.
251-94-582.
b. On or about July 7, 2006, for the purpose of executing and
attempting to execute the aforesaid scheme and artifice to
defraud in the Northern District of Mississippi and elsewhere,
[Richard F. Scruggs] . . . knowingly caused to be deposited in
a post office or other authorized depository for mail matter to
be delivered by the Postal Service in the Northern District of
Mississippi according to the directions thereon, Circuit Judge
BOBBY B. DELAUGHTER’s “Order Quantifying Moneys
Due Plaintiffs from Defendants” in the Hinds County Circuit
Case of Wilson v. Scruggs, Cause No. 251-94-582.
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(Ex. 4, Indictment of Richard F.Scruggs, ¶¶ 15, 17.)
58. In addition, the Government indicated in David Zachary Scruggs’s prosecution that
it had evidence showing that on November 1, 2007, “an e-mail was sent via wire transmission in
interstate commerce from the Scruggs Law Firm to Tim Balducci containing documents” related to
the attempted bribery of Judge Lackey in the Jones case. (See Ex. 6 at p. 13, lines 13-16.)
59. The multiple acts of bribery, mail fraud, and wire fraud committed by Richard F.
Scruggs, constitute a “pattern of racketeering activity” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 1961(5)
in that there were two or more acts of racketeering activity, all of which occurred after the effective
date of RICO, and the last of which occurred within ten years after the commission of a prior act of
racketeering activity.
60. The acts of racketeering activity alleged above have sufficient continuity to constitute
a pattern of racketeering activity in that they were practiced by Richard F. Scruggs over a period of
several years as part of his schemes to defraud Wilson and the plaintiff in the Jones case.
61. The acts of racketeering activity alleged above are also related in that they have the
same purpose, results, participants, victim, methods of commission, and are not isolated events. In
both Wilson v. Scruggs and Jones v. Scruggs, Richard F. Scruggs bribed, or attempted to bribe, a
Mississippi state court judge in order to obtain favorable rulings in similar cases involving his
dispute with the plaintiff attorneys in those cases over fees to be divided between the parties.
62. The acts of racketeering activity have occurred in the Northern District of Mississippi
and elsewhere.
63. Richard F. Scruggs’s violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) has proximately caused Wilson
great injury and harm in that he has been defrauded of an amount believed to be in excess of $11
million as a direct result of the pattern of racketeering activity.
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19
64. As such, Wilson has been injured in his business and property by reason of Richard
F. Scruggs’s violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and is entitled to recover threefold the damages he has
sustained and the costs of this suit, including a reasonable attorney’s fee.
65. Defendants Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs, Peters, Patterson, and
Balducci onspired to violate 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) in the manner specified above.
66. In conspiring to violate § 1962(c), each of these Defendants committed at least one
predicate act of racketeering activity, namely, the bribery of Judge DeLaughter.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs demand that judgment be entered in their favor and against
Defendants Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs, Edward J. Peters, Steven A. Patterson, and
Timothy Balducci, jointly and severally, on Count II and that Plaintiffs be awarded the following:
a. Threefold the amount of damages suffered as a result of the Defendants’ RICO
violations, the specific amount of such damages to be proven at trial, prejudgment
interest on the actual damages;
b. A reasonable attorney’s fee pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c);
c. Costs of this action; and
d. Such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
COUNT III—CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION (SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS)
67. Wilson reincorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through
66.
68. At all relevant times Richard F. Scruggs was acting on his own behalf and in
association with and as an agent and principal of Richard F. Scruggs, P.A, SMBD, Inc. and SLF, Inc.
69. At all relevant times David Zachary Scruggs was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.
and SLF, Inc.
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20
70. At all relevant times Timothy Balducci was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.,
Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F.Scruggs, P.A., and SLF, Inc.
71. At all relevant times, Edward Peters was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc., Richard
F. Scruggs, Richard F.Scruggs, P.A., and SLF, Inc.
72. At all relevant times Steven A. Patterson was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.,
Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F. Scruggs, P.A. and SLF, Inc.
73. While Wilson’s suit was pending on Judge DeLaughter’s trial docket, Wilson
enjoyed a substantive right of access to the courts as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the
United States Constitution and incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment.
74. As described in detail above, Defendants Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary
Scruggs, Balducci, Peters, and Patterson corruptly conspired with Judge DeLaughter to deprive
Wilson of the right of access to the courts without due process and did deprive Wilson of that right
by improperly finding in a bench opinion that Wilson was entitled to no asbestos fees in excess of
those belatedly paid by Scruggs to Wilson prior to trial.
75. In conspiring with Judge DeLaughter, Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs,
Balducci, Peters, and Patterson acted under color of state law.
76. In conspiring to deny Wilson of his right of access to the courts without due process,
Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs, Balducci, Peters, and Patterson acted willfully and
maliciously.
77. Wilson was injured by this constitutional deprivation because he received an
adjudication that he was entitled to no additional asbestos fees in the Hinds County Circuit Court
and subsequently agreed to settle all of his federal claims against Scruggs for a small fraction of their
Case 3:09-cv-00006-NBB-SAA Document 4 Filed 03/26/2009 Page 20 of 24
21
true value, said adjudication of the Hinds County Circuit Court having been obtained by bribery.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Plaintiffs demand that judgment be entered
in their favor and against all defendants, jointly and severally, on Count III and that Plaintiffs be
awarded the following:
a. Actual damages in an amount to be proven at trial, prejudgment interest thereon,
attorneys’ fees and costs of the prior state and federal actions;
b. Punitive damages;
c. A reasonable attorney’s fee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b);
e. Costs of this action; and
f. Such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
COUNT IV—CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION (PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS)
78. Wilson reincorporates by reference the allegations contained in paragraphs 1 through
77.
79. At all relevant times Richard F. Scruggs was acting on his own behalf and in
association with and as an agent and principal of Richard F. Scruggs, P.A, SMBD, Inc. and SLF, Inc.
80. At all relevant times David Zachary Scruggs was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.
and SLF, Inc.
81. At all relevant times Timothy Balducci was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.,
Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F.Scruggs, P.A., and SLF, Inc.
82. At all relevant times, Edward Peters was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc., Richard
F. Scruggs, Richard F.Scruggs, P.A., and SLF, Inc.
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22
83. At all relevant times Steven A. Patterson was acting as an agent of SMBD, Inc.,
Richard F. Scruggs, Richard F. Scruggs, P.A. and SLF, Inc.
84. At the time that Wilson’s case against Scruggs was pending on Judge DeLaughter’s
trial docket, Wilson enjoyed a constitutionally protected state property right to a chose in action
based on the contractual agreement with Scruggs for division of attorney’s fees from the asbestos
cases.
85. As described in detail above, Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs, Balducci,
Peters, and Patterson corruptly conspired with Judge DeLaughter to deprive Wilson of the right of
his chose in action for attorney’s fees without due process and did deprive Plaintiffs of that right by
the rendition of a bench opinion that Wilson was entitled to no additional asbestos fees from
Scruggs.
86. In conspiring with Judge DeLaughter, Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs,
Balducci, Peters, and Patterson acted under color of state law.
87. In conspiring to deny Wilson of his right to a chose in action without due process,
Richard F. Scruggs, David Zachary Scruggs, Balducci, Peters, and Patterson acted willfully and
maliciously.
88. Wilson was injured by this constitutional deprivation because he received no
additional asbestos fees from the bench opinion of the Hinds County Circuit Court and subsequently
agreed to settle all of his federal claims against Scruggs for a small fraction of their true value.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Plaintiffs demand that judgment be entered
in their favor and against all defendants, jointly and severally, on Count IV and that Plaintiffs be
awarded the following:
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23
a. Actual damages in an amount to be proven at trial, prejudgment interest thereon,
attorneys’ fees and costs of the prior state and federal actions;
b. Punitive damages;
c. A reasonable attorney’s fee pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b);
d. Costs of this action; and
f. Such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, and for the wrongs cited factually and legally
in this Complaint and for claims pressed in Counts I through IV, judgment should render in Wilson’s
favor against the Defendants, jointly and severally, as follows:
a. Actual damages equal to asbestos fees, prejudgment and post judgment interest on
the asbestos fees, to which Wilson was entitled and would have been awarded in the
Hinds County Circuit Court action had the case been tried before a fair and impartial
judge;
b. An award equal to the difference between the sum for which Wilson settled the
federal action and the true value of the constructive trust claim and other federal
claims, including the imposition of a constructive trust over all tobacco fees awarded
to the defendants;
c. Punitive damages;
d. Attorneys fees and expenses, from August 21, 2005 for fees in the Hinds County
litigation, and attorney fees and expenses for all other past and present litigation;
e. Treble damages;
f. Pre-judgment interest on all awards;
g. Post-judgment interest on all awards;
h. Costs of this litigation;

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