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Lawyer Battling for Katrina Payments Is Indicted

On November 28 Richard Scruggs, a prominent lawyer in disputes over insurance payments for damage from Hurricane Katrina, was indicted in federal court in Oxford,...
December 4, 2007

On November 28 Richard Scruggs, a prominent lawyer in disputes over insurance payments for damage from Hurricane Katrina, was indicted in federal court in Oxford, Mississippi, on charges of offering a $50,000 bribe to Mississippi State Judge Henry Lackey in a dispute over fees with another lawyer. According to the indictment, Timothy Balducci, a partner in the firm of Patterson & Balducci who is one of Scruggs' colleagues, met several times with Judge Lackey offering to deliver the bribe in installments.  Scruggs' son Zachary and Sidney Backstrom, partners in the Scruggs Law Firm in Oxford, as well as Balducci and Steven Patterson, a staff member in Balducci's firm, were also indicted on conspiracy charges. The indictment said that Judge Lackey reported the bribery attempts to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Scruggs, who helped win the $248 billion settlement with the tobacco industry in the late 1990s, has negotiated settlements of more than $100 million with State Farm and other insurers this year.

U.S. Grand Jury Indicts "Dickie" Scruggs (Insurance Journal 11/30/07)

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