Dickie Scruggs Pleads Guilty to Corruption in Miss.

Mississippi lawyer Dickie Scruggs, brother-in-law of former Sen. Trent Lott, pleaded guilty today to corruption charges.

Powerful plaintiffs' attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs and a co-defendant pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to bribe a judge for a favorable ruling in a case involving legal fees from a post-Hurricane Katrina lawsuit.

....One of the best-known trial lawyers in the country, Scruggs was indicted along with his son and three associates in November. They were accused of conspiring to pay a Lafayette County Circuit Court judge $50,000 for a favorable ruling in a dispute over $26.5 million in legal fees from a mass settlement of Hurricane Katrina cases.

Scruggs pleaded to a five year count. There are no sentence concessions, each side can argue for the sentence they deem appropriate. The Government may ask for the 5 years. The plea agreement is here (pdf) and factual basis for the plea here (pdf).

The AP says it was a surprise plea. Trial was set at the end of the month. I don't think Scruggs had much choice. [More...]

The court docket shows the judge had already denied his motions to suppress the wiretap and dismiss the case on grounds of outrageous government conduct. The judge also agreed that "other acts" evidence from another case could come in.

Scruggs' son and law partner Zach, also charged in the case, did not plead and is expected to go to trial.

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    but... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by wasabi on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:48:29 PM EST
    This story still can't compete with the pictures of Ashley Alexander Dupre spread across my TV.

    Too bad.  It has all the makings of a nice story --- Republicans bribing judges...

    Unfortunately, (none / 0) (#4)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:58:20 PM EST
     despite the Lott reference, Scruggs is a Democrat.

    Makings of a nice story? (none / 0) (#5)
    by standingup on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:58:35 PM EST
    This is a sad story.  I would hardly rejoice on the merit of it being one of a Republican bribing a judge either.  For your information, Scruggs has connections to both parties and has been a supporter of many Democratic candidates.  

    Any chance (4.00 / 1) (#9)
    by faux facsimile on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:47:01 PM EST
    Lott will be dragged into this? Scott Horton had a piece speculating as much not long ago.

    I don't understand... (none / 0) (#1)
    by desertswine on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:43:06 PM EST
    Scruggs' motivation to bribery. I guess Scrooge was right; "There is no such thing as rich enough, only poor enough."

    An adult who goes by the name Dickie... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 02:49:49 PM EST
    ...is all I need to understand.



    Great (none / 0) (#6)
    by chudd on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:28:44 PM EST
    Now we shall see every case he was ever involved with  (and there are many) scrutinized inside and out.

    As for whether Scruggs is a dem or a repub, he appears to more mercenary than anything else.  As a member of the trial bar, it's been in his interest to contribute more to dems, but he's also given to repubs like McCain, Fred Thompson and the MS Republican party.

    This can't be the first time. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:35:33 PM EST

    Its hard to imagine that this is a one time event.

    I agree it's doubtful (none / 0) (#8)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:39:53 PM EST
    Scruggs has any political priniples beyond what is best for him. I was merely pointing out to the poster above me that one should perhaps have a clue before inserting foot in mouth.

      Notably, among the Democratic politicians he has suppoted is the patron saint of this site.

    I should point out (none / 0) (#10)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:49:55 PM EST
     That for some reason  the bulk of Scruggs' reported contributions (and those of his co-conspirators Balducci and patterson) in this presidential election went to Joe Biden.

    Lott (none / 0) (#11)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Mar 14, 2008 at 03:53:15 PM EST
     is tangentially involved in the case to which the 404(b) evidence in this case relates.

      in that case Scruggs allegedly promised a different state  judge handling a different fee sharing dispute that he would use his influence with Lott to help the state judge get a federal appointment (much better gig). apparently Lott did call the state judge to let him know that dickie had told him he was interested in the federal judgeship, but lott ultimately recommended someone else and that judge did not get a federal position (He is still on the state bench, i believe though).

    And Trent Lott slips out the side door (none / 0) (#12)
    by LimaBN on Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 02:00:07 AM EST
    And to think the Republicans were so deeply, deeply offended when Mr. Lott was lightly booed during Senator Paul Wellstone's funeral.

    I was there, and believe me, the booing was far milder, and more light-hearted, than the way it came across on the television broadcast.

    I remain convinced that someone in the studio booth amped the mike in order to create a more saleable news clip.  

    Resulting in the very narrow election victory for our dear replacement, Norm Coleman.  The resulting "Oh, how offensive, using a funeral as a political rally" spin led to that result.  (For Pete's sake - it was held in Williams Arena, the biggest gym in the state, as one last rally for his followers and friends.)

    Norm Coleman - the guy who chaired the Permanent Senate Sub-Committee for Investigations, and never found anything to investigate for the six years of his chairmanship.  

    And to imagine what Paul Wellstone would have said when the Congressional Representatives came to the well of the Senate and begged for just one Senator to vote in favor of investigating the Ohio election results in 2004.