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Another trial lawyer in trouble

Dickie Scruggs, Trent Lott's brother-in-law and a Mississippi trial lawyer known for reaping millions from lawsuits against tobacco and insurance companies, was indicted on charges of trying to bribe a judge, various news outlets are reporting. Here is the indictment. From WLBT TV in Jackson:

Dickie Scruggs and Four Others Indicted

A federal grand jury has indicted prominent attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs and several other attorneys on criminal charges of trying to bribe a state court judge in a civil case.

The indictment also charges two other attorneys in Scruggs' law firm, his son Zack Scruggs and Sidney Backstrom, with conspiracy. It says they conspired with another lawyer, Timothy Balducci and former state auditor Steve Patterson to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey with $40,000 to enter an order in a lawsuit favorable to the Scruggs' law firm.

In that suit, Jones versus Scruggs, the lawyers were fighting over how to split more than $26 million dollars in attorney's fees.

The suit claimed that Scruggs was withholding fees in a Katrina insurance litigation. That suit was assigned to Judge Lackey in the 3rd Circuit District which encompasses Oxford and Lafayette county.

Judge Lackey was cooperating with the FBI's Public Integrity Section in a scheme that began in March and ended a few weeks ago when the Judge received the payoff.

Both Scruggs and their lawyer were in Federal Court in Oxford this afternoon.

Just yesterday, the FBI seized a computer hard drive from the Scruggs lawfirm in Oxford.

Dickie Scruggs' brother-in-law is Senator Trent Lott who just announced on Monday, his plans to retire from the U-S Senate.

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