Dickie Scruggs Timeline

I’ve been following the developments on the Dickie Scruggs case on lotus’ blog–and recommend it for anyone wanting to follow along. But since we’ve got so many connoisseurs of timelines  around these parts, I wanted to link directly to one lotus links to–on David Rossmiller’s blog. The timeline is particularly helpful in pinpointing what kind of wiretap the government used when; Rossmiller concludes that the government never tapped the Scruggs’ firm. 

Here’s just one taste–click through for the complete timeline.

  • May 9-September 21.  Balducci has several meetings with Lackey. IndictmentMay 9 and September 21 meetings between Balducci and Lackey were taped via video and audio.  Defense motion. It is logical for us to assume that any other meetings between the two were also recorded.
  • September 21.  At a meeting with Lackey, Balducci agreed to pay Lackey $40,000 cash on behalf of Dickie Scruggs and the Scruggs Law Firm for a favorable order.  Indictment.  Immediately after the Lackey meeting, Balducci placed a four-minute call to the Scruggs firm and discussed the bribery transaction with Backstrom.  Indictment.
  • September 25.  FBI Special Agent William P. Delaney makes an application for a Title III wiretap.  Government response.
  • September 26.  A call made from Balducci’s phone at 10:11 p.m. is recorded.  Defense motion. The recording of the call ended abruptly because Balducci was talking to his father about unrelated matters and the government did not record this.  Government response.
  • September 27.  Patterson had a conversation with Balducci discussing the bribe. Balducci delivered $20,000 in cash to Lackey in the judge’s chambers, then traveled to the Scruggs firm in Oxford.  Balducci had a phone conversation with Patterson where Balducci said "All is done, all is handled and all is well." Indictment.  A call was made from Balducci’s phone at 8:36 a.m.  This was recorded.  Defense motion.  The call broke up abruptly because Balducci lost cell phone service.  Government response.

“Trent Lott Called”

I haven’t been covering the Dickie Scruggs case mostly because folo has been covering it very nicely. The short update is the whole thing has exploded as four or five different cases merge into one–and none of it looks good for Scruggs. The Scruggses are due to give a deposition just after the new year in one of these cases, apparently to collect evidence on when they first contracted with two whistleblower-sisters who collected evidence against State Farm and got it into the Scruggses hands.

Lotus posted something today that deserves wider notice. In a post describing Trent Lott’s rather hasty retreat from the Senate (both in general, and last night at precisely 10:45 PM), lotus points out that Trent Lott shows up in some of the filings from this time period, in particular the notes of one of the engineers involved in the case. Trent Lott called, the notes begin.


The notes go on and on about Trent’s anger at State Farm, ending with a record of just how mad Trent is.


Now, lotus speculates more about what this might mean for Trent, particularly since it appears that the Scruggses tried to get State Farm in legal trouble in hopes it would make their lawsuits easier to win.

Asshole though he be, Trent Lott is not totally stupid (though he may have been for a while stupified by rage at State Farm). He knows that, despite all his long years’ effort to the contrary, a large number of Mississippians can read and reason and see this trail he’s left, and where it’s heading. There he is down on paper conferring with the whistle-blower (or thief, depending on your standpoint) who worked with Dickie and Jim Hood to coerce a civil settlement via state-applied – possibly criminally state-applied – pressure. Is he the one who hooked them up to the FBI and U.S. Attorney?

But for the moment, I’m interested in this note, which suggests that the sole reason Trent came back this year is so he could legislate his way to revenge against State Farm–or, at the very least, legislate away the insurance companies’ ability to collude.


Now, perhaps I’m mis-reading this note. But it seems to reflect Trent’s well-publicized contemplation of retirement last year, rather than running for re-election. It seems to provide an explanation for why he decided, in the end, to run for re-election: to get even with State Farm. Read more

Scruggs Update: Balducci Did Flip

I’ve been following the Scruggs indictment over at Law Blog and folo while I’ve been busy moving. The short version update? The first concern of the judge who allegedly got bribed, Judge Lackey, was for the guy who was doing the dirty work of bribing: Tim Balducci. While a lot of people have a lot of respect for Lackey, it doesn’t sound like many people (besides Lackey himself) have much respect for Balducci.

This is all the more important since Balducci’s plea agreement makes it clear that Balducci has been assisting prosecutors for some time.

The government acknowledges the fact that the defendant has already substantially assisted the government within themeaning of Section 5K1.1 of the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual. Provided the defendant continues his cooperation and substantial assistance, the government agrees to file with the Court a motion for downward departure.

Perhaps that’s why Dickie Scuggs’ brother-in-law, Trent Lott, thinks that Dickie was caught in a sting. Read more