Legal Ethics

FBI Agents Search Offices of Lawyer for Richard 'Dickie' Scruggs

FBI agents this morning searched the office of a lawyer for indicted personal injury lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, who is accused in a federal indictment of conspiring to bribe a judge.

Agents executed a search warrant for the office of lawyer Joey Langston of Booneville, Miss., according to the Clarion-Ledger. Langston has not been charged with any crime.

Langston’s law office formerly employed co-defendant Timothy Balducci, who pleaded guilty in the bribery case against Scruggs and is cooperating with the government, according to an earlier Wall Street Journal story (sub. req.) on the case.

Balducci worked in Langston’s law firm for about six years until he left about a year ago, according to the earlier story.

Scruggs and three other co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to bribe Judge Henry Lackey to resolve a dispute over Hurricane Katrina legal fees in favor of Scruggs’ law firm.

Langston represented Scruggs in a prior dispute over legal fees that resulted in a confidential settlement in 2005, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald. He also worked with Scruggs in litigation against tobacco companies.

After the indictment of Scruggs and four co-defendants, Langston told AP, “I’m convinced that these guys did not do what they’re accused of doing.” He told the Wall Street Journal he “would be very surprised to learn, when the investigation is complete, that the men in the Scruggs firm had any knowledge whatsoever that Mr. Balducci was going to pay money” to the judge.

FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden would not tell the Wall Street Journal Law Blog what the agents were seeking.

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