Legal Ethics

Scruggs II: Once-Renowned Trial Lawyer Pleads in Another Court Corruption Case

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Already serving a five-year prison term for his role in a scheme to bribe a Mississippi judge concerning a dispute over Hurricane Katrina legal fees, once-renowned trial attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs pleaded guilty today in a federal mail-fraud case.

“According to prosecutors, Scruggs was involved in a scheme ‘to deprive citizens of the state of Mississippi of the honest services of a circuit judge,’ ” reports the Clarion-Ledger.

The judge whose work is at issue in the new case against is not named in court today, but the case concerns a dispute over legal fees that was heard by Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, the newspaper recounts. DeLaughter, who says he has done nothing wrong, was suspended in March of last year and is being investigated by the state Commission on Judicial Performance.

Scruggs is expected to be sentenced later today in the mail-fraud case before U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson, in Aberdeen, Miss. He faces a concurrent seven-year sentence, under a plea bargain, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Earlier coverage:

Bloomberg: “Scruggs Said to Plan Guilty Plea in Second Judicial Bribe Case “ (2008): “Ex-Scruggs Partner Requests Sanctions” (2008): “Scruggs Gets 5 Years, $250K Fine in Judicial Bribery Case”

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