Scruggs update: Langston takes the stand, talks about Peters' contacts with DeLaughter

By Patsy R. Brumfield / Daily Journal

NOON POST
OXFORD – Former Booneville attorney Joey Langston takes the stand and talked about hiring Ed Peters, who took their legal issues to the judge presiding over the lawsuit against Richard Scruggs.

(Below is a running account in the courtroom. Please forgive the typos and glitches likely as I type fast as I can.)

10:31 – CALLS JOEY LANGSTON
MIKE MOORE TO QUESTION LANGSTON (Takes a few minutes to located him in courthouse.)
Langston sworn in – Booneville. 54, lived there most of my life. college, law sh, practiced law until 2008. Knows DS, probably since late 1990s. Worked on cases with him … variety, primarily plaintiff cases. Time to time, companies with litigation against them, served as resolution counsel. (Relationship?) A professional and personal friendship. (Know Steve Patterson?) Known Steve probably over 30 years, first met him at Millsaps and he was involved in politics. (Tim Balducci?) I know him. My law firm in Booneville hired him in 1990 or 1991… only stayed for ayear and left for Oxford. Years later, after not practicing in Oxford, came to Booneville and asked to come back to my law firm. Left a second time in 2007.
(Rep DS in any cases in 2005-06?) Yes, I did. (What?) A lot of issues that came up and I sometimes counseled him. Pending, Luckey and Wilson cases were prominent and pending at that time, I helped. (Wilson?) Involved, I did. (What was it about?) Generally, it was about a fee dispute among lawyers. Wilson claimed DS owed him certain asbestos fees. Later, it morphed into something else. He amended claims to include tobacco fees. (Did you do … did he ask you to represent him?) Chronologically, Luckey tried first in arbitration. Wilson came after, I was more actively involved in prep for Wilson trial.
(Before Wilson, do anything on this case about it?) I did. Naturally, read the pleadings. Balducci also did that. We read the briefs, a lot of motions in case. Not sure how long going on but in excess of 10 years. REad as much as we could. Talked to Dick about it, other lawyers too. (Assessment about it?) I felt very good about it. Expressed to Dick and other lawyers that strong… if didn’t prevail pre-trial, I thought he would succeed at trial. (So, ever meet with DS… see timeline… 7/21/05 you meet?) I wouldn’t dispute that date. I’d say correct … after the Luckey arbitration decision handed down.
(Next date, Langston hired Peters. Tell us about this?) Met with DS in New Albany… just a logical place halfway between Oxf and Booneville. Met for lunch, Discussed Luckey arbitration. Two cases weren’t same but linked. Both former partners of DS in asbestos cases. Luckey filed claim, then Wilson filed separate. Luckey case was arbitrated and Dick and I talked … I was involved in Luckey case. WE initially prepared to try it. We conducted mock trials, been satisfied with results. Also, spending a lot of time on legal issues. Confident in good shape there with factual basis for defenses. Thought we were headed to trial. Difference of opinion with lawyers on our side … others felt best to go to arbitration, Luckey case. I was against it… felt would be giving up too many rights afforded someone who’s sued. Liked what we had learned in prep of case.
I did not prevail and it went to arbitration. Arbitor held against Scruggs and it cost him a lot of money. He felt he was right. Angry with those who recommended arbitration. WE met at Safari … he wanted me to be more active in Wilson after what happened in Luckey case. (Where did idea to involve Peters come from?) As I recall it, … and I’m looking at timeline. Must have been in the fall … I recall DS said something about some lawyers from Jackson, I don’t know who. Said to him… look, if got case in Hinds with DeLaughter you’d be smart to associate Ed Peters. Became more relevant, Wilson side associated Bill Kirksey. Had a lot of lawyers anyway… signal… he was former DeL law partner. I didn’t know DeL, didn’t know Peters, don’t think Dick new Peters. We didn’t know what was shaping up politically down there.
So, when suggested about Peters, fell to me. (Patterson knew him?) Patterson not my employee but he had consulting firm, Cotton Plant Consulting, maintained office in my building. That day or next, I walked into his office and said, hey, we’re getting more active in Wilson v. Scruggs. Assigned to Del, someone says get Peters. He immediately said yes. I asked him how. He said he’d call him. Left it to Steve to call him. (He called, report?) Yes, after they spoke, I went back to office. Steve said he’ll do it. At some point, Balducci joined conversation … Steve said he’ll agree to it, then he also told me should pay him $50K in cash. (Who’s idea?) Must have been an idea hatched when Peters and Patterson spoke. I didn’t suggest it. First I heard it from was Steve. Didn’t have $50K lying around. Said, how would I do that? To my surprise, Balducci said, I’ll put it up.
I said, OK. He brought it in cash to office and three of us flew to Jxn to meet with Peters. That’s where we paid him. (Paid him first time?) I don’t remember if pre-meeting … I recall meeting where … as I recall it … first meeting…g ave him $50K from Balducci to gibe to him. (Who was there?) Peters, Patterson, Balducci, Peters, myself. Don’t know if Balducci there when I gave him money.
(What asked Peters to do in exchange for money?) Here’s way explained to me. $50K looks awful … explained to me that Peters owned a fishing camp in Louisiana, damaged by some storm .. he was paying people to fix it. Easier to do in cash … so why he needed cash. I didn’t have it, we gave it to him. Reason, why associating him … at initial meeting, objective to hire him to talk to him about issues in case, bring him up to speed about fairly complex case as well as we could that day.
(Fair to say then, trying to balance influence of Kirksey?) Yes, that was a concern. It wasn’t uncommon practice for lawyers to hire … others … but Kirksey was a good lawyer. Also a former law partner of judge, concerned us. Hired Peters. (Whether this is wrong, real or imagined? Felt like DS wouldn’t be treated unfairly in court?) DS was a high-profile guy, very successful professionally and financially. As a result, a lot of people made odd claims against him. REgular basis. Someone would claim entitled to this or that, particularly tobacco fees. He was a little punch-drunk … no, concerned about people making claims that didn’t have any legal or factual basis. He had to defend those claims in various parts of the country. Like, you’ve got a lot of money and I’d like to have some of it.
A lot of frivolous claims… he became concerned about these claims.
(Did you know that … or Patterson say, Hire Peters because close to DeL? Why?) No question, one of our motives. (Asked Peters to do what?) Well, initially we wanted him to get schooled on the case. To kind of coach him up about issues, facts, what law was… we felt was pertinent. That took some time. Initially, we didn’t know how we were going to use him. Asked him not to make an appearance. Initially, we didn’t have that in our mind. Didn’t know what his role would be. But as our relationship evolved with him, talked about issues, law, research … apparent he was having ex parte communications with DeL. (Did he tell you?) Yes. (Where, how?) I don’t remember if it was in chambers. They met somewhere, They were social and personal friends. (We lawyers know about rules of professional conduct. Prohibition of earwigging, prohibits ex parte contact with judge?) Yes. (When found out, reaction?) Well, obviously it was wrong. Looking back, I should have said no, stop it. Not what we intended to do. Not what I did.
I was told by Peters, at first meeting and many times after, that DeL was going to do his homework, his own research. If argue point of law, better be right. You can’t make him not follow the law. He told us that … look back and regret … why I didn’t stop him from going into those communications. (Justified them with feeling by Peters that DeL would follow the law, can’t get him not to do that? Comfort to you?) Yes, in my own mind how I justified it. My have been reason, it wasn’t a good excuse.
(This contact, unethical behavior … summer/fall of 2005, continued all the way until end of case?) Yes. (So, ex parte contact … began here… all way through? Did Peters have any trouble getting access …. through Feb. 2006?) No, never reported any to me? (Did access increase after March 20, 2006 or more because of anything? Anything change?) Nothing changed. At times, inactivity of case, not much would be going on. Don’t know that his ability to access changed. (Skip through a few things here … so, this access – government calls secret access – what did it get you? What did you get? What did you win in this case because of this access? What benefit di dyou get? Point to something you got, contrary to the law… talked DeL into doing something wrong, contrary to the law?) Well, fo course, acknowledging ex parte was wrong … (So had access to Peters … we had damaging order … DeL rejects special master’s ruling, that’s good for Scruggs… what does DeL do? For you or against on fiduciary claim?) Ruled against us. Left us open for potential punitive damages if went to trial. (Did you send Peters in there to try to turn this around?) As I recall, … we thought ruling was not correct and that argued to Peters why we thought we were justified in believing it was not legally correct. WE asked him to carry our point and he did that. That was wrong. Argue out point more with DeL. But it didn’t change. (DeL stayed consistent?) What he considered consistent. WE thought he was wrong.
(Later, special master’s report that changed interpretation of Paragraph 32A… about settlements …were you concerned about that report Jan. 06?) We were. Generally, what it was about was that some previous rulings in case, which were I thought favorable to our side… about Wilson’s ability to claim more money on certain asbestos settlements. The special master report came and we felt it was different than previous order in case. Contradicted the history of the case, the law of the case, if you will. So we sought to have DeL rule on whether special master’s report was consistent or not. He ultimately said …about being contrary to previous rulings. (Refers to earlier rulings?) (2002, long before you were involved with Wilson case?) Oh, yes. (Approx 3 years before Peters was asked to have ex parte contacts with judge?) Yes. *(Law of case in 2002, DeL ruling consistent throughout case?) Yes, think his rulings were consistent with what shows here tht he ruled on that paragraph. May sound like a fine point but that graph became well known to all the lawyers.
(In existence Aug. 1992?) Yes. (What case was about?) Yes.
(Quantification order? Norman said and questioned Patterson, described it that some kind of reverse contingency agreement negotiated by you to incentivize everybody to go Zero this case out… reason why it occurred?) No, someone must be getting two mixed up. As we started preparing for this trial … I don’t know when this conversation took place, I asked Dick, is there some number you would pay to resolve all this. He said $3M. (So, you met with DS and asked how to work out, willing to pay?) Meeting for various matters, that came up. I initiated the conversation. At some point, I said, look, if bring it in for less than that … would you pay that in attorney fees? He said yes. (What if brought it for $5M?) I would be zero. (Any connection with agreement and quantification order?)
Point out date of quantification order? (Yes, it’s 7/7/06) I would say that the agreement on reverse contingency fees was several months before. (One connected to another?) We didn’t know about quantification motion when discussed the fee. (So, what was eventual result of case?) It was settled. (So we’re clear, govt seems to think case was Zeroed out? Or had huge money already paid?) Well, can only speak for time I was involved. May have been money paid before I was aware of. Lay it out like it happened. Both sides had economic experts, experienced lawyers. Motion would be filed regarding a settlement or experts would incorporate a settlement… during time, Dunbar, Jones, Funderburg, others involved. Did very good work. Our experts determined a settlement, if we still owed money, we’d pay it as it was determined. If knew we owed money, we’d pay it. Don’t want court to see you owe money. From time to time, paid Wilson. Amounted to a lot of money – don’t remember exactly how much. Know some significant amt of money, and on occasions we paid them on determination of experts. Yes, paid as we went along.
(So, case is over. Let’s look back. Fair to say, whatever influence you have with DeL was a direct result of Peters’ involvement, ex parte, nothing else?) No. Whatever we had with him, I think … call it good will, through Peters. (Did anybody offer bribe to DeL?) I don’t know of a bribe … if you’re talking about .. if he made a demand of us. I’m not aware of a bribe. Aware of the matter of his interest in federal judgeship but we didn’t offer that. (Deals with DeL to rule in your favor?) We were told, first sat down with Peters until last day I saw him, including …. DeL was going to follow the law. Regarding Peters’ conversations, all I’ve go to go on what Ed Peters said. Never saw conversations, I was never party to conversation. Just what he said. I believed what he was telling me.
(From whom did you first hear that DeL might be interested in federal judgeship?) Well, would be Patterson or Peters. Believe, it was would you help support him for that. (Ever first time you ever heard a judge was interested in federal judgeship?) No. (Common knowledge to be asked to put in good word for somebody?) I think so. Lawyers have fraternity of sorts. Interest like that … would seek the support to people they think might support them. (Must be lawyer?) Yes. (Ever been asked by a judge to give him help to become a federal judge?) Yes, I have. State court judges too.
(What position put in when that happens?) Like I’ve said … really only have three options – can say yes I’ll help, no I won’t or you can do nothing. No I won’t and do nothing are bad things, if they ever become a judge. As it turns out, yes I will help turned out badly. In this case, we had improper conversations with judge. (Is it really wrong if judge asks lawyer to make rec for him for federal judgeship? Or is that helping?) I know a lot of lawyers do it. Nothing wrong with practice. Think … know that selections aren’t made just on files… that people look for recommendations, lot of vetting that goes on. … Ask people to help them, people who know them.
(We heard testimony yesterday… that various lawyers petitioned them … Jim Herring recommended DeL, Peters wrote on his behalf, DeL’s father … asking someone to consider him? Wrong?) Doesn’t sound that way. (You found yourself in position … this thing popped up in it? Idea, hey can you help me become federal judgeship?) No, wasn’t my idea. They brought it to me. It popped up in middle or close to it. (Did you ever give second thought until investigation, conversations with feds, government … first think about this judgeship as some kind of problem … to make a federal crime out of it?) Answer? First thought could be a problem? DS arraignment in Lackey case … I wasn’t involved but initially represented Scruggs Law and Dick. But, Dawson came to me and said he thought there might be 404B evidence involving me that … could be a problem and might result in me not being able to represent Scruggs. Didn’t know what he was referring to. But as we moved forward through November, I spoke with them more, I learned might involved the DeL case. I remember … forgot question … I remember having talk with DS about that, first time I remember thinking about it. … about judgeship… well, before I knew that was the issue. They talked about 404B and might involved DeL case… I said to him, look I was on front line of Del, and know nothing … if Peters … his role was wrong. But if Peters did something with DeL, I didn’t know it. He never told me he’d asked anything. Then, as it developed … about 404B stuff, then they laid it out for me… as it evolved November -December 2007 … comes down I assured Dick as I was talking to him there’s nothing there. We didn’t pay him anything. He didn’t ask for anything, we didn’t pay him anything. I became aware that allegation was something about federal judgeship … to answer question … remember someone bringing up issue of the federal judgeship discussion is the problem.
(So, only thing on board about judgeship … is right here… March 29, 2006, Trent Lott called Del. Phone call. Lott testified… court heard it. Do you know of anything else that govt has about some federal judgeship offered in exchange for anything? Anything? Other than what Trent Lott testified to?) I didn’t hear his testimony but I know he made a all, learned that. We didn’t … I’m not aware of anything else anyone had anybody else do. Not aware of anything else done. (Aware of anything extraordinary occurred after March 29 as result of this phone call that helped you in your case? Govt says this is the bribe … what was it that the bribe got? You already had access… what did it get you? Need quid quo pro?) Certainly wouldn’t try to suggest to judge what would be. We had access and communications with Del all the way back to when I hired Peters in summer/fall of 2005,continued through end of case. Nothing changed. He continued to tell me same things… I can argue these points of law but he’s going to do his own work and follow the law. (When Peters said DeL wanted to be federal judge …you knew he tried to be a magistrate, tried to help him… what was it,….anything else except to tell Dick Scruggs?) Sure I did. (Tell Peters how that might help or hurt DS to make this recommendation?) Was a standard response to these … DS says will hurt more than help but i’ll support you. May hurt you but I’ll support you. That’s what he’ll do. (Know DS long time.?) I have.
(In this case, Norman says DS is someone who is the gatekeeper for Trent Lott’s judicial appointments. Is that true or false?) I never saw him like that. You said gatekeeper? Never saw that. (Know any judge DS ever recommended hwo’s on bench?) Never known one. (Anyone he’s rec to Trent and Lott went along?) Don’t know of any. (Understand how people have their own ideas abou case… Norman a few mins ago said DS is kind of lawyer “screws” everybody he’s ever dealt with. Is that ture?) A statement like that is not true. I’ve seen him treat people faar more fairly than dserved. I’ve seen him be tough. But statement like that is incorrect.
11:34 – NORMAN TO CROSS-EXAMINE
(About last point first, Jones law firm through everything it had to defend DS. When Wilson and Luckey were screwed?) They had disputes with him. (Jones had to sue to get paid?) I know that was in litigation. (Both cases were rigged? Jones, Wilson?) To some extent. (History of case … begin with meeting at Safari? DS wa smade as hell?) He was. (Said wanted to fire Dunbar and Jones because Dunbar was like an old lady?) Wanted to discharge them. (Called Merkel Junk Yard Dog, needed someone mean and combative?) Maybe (Wnated you to take over and make sure it didn’t happen again?) yes. (When Luckey took case before honest judge and cost him $17M?) Think jduge David was honest judge. Cost him. (Luckey was companion case to Wilson?) Many of same issues. Luckey’s complaint centered on rights of fomrer partner to recover money. Wilson’s was more of a contract dispute.
(So, give that mandate … told by DS that someone told him toget Peters on side, you went to Patterson?) Yes. (Hired Peters ….) I don’t remember statement about no 1099. (Paying lawyer for ability to corruptly influence a judge…admit it’s tax-free. A few things wrong?) A lot wrong, admit that. (Compare Peters with Kirksey… Kirksey entered an appearnce?) He did. (Big difference) It is.
(Peters said DeL would follow the law… wasn’t he already breking the law with access?) Yes. We were having secret access to him. (Norman,,, State Statute ….says felony under state law.. prohibits official from receiving anything … as an inducement of official act.. In other words, a judge who will accept offer of an intangible such as shot at judgeship in exchange for behaving way he was behaving … is a violation of law?) It is. (Moroe aske dyou if anything wrong with paying a lawyer $1M not for his legal abilities but to corruptly influence judge, then dangle federal judgeship … is thre anything wrong with that?) (MOORE – Don’t think you’ll find that on record at all.) Did I hear Mooe ask me that …. I think I acknoweldged something wrong … hiring Peters to go to DeL with ex parte communications. I said that. (But more than unethical… it was illegal?) I think it was (You plead guilty to it?) I did. (More than unethial?) I adopted that opinion. (Disagree with Moore that this was just unethical?) Depends on what point… (MOORE – Let him answer the question!)
If question is, was it improper, wrong. I said that a million times… Peters to DeL with ex parte communications, Wehther it constitutes a crime, this court must determine. Certianly our objective was to gain good will, try to influence the jduge to see our way as far as esoteric points ot law. That was wrong, improper. Believe court is charged with determining whether it’s a crime. (Quesiton – did you plead guilty to unethical conduct or a felony?) A felony.
(DeL didn’ walways rule for you. But yous aid, that would ahve been a red flag?) Yes, I have said that, it is true. Also said, not familiar with any cae that lawyer wins every ruling. We certainly didn’t puick and choose to rule for or against us. But he didnn’t rule for us ine very instance. (Never in career seen a judge rule for one side very time, obvious red flag?) It would be to me. (Ddidn’ tknow of any bribes to deL? What case is about. When dangle possiblity of judgeship before this thirsty judge, you didn’t think he’d think anything about it?)I didn’t htink about it. They came to us. I said that’s not my determination to make. (If you rack your brain…. to think back,… that feds might be worried about in Wilson case. Never thought it was a thing of value to influence a jduge?) Initially, it idid not occur to me. (Intended on front end … for Peters to have ex parte conversations with judge?) I knew that’s what he was doing. I didn’t put a stop to it. That’s what he told me. (Acknoweldged haven’t you, that ex parte resulted in favorable treatment?) We got it because Peters argued out position as points of law. Dick had opporrunity.
(DS knew about $50K to Peters?) I told him. (You said kept DS advised of anything significant?) Not everything, but I would. (Including Peters corrupt behavior?) If Peters reported anything on points of law … people working on this case constantly. Had to make points of law. (Is there nay benefit to lawyer knowing what judge is thinking, what might be concerned about on points ot law, how he tends to feel about resolution?) Sure. (What?) Well, you know where you need to focus your efforts. If weak here, need to send reinforcements, doi research and work. Important. (As cse picked up speed … you talked to DS about what he would consider acceptable… money to be a win. He said $3M.) I don’t remember exact date. Generally correct. (In his view, from what he told you, he was wiling to pay $3M more and consider that w in?) Yes. We felt like he would be saisfied to pay $3M to resolve all issues. (Still spending for Luckey, knows exposure is multi-miullions, still facing constructive trust… if loses to Wilson at state court level, doesn’t hurt Wilson in federal court… Wilson said if paiud what I was owed in asbestos and invested, I’d be milionaire, right?) Generally. (Exposure was multi-millions?) Yes, based on what other side was asking for.
(How many millions did you have?) 12 or 15 … (Did not want DeL to rule contrary to law?) No, we were comfortable that law supported our defenses. We wanted him to rule what we considered the law to be. (Comfortable? But willing to pay $1M to hedge your bets?) We certainly paid Peters to do that. (If DeL ruled contrary and was reversed on appeal, would be wasting your money?) We certainly talked about appeals… one reaosn why we made payments all along. Elminate issuesl… by end of case, had few of them pending. (Despite all this corruptin, the appellate process workd? If jduge rules against law, would be reversed. Get you nothing?) Yes. (Discretionary calls were where you made your win?) We felt we had enough good will with court to prevail, wouldn’t be punished … can’t … trying to think about discretionary calls. (Example – Sneed interpreation of contract with Wilson and Scruggs, called for 40% even after 1992 agreement?) OK. (That’s what Sneed thought was owed Wilson? About $8M swing?) Don’t remember number, but owuld have been a swing. (But jduge could have refused to accept R&R and not be a clear violation of the law?) I’m uncomfortable making all… based on 1992 rulings. But DeL’s ruling that “existing” means “Existing” helped us.
DAVIDSON – LUNCH BREAK UNTIL 1;30
• • •

9:58 POST
OXFORD – Second day of testimony starts with a key Jackson attorney explaining issues before Judge Bobby DeLaughter in Wilson v. Scruggs case and the timeframe involved.
Richard “Dickie” Scruggs seeks to have his 2009 conviction overturned that he improperly influenced the judge to rule in his favor in this lawsuit.
(Below is a running account.)
First witness is Steve Funderburg, an attorney for Jones Funderburg, which represented Scruggs prior to Langston-Balducci’s take-over of defense in the Wilson v. Scruggs legal-fees lawsuit.
• • •
Scruggs atty Lee Martin doing questioning as hearing begins.
Steve FunderburG, Jxn atty, said his firm had been told in March 2006 to put brakes on some legal work with the case, then picked it up in May through August. Drafted pleadings and sent them along to Balducci for input.
(Who is Jack Dunbar?) Attorney, lead counsel for Scruggs defense when Jones and I became involved with Wilson. He was lead until Jan-Feb ’06, continued in advisory capacity until end of case. (Who took over after Dunbar?) Joey Langston and, I guess, Balducci. Langston considered lead counsel after that. (After Langston took over as lead, did your role stay the same?) Other than March period, I was same.
PRB – In audience, Cal Mayo. Pet Boone, Curtis Wilkie, Mary Donnelly Haskell, Scruggs family members. About 50 people in hearing audience. Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson presiding.
FunderburG says disagreement occurred about contract for fees, basis for Wilson-Scruggs lawsuit. (When was specific graph addressed by court?) In 2002. (Special master in Wilson case?) That’s correct. (To address special issues, make recs?) Yes. (Asks about report and rec by special master Bobby Sneed, 2002. Recognize it?) Correct. (Pg 3 – discussion section, says 1992 agreement clear and unambigious?) Yes, see that. (What do you recall fees?) On existing settlement in 1992, subject to fees. Anything after would not. (Aug 1992?) Date signed contract. (Pg 4 – says Wilson entitled to 40% of aty fees from existing settlements… thus as of Aug. 7, 1992. Decision?) Yes, with first-round defendants, yes.
(Did court accept special master’s rec?) Court accepted it. (Shows him court order, dated Aug. 23, 1992… ?) DeLaughter signed, accepting recommendation. (He agreed with special master’s rec?) Yes, and that it was a binding contract. (Issue of other fees came up later?) Yes. (Wilson made another attempt to enlarge settlement?) Yes. (Describe what Wilson’s approach was to increase settlement?) Well, some language in contract that settlements reached … he would argue additional settlements. But after existing settlements in 1992, were modifiations to settlements. Complicated litigation about how it happened, but nature of settlements changed. Wilson claimed he was entitled to any modifications or extensions. Our position was no, different settlements.
(5 settlements at issue before special master?) Yes, in 2005? (Subsequent to Sneed’s rec?) Yes, 5. (What was master’s rec per Wilson’s entitlement from subsequent settlements?) His R&R essentially said he felt extensions would be something Wilson would be entitled to fees from. (If Wilson entitled, what would be the financial impact upon the defendants?) On 5 major settlements, about $5.5 million across board. … up to about $8.5 million. (That more if decision solid?) Yes.
(Sneed’s rec, in 2006, about subsequent settlements, was his rec a deviation from law of case as it existed?) That was out position. (Taking up court’s attention?) Yes. (Did court hold hearing on defense motions for a continuance?) Jan. 12, 2006. (At that hearing, was Sneed’s Jan. 9 ’06 rec discussed?) It was. (What was DeL’s impression of Sneed’;s ’06 rec?) Don’t know what was in his mind. He commented that it was a radical departure of decisions before. (Pg 38 – transcript from 1/12/06 hearing… back up to Pg 36 … see DeL’s comments at hearing… continues to Pg 38 … read what says.) Reviewing Sneed .. apparent that part was radical departure from what was agreed upon. (DeL said about May 06 ruling?) Yes. (Jan. 12. 06 – no federal judge vacancies? When Barbour took senior status?) I don’t dispute that. (Filed objection to report?) We did. (What id DeL rule about fees?) Judge objected to special maser rec and took it back to a ruling that fees only to Wilson on original settlement. (When he did, 12-pg order by DeL… did he just reject it?) I thought he went through each one with some analysis, that he had spent some time explaining nature of modificatons and how they were changed later. Provided some conclusions. (Broke each down prior to 1992 and difference with modifications?) My recollection.
(Part of this … had each side retained accountants to calculate various fees Wilson would be entitled to?) Yes. (Did Wilson’s expert follow DeL’s order?) Our position was that he did not. Methodology was consistent with Wilson’s interpretation. Sol Solomon. (How different?) His numbers kept treating figures to Wilson’s fees on any money from first-round defendants, before or after. (Disregarding DeL’s order?) Our position. (Based on report by Solomon to court, on his methodology, did you take action?) We filed motion to strike his report. (DeL ruled?) He did, on motion to strike. (Shows him order to strike.) Yes, 7/2006
(Look on Pg 2 of DeL’s report …. see this, special master’s review … DeL says Wilson due 40% on existing settlements, as of Aug. 1992. Is he taking them back to old order?) Yes. (Another paragraph… says court entered order accepting special master conclusion … footnote?) I think it was a typo… It was 2002. (That DeL accepted 5/16/02 rec by Sneed?) Yes. (Pg 5 – same order… reviewed all 5 contested settlements … modified after ’02 … court of opinion .. spec master’s finding wrong …. if accepted would erase “existing” … would change terms. Said Wilson wasn’t entitled to more?) Correct. (Footnotes … read?) …. (So, he’s taking it back to waht already ruled… can’t share in modified settlements?) That’s correct.
(After DeL issued 8/23/02 order, did subsequent rulings remain consistent with it?) IN my opinion, yes. (MOTIONS FOR QUANTIFICATION, RECALL?) Yes, three motions. (Shows him three agreements, familiar?) Unfortunately, I am. (Date Wilson filed those motions?) June 12, 2006. (Explain generally, what was Wilson asking court to do with motions?) Calculate actual amts of money due to Wilson. (Based on various settlements reached in asbestos settlements … determine new fees due?) Yes, to resolve conflicts between expert reports, to come up with a number for each of amts due Wilson. (REaction?) I was confused at first. Couldn’t understand why do that. (Feeling?) Couldn’t understand why plaintiffs would basically ask court to resolve thos issues without a jury. Would remove any element of what I considered compensatory damages… have court determine them. Then, we – defense SCruggs – hindered … so why would plaintiffs take role away from jury?
(Explain?) We contended that if apply methdology we used … if applied and compared to amounts paid, ended up with a net Zero. Saw it as opportunity… to compare the amounts against what Scruggs had paid. (So, Scruggs continued to pay fees to Wilson … that your team said he was entitled to?) Yes. (So, most quantification before judge … saw, first to calculate fees persuant to agrement. Then, also consider money DS had already paid him?) Yes. (Did team file response to motion?) I drafted responses to all three motions. One response, we did not dispute the procedural request but asked teh court to give it context … calculate money already paid. (Who actually drafted responses?) I drafted response … not sure if Jones added anything. Most went through Tim and Joey… bulk drafted by me. (During this time of Wilson v. Scruggs case… did DeL have law clerk named Lee Turner?) Yes. (Communicated with him?) Yes, a lot of paper. Confusing sometimes.
(Prior to filing response motion to quantification… did Turner give you info about DeL’s thoughts on quantification?) Don’t remember email about it … but I said Turner doesn’t think much of motion for quantification. (You have learned that Peters was involved with Scruggs side of case … at time case was going on and you were involved in 2006, were you aware of Peters involvement?) No. (Talk to Peters about case?) No. (Didn’t approve of anything Peters may have connected with DeL on ?) Certainly not. (Any info from Peters about DeL’s thoughts?) No.
(Court has info that Balducci said in deposition … he says “a fatal error” made by Scuggs team in response to quantification. He says it was failure to attach any supporting docs, along with response. What is your response to that claim of fatal error, mistake on your team’s part?) I don’t know context he spoke about bu ton face doesn’t make sense. We were responding to plaintiff’s motion. We did not have burden of proof. Responding to thei request. Notion that we needed sworn information or supporting evidence doesn’t make sense to me on its face. Also doesn’t make sense because if look at DeL’s orders, where he quantified … see where judge would adopt method, compare with DS claims he paid, and in every graph, said “x amount” due and compare with what’s paid. DeL acknowledger our representations it was paid.
(Dispute?) Not sure if any factual disputes on actual money, if had gone to trial. (Exhibit – order quantifying money paid to defendant? DeL’s order …. amts paid by DS .. says DS claims he has paid that amount. What you’re talking about?) Yes. (Any fatal error in that filing?) No, it doesn’t make sense that he would claim a fatal error. I drafted it. I don’t think so.
(Staying with order of quantification, Wilson quantified amounts he said due. Scruggs side said more to consider?) Yes, amount already paid. (So, i …
MOORE ASKS FOR 10 MIN BREAK, DS NEEDS TO RESPOND TO MEDICATION.