UPDATE: Judge puts hold on federal Wilson v. Scruggs lawsuit

OXFORD – W. Roberts Wilson’s lawsuit against Richard “Dickie” Scruggs is on hold, pending the outcome of Hinds Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter’s trial.

Senior U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers Jr. ruled late Tuesday that Wilson’s case will be stayed, only until the conclusion of the trial set to begin Aug. 17 in Oxford.

DeLaughter is accused of allowing himself to be bribed by Scruggs, of mail fraud and of lying to investigators.

Wilson’s lawsuit seeks to recover from Scruggs and others millions of dollars, which Wilson said should have been his from legal fees Scruggs owed him from the case he allegedly bribed DeLaughter about and from other lawsuit proceeds obtained by using his claimed fees.

DeLaughter denies all accusations. Scruggs pleaded guilty to his part and had time added to a prison sentence he’s serving for trying to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.

“This ruling does not apply to any potential activity” in the DeLaughter case “beyond the trial,” Biggers said in his order.

He denied Scruggs’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

Scruggs’ attorneys had argued that Biggers should dismiss or at least halt the Wilson lawsuit until the DeLaughter trial was concluded because of a similar Hinds County case and because DeLaughter was likely to be called as a witness.

Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal