UPDATE: Scruggs appeal goes on 5th Circuit calendar

By PATSY R. BRUMFIELD/Daily Journal

NEW ORLEANS – The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has tentatively scheduled oral arguments for the week of March 4 on issues pressed by former Oxford lawyer Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs.
The New Orleans-based court issued its schedule advisory that it will hear oral arguments on Scruggs’ appeal of his 2009 conviction associated with alleged improper influence on then-Hinds Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who presided over a legal-fees lawsuit against Scruggs and others.
Scruggs, 66, recently completed a prior sentence for pleading guilty to a conspiracy to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City. He is free on $2 million bond until the DeLaughter-case appeal is resolved.
He claims he did not bribe DeLaughter, but that is was protected “political speech” when he had made known to the judge that he would suggest his name for a federal judgeship, which DeLaughter wanted.
DeLaughter also insists he was not bribed, but he pleaded guilty to improper communications about the Scruggs lawsuit. He served a prison sentence but is out of custody now.
• For more details, read Saturday’s Daily Journal.