Another Trial Lawyer Falls, Zach Scruggs

By March 21, 2008Briefly Legal

From the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog:

Zach Scruggs, the son of powerful plaintiffs attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, has pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge that he was aware of but did not report that associates were inappropriately trying to influence a Mississippi judge. Here’s the early report from the Biloxi Sun-Herald. The AP (link not available) is also reporting the news. Click here for the plea agreement and here for the criminal information.

Zach Scruggs was originally charged along with his father and others of a more serious charge of conspiring to bribe Judge Henry Lackey for a favorable ruling in a dispute with other lawyers over $26.5 million in legal fees.

But on Friday, Zach Scruggs pleaded guilty to a lesser charge — called misprision of a felony. The crime is punishable by a prison term, though prosecutors are recommending probation. Zach Scruggs, 33, is the last of five defendants in the high-profile judicial bribery case to enter a guilty plea. His father pleaded guilty last week to conspiring to bribe a judge.

This plea never would have happened had his father, Dickie Scruggs, continued proclaiming his innocence. One presumes the prosecution overcharged in order to apply pressure.

An updated Sun-Herald story is here.

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