I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

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The Scruggs appeals are at an end

The United States Supreme Court denied cert this week on Dickie Scruggs’s appeal from Judge Bigger’s refusal to grant relief from Scruggs’s guilty plea.

This was not a surprise.

The Mississippi Business Journal story summed it up as well as possible:

Though he pleaded guilty, Scruggs began appealing his conviction in 2010. But he lost in courtroom after courtroom, and now the nation’s highest court won’t even bother with him.

It is rather ironic that Scruggs, who totally disrespected the courts, when forced to work through that same system — honestly this time — couldn’t win. It should reaffirm that our legal system is not broken, and at least in this case justice has indeed prevailed.

12 comments to The Scruggs appeals are at an end

  • JL

    Even if you have lost your right to practice law would you still be able to represent yourself in court? In a civil matter? Just wondering.

  • NMC

    Sure. Or, more accurately, I would think so.

  • Your law license is all about letting you represent *other* people, so yeah.

  • Ben

    JL: I know of no prohibition on a disbarred lawyer’s right to represent himself in civil or criminal proceedings.

  • Hootie Dasher

    I would assume that since a citizen can not be debarred neither can a disbarred attorney. All citizens have a right before the bar.

  • Ben

    Speaking of citizens’ rights before the bar, I’m picturing Ed Peters in a grimy bar in some god forsaken place in extreme south Louisiana–maybe Golden Meadows … has a nice, ironic ring to it–sipping a cold Purple Haze, and just smiling to himself and thinking: “Man … that was a close one.”

  • PostHoleDigger

    Don’t worry Ben, ‘God is not mocked’.

  • NotZachScruggs

    Could Ed be thinking, “There’s a right way to go about this and a wrong way, and I reckon I went about it correctly — more nimbly and slyly than anyone gives me credit for, and certainly more cleverly than all who went to the slammer?”

  • I would not presume to think what he might have in mind, NotZach, but that about fits it.

  • Oh, and I’ve never, ever seen anyone get to keep the taxes they paid on ill-gotten gains (in Peters’s case $400K). If’ it’s illegally obtained, you don’t get deductions.

    For whatever reason, Ed was especially blessed.

    With something.

  • A true son of the morning, that Ed Peters.

  • Citizen Alan

    It should reaffirm that our legal system is not broken, and at least in this case justice has indeed prevailed.

    Not sure I completely buy this conclusion. Surely it’s at least something of a black mark on our legal system when a billionaire can clog up the courts for years with weak if not frivolous appeals at a cost of probably less than 1% of his net worth while God knows how many convicts who have meritorious grounds for appeal are reduced to pro se briefs written by hand on college ruled notebook paper.

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