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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What could this possibly be?

After lunch, these two entries hit the docket in Scruggs I about five minutes apart:

05/21/2012 408 MOTION for Leave to File Pleading Under Seal by Steven A. Patterson. (llw) 05/21/2012 409 ORDER denying 408 Motion for Leave to File Pleading Under Seal as to Steven A. Patterson (5). Signed by Neal B. Biggers on […]

12-11-07: Ed Peters doesn’t come clean with the FBI

You might want to read this chronology before reading this post.

On December 11, the day after the FBI had raided Langston’s law office and visited Bobby DeLaughter, they dropped by Ed Paters’s office for a visit.  He didn’t have a lawyer, but decided to talk anyway.

In his interview, Peters “stated he represented STEVE PATTERSON […]

What Langston, Balducci, and Patterson said about whether there was a quid pro quo between Scruggs and DeLaughter

For a bribery conviction, there has to be a quid pro quo, an exchange of a thing for a thing (note that “things” can be intangible).  The “quo” part is really easy here, although Scruggs’s side is pretending otherwise:  Scruggs’s side got inside access to the judge, the ability to make arguments to the […]

Scruggs II hearing, first day testimony (part two of two)

Steve Patterson was the primary witness in the afternoon.

The Scruggs side’s big effort through Lott’s testimony was to show that Lott’s call to DeLaughter was no big deal, a courtesy extended to Scruggs that Lott would have extended to any Mississippian.

Steve Patterson’s testimony did not reinforce that impression; he testified about how much Peters wanted to help DeLaughter get a position on the federal bench, and how this was discussed in the meetings over Peters’s corrupt contacts with DeLaughter.

I’ll note here that Scruggs’s lawyers have repeatedly acknowledged that the ex parte contact with DeLaughtet was corrupt.

He went to lengths to say that he and Langston told Peters that their effort to get Scruggs to call Lott had no linkage, but those perfunctory denials are about as credible as Patterson’s claim there was “nothing sinister” about paying Peters $50,000 in cash.

The single greatest thing that Patterson did to dissipate the impression was what Patterson said when told that they were having Scruggs ask Lott to call DeLaughter.  Patterson thought it was insane to mention out the federal judgeship and said so, because “why by the cow when you can get the milk.”  Patterson said, “It was unnecessary because they were already getting the benefit of Peters.  It was unneeded.  Peters was getting what he was getting because of the father-son relationship between Peters and DeLaughter.  The influence by Peters was occurring well before the federal judgeship came up.”

Scruggs has to prove actual innocence.  It is hard to see him accomplishing that with this testimony, combined with Patterson’s testimony that Peters brought up the judicial position during these secret and concededly corrupt meetings, and with DeLaughter’s letter thanking Lott for “consideration” for the federal bench after that call from Senator Lott.

Here’s my notes from Patterson’s testimony.  I’ll have more comments about how it’s going with my notes from opening statements.

Steve Patterson 


Continue reading Scruggs II hearing, first day testimony (part two of two)

Judge Biggers rules Zach Scruggs will get to hear the witnesses in court, denies discovery motions

Here are the key parts of the order: Shortly before petitioner was to stand trial, he announced to the court through hisattorneys that he was satisfied with the discovery received from the government and was ready to defend against all charges in the Indictment.  The petitioner now contends that additional discovery is warranted in […]

Zach Scruggs responds on the depositions

There are three responses.   The most interesting on doesn’t relate to discovery (directly, anyhow); after several rounds in which the discussion is right-at-the-edge of being about the merits, Scruggs’s lawyer decides, “Ok, the Government is repeatedly making legal assumptions about this case to try to limit, and we are going to use this […]

Government responds to Zach Scruggs request for deposition (part 2)

In a prior post, I focused on issues in the Government response to the Zach Scruggs motion for depositions.  This post focuses on issues about Zach Scruggs’s complaints about asserted conflicts in his original trial counsel.

A lot of information is included in the Government response, all from either affidavits from Tony Farese’s response […]

Government responds to Zach Scruggs request for deposition (Part 1)

The gist of the Government response to Zach Scruggs’s motion for depositions is that he has to show a reason for taking a deposition by making a profer of the facts the witness may know, and that for different reasons Zach’s proffer isn’t enough.  The response makes a few points about the issue of whether Zach […]

Does Fall of the House of Zeus resolve open questions about the Scruggs cases? Part 2 of several

This is part two of a multipart series of posts about what questions Curtis Wilkie’s book The Fall of the House of Zeus answers about the Scruggs scandal.  I’m using as a starting point 10 questions raised in March of 2008 by David Rossmiller, followed by six additional questions each from me and from […]

Judge Hitner in Wilson v. Scruggs: Lets get on with it– and do so in 14 pt type

What remains of Wilson v. Scruggs is in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.  As I’ve posted earlier, Wilson has settled with Scruggs and Langston but continues to pursue Patterson, Peters, and Balducci (the last filed a pleading admitting liability but asserting other defendants were primarily liable).  The case is […]