Katrina Lawyer Indicted in Bribe

Dickie Scruggs, others accused of trying to steer legal fees
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2007 4:24 AM CST
Gulf Coast attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, well known in political circles for his deep pockets and even better known for his lawsuits against insurance companies over Hurricane Katrina damages on...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Trent Lott's brother-in-law Richard "Dickie" Scruggs has been indicted on bribery charges for allegedly offering cash to a judge to steer legal fees in a Katrina insurance case, reports the New York Times. Four other attorneys, including Scruggs' son, also face charges. Scruggs is best known for winning a $248 billion settlement from the tobacco industry.

The high-profile Mississippi lawyer is accused of trying to ensure that a ruling in a dispute over legal fees from Hurricane Katrina insurance payouts went his way. Another attorney accused with him allegedly paid the judge in the case a $50,000 bribe in installments. The judge went straight to the FBI when he was first approached and co-operated in the investigation as payments were made, according to officials.