As he greeted party guests, Richard “Dickie” Scruggs—the trial lawyer famous for taking down Big Tobacco and taking on Katrina insurance companies—didn’t look like someone who had just been indicted. And though prosecutors say he conspired to bribe the judge in his latest case, Oxford, Miss., isn't buying it. The Wall Street Journal pays a visit.
“That doesn't sound like the Dickie Scruggs that I know,” pal John Grisham says of Trent Lott's brother-in-law, who brought the state millions in a tobacco lawsuit and sealed his crusader image fighting insurance companies after Katrina. But of the man who paid the judge, “This is a clear case of a young man wanting to endear himself to Dickie Scruggs,” says another.