Famed Attorney 'Dickie' Scruggs Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charges

He was charged with conspiring to pay a judge $40,000 for a favorable ruling.

ByABC News
March 14, 2008, 12:28 PM

March 14, 2008— --

Attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, famous for winning billions of dollars from the big tobacco companies, has pleaded guilty to charges of trying to bribe a Mississippi judge, according to the Associated Press.

Scruggs and two other lawyers in his firm, including his son Zach, had been charged with conspiring to pay a state judge with $40,000 in cash in exchange for a favorable ruling in a case over disputed legal fees.

According to the indictment, Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey cooperated with FBI agents to help document the bribery scheme. Lackey was presiding over a case in which Scruggs had been sued by another law firm for more than $26.5 million in attorneys fees related to Hurricane Katrina insurance claims.

An article in today's Wall Street Journal details how Scruggs, despite earning almost $1 billion from tobacco litigation, has tenaciously fought over sharing legal settlements with other law firms.

Scruggs was featured on an ABC News "20/20" report that detailed his efforts to sue State Farm Insurance on behalf of policyholders who said their Hurricane Katrina-related claims were falsely denied.

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