We've been discussing the financial devastation that can result from an encounter with corrupt judges and attorneys. We will return to that subject soon, but we need to turn to news about Alice Martin, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge William M. Acker will seek prosecution of Mississippi lawyer Richard Scruggs on criminal contempt charges. Acker's announcement Friday came after Martin declined without explanation to prosecute Scruggs.
Scruggs, who represents Hurrican Katrina victims disputing their insurance coverage, had been ordered to return documents to an adjusting firm that was working for State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. Acker found that Scruggs had not complied with the order and appointed special prosecutors to handle the case once Martin declined to prosecute.
Why would Alice Martin, a Republican appointee, decline to prosecute a plaintiff's attorney such as Richard Scruggs? Shouldn't a "conservative" prosecutor be anxious to go after one of those evil trial lawyers?
Well, it turns out that Richard Scruggs is the brother-in-law of U.S. Senator Trent Lott, R-MS. That of course is the same Trent Lott who lost his position as senate majority leader after making racially charged remarks regarding the long-ago presidential campaign of Strom Thurmond.
In fact, Scruggs served as attorney for Lott, whose home was destroyed by Katrina. Interesting that Lott, long an advocate of tort reform, turns to a trial lawyer when he feels an insurance company is giving him the runaround. I guess a Republican's support of corporations only goes so far. Can we say hypocrisy?
And can we say selective prosecution? Would Scruggs's ties to a GOP heavyweight have anything to do with the free pass he received from Ms. Martin?
Actually, the evidence continues to pile up that Alice Martin is a prime practitioner of selective prosecution, the subject of a planned investigation by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Interestingly, I've received evidence of Alice Martin's underhanded prosecutorial tactics in an up-close way the past few days. I will be providing details in the days and weeks ahead.