Miss. Bar asks state Supreme Court to pull Scruggs’ law license

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Mississippi State Bar filed a petition to disbar high-profile attorney Richard “Dickie” Scruggs.

The petition was filed Tuesday with the Mississippi Supreme Court, which decides such matters.

A similar petition was filed against Sidney A. Backstrom, Scruggs’ law partner.

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Scruggs, 61, and Backstrom, 38, each pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Oxford to one count of conspiring to bribe a state judge. Other counts were dropped.

While the high court makes the final ruling, the revocation of the license to practice law is standard in the case of a felony conviction, the Mississippi Bar Association said last week. Under the rules, Mississippi lawyers who are disbarred for a felony cannot seek reinstatement.

The bar previously filed petitions with the Supreme Court to disbar two other attorneys — Joey Langston and Timothy Balducci.

Scruggs, Backstrom and Balducci admitted conspiring to offer Circuit Judge Henry L. Lackey $50,000 for an order Scruggs wanted the judge to issue in a dispute with another law firm over $26.5 million in legal fees from Hurricane Katrina cases.

Langston admitted conspiring to bribe Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter on Scruggs’ behalf in an unrelated legal case. That case remained under investigation.

Scruggs’ son, Zach, also indicted in the case, is scheduled for trial in Oxford on March 31.