The Scruggs defendants have filed a “Motion to Clarify” asking the court to make clear that they are facing only Jones’s actual damages and not criminal contempt or punitive damages. The argument that this can’t be a contempt proceeding seems right, and they cite some cases that seem to say that punitive damages cannot be awarded as a sanction. There’s other interesting stuff in the exhibits to the motion:
Email traffic between Roy Percy (in the Tollison Law Firm) and Cal Mayo (of Mayo-Mallette, representing Scruggs) make clear that the Jones side intend to call Judge Lackey, Zach Scruggs, Dickie Scruggs, and Sid Backstrom at the hearing tomorrow, and have them all under subpoena.
The Jones side seems to commit in the emails to a definition of the sanction: That they want the answer and defenses stricken and a default judgment entered for the Jones side, and that they want attorneys fees and expenses, and that they are not seeking punitive damages. I’m not positive, but all this seems to point to a two-step hearing: Part one to determine whether there is a sanction and what the sanction is, and part two to determine how much Jones’s share should be. I’m guessing that his lawyers will start with the presumption of equal division and argue that they should get more than an equal share because they did more of the work, but that this will not occur tomorrow.