Tuesday, April 15th, Judge Coleman will be holding the sanctions hearing in Jones, Funderburg v. Scruggs here in Oxford. In the last (pre-guilty plea) hearing we learned the issues will be: Did a member of Scruggs Katrina Group set out to bribe Judge Lackey? What is the appropriate sanction for that? Judge Coleman has already decided that he can and will sanction for bribery if proven, and that the non-Scruggs members of SKG are sanctionable for such action by Scruggs.
Given those guilty pleas, I guess it all comes down to “how much.” I’ll be interested to see if the Jones side puts on any proof beyond the pleas (I’d bet yes) and what sort of defense either the Scruggs side or the remaining Katrina groupees might attempt.
Both Scruggs and the remaining Katrina Group lawyers have pending interlocutory appeals from Judge Coleman’s decision that he can sanction without sending the case to arbitration.
So here’s the question for discussion: Here we have a $25,000,000 pot of money. Just how much should the sanction be? What should the judge consider as factors on that– relative effort? the cost Jones has incurred (legal fees) to get to this point? Or what?