Philip Thomas at MS Litigation Review is reporting that a few days ago, Circuit Court Judge Swan Yerger dismissed the trade secrets case brought by Eaton Aerospace against some former engineer/employees. Yerger dismissed the case based on Eaton’s hiring of Ed Peters and his subsequent improper ex parte contact with then Judge Bobby DeLaughter. Many may remember that this was a similar sort of arrangment that put DeLaughter in jail. As covered in Kings of Tort, Peters was hired on behalf of Dickie Scruggs to influence the case of Wilson v. Scruggs, also in front of Judge DeLaughter, in a similar manner. DeLaughter later lied to the FBI about that involvement and subsequently pled guilty and is serving time.
Here’s Yerger’s opinion courtesy of MLR. It’s very interesting reading.
NMC weighs in on this as well.
The timing on the ruling is oddly coincidental as columnist Patsy Brumfield writes that DeLaughter may be on his way to the halfway house. There is an interesting blip in her piece. He (DeLaughter) continues to insist he never was bribed.
That little quote reaffirms something I believe strongly about this and all of these related cases. 2011 will be the year of the attempted image comeback for a lot of these convicted/admitted felons. It will be the year of the whitewash. Mark my words. These people continue to enjoy tremendous (though not overt) personal support both in the press and in the legal communities. The dollars earned through these cases have paid literally millions in radio and tv ads as well as legal fees, PR fees and “consulting” contracts. There remain a lot of people with a WHOLE lot of reasons to be loyal to the “good ole days” of corruption and the way things used to be. The comeback tour for several folks is just beginning and they’ll have lots of help to try and blur the lines between the good guys and the bad guys.
Let’s hope the people of Mississippi (particularly in the media and legal communities) don’t forget the lesson (if they ever learned it in the first place).
Happy New Year.