Judge: Scruggs' lawyers entitled to copies of wiretap evidence - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Judge: Scruggs' lawyers entitled to copies of wiretap evidence

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge in Mississippi says defense attorneys are entitled to copies of recorded conversations that allegedly implicate powerful plaintiffs attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs in a judicial bribery scheme.

U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers' ruling Monday allows for a "limited unsealing" of search warrant applications and affidavits for wiretaps.

Biggers said prosecutors also can give defense attorneys a disc containing some of the "intercepted communications" in the case.

Last month, a grand jury in Oxford, Mississippi indicted Scruggs and his son Zach, who is also a law partner. Three others were also indicted -- all on charges they conspired to pay a state court judge $50,000 for a favorable ruling in a dispute with other lawyers over $26.5 million in fees.

The indictments quote from conversations between Circuit Court Judge Henry Lackey and attorney Timothy Balducci, who allegedly paid Lackey the bribe money on behalf of Richard Scruggs.

Also on yesterday, the FBI seized files from the law office of one of Scruggs' attorneys, Joey Langston.

Farese said Balducci once worked at Langston's firm.

The FBI took files for cases Balducci had worked on before he left the firm more than a year ago.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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