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Lawyer admits bribing judge

December 06, 2007|From the Associated Press

JACKSON, MISS. — A lawyer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe a judge and is assisting federal prosecutors in a case involving a prominent trial attorney, according to court documents.

Timothy Balducci entered the plea late Tuesday after initially pleading not guilty.

According to court papers, Balducci was accused of delivering $40,000 to a judge at the behest of lawyer Richard "Dickie" Scruggs for a favorable ruling in a civil case.

The case before the judge involved a dispute between Scruggs and other lawyers over $26.5 million in fees from a mass settlement of lawsuits that homeowners filed against State Farm Insurance Cos. after Hurricane Katrina.

Scruggs and the other lawyers appeared in court a week ago and pleaded not guilty to charges against them.

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