Verdict - Summer 2011 - (Page 31)

book review A Lesson in Greed The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America’s Most Powerful Trial Lawyer by Curtis Wilke REVIEWED BY ROBIN FRAZER CLARK “T here is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” - Mohandas Gandhi What is it that makes a man who literally “has it all” throw it all away in an absurd and unnecessary effort to obtain more? The euphemism is that “Pride goeth before a fall.”1 The same could just as easily be said about greed. And greed is what destroyed Richard “Dickie” Scruggs, arguably the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful trial lawyer. “The Fall of the House of Zeus” chronicles s the rise and fall of Dickie Scruggs from the son n of a single mother raised on the “wrong side of the tracks” in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to naval al aviator to billionaire trial lawyer. Curtis Wilkie ie recounts, with sometimes over-meticulous detail ail that only a true historian could love, the unlikely ely rise of Scruggs who, but for his mythical-sized zed ambition, would have been destined to toil away way in the shipyards of Pascagoula. Scruggs attended the University of Mississippi sippi where he joined the SAE Fraternity. It was his fraternity brothers who mockingly branded him with the over-the-top nickname of “Zeus,” the King of the Gods, due to Scruggs’ preoccupation with developing oping his physique. The SAE Fraternity proved invaluable for ble making connections within the state that he would draw upon for his entire career. His pledge-mate, Haley , Barbour, would later become Governor of the State of Mississippi. Although Barbour and Scruggs were on opposite sides of some harsh political battles, the lasting bond they formed at the SAE house allowed them to remain friends. Scruggs served in the United States Navy ates after graduating from Ole Miss and flew A-6’s off of the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Roosevelt. At age 27 he began law school at Ole Miss, again making life-lasting bonds ing with young Mississippians who would, ultimately, rise to ely, political power in the state. Wilkie follows every step of Scruggs’ legal career, beginreer, ning with his initial success in asbestos cases. He started with a $1 million verdict in Federal Court for a client suffering nt Summer 2011 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Verdict - Summer 2011

Let the Jurors Be Heard
A Rule Needing Limits: The “Right For Any Reason” Rule
Speaking Out of Turn: Ex Parte Interviews With Plaintiff’s Treating Physicians
GTLA 2011 President’s Gala: In Pictures
Legislative Relationships: The Key to Legislative Results
Welcome to the Federal Rules of Evidence: Georgia’s New Evidence Code
Judicial Spotlight: Reflections from the Bench
Book Review: The Fall of the House of Zeus
How I Obtained Justice for My Client: Cranford v. Ernest Homes
Technology Update: Securing Justice for Victims of Negligence? There’s an App for That!
Lessons from the Listserver: Is Defendant Driver History Permissible
Recent Updates in Workers’ Compensation
Welcome New GTLA Members!
Profile Listings

Verdict - Summer 2011