As previously reported here, a Northern District of Alabama judge recently asked federal prosecutors to charge Mississippi plaintiff's attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs with criminal contempt. It is alleged that Scruggs violated a preliminary injunction issued in December 2006, which ordered him to turn over all documents secretly copied by two whistleblowers, Kerri and Cori Moran. Instead of returning the documents to E.A. Renfroe, as ordered by the judge, Scruggs gave the documents to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

The U.S. Attorney in Birmingham, Alabama declined the judge’s request to prosecute Scruggs and his law firm for criminal contempt. That same day, however, the judge appointed Charles E. Sharp and Joel Williams, both Birmingham attorneys, to serve as special prosecutors in the prosecution of Scruggs. Williams reportedly noted in a phone interview that, after a review of the evidence, the criminal contempt charge appeared accurate.