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Tobacco Settlement Lawyer Dickie Scruggs Indicted

Dickie Scruggs, one of the lawyers who helped bring about the 1998 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, has just been indicted on bribery charges. Under the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), trial lawyers received $15 billion (not million, billion) from the big tobacco companies, in a deal which also provided the tobacco companies who joined the deal with protection against competition from little tobacco companies that refused to join the deal and pay off the trial lawyers. 46 States and 6 territories entered into the deal, which gave state governments billions of dollars. CEI is challenging the deal in court. As I noted in the Wall Street Journal, lawyers in New York State received $625 million under the deal, just for working on a copycat lawsuit.