3. Richard Scruggs
Richard Scruggs is the richest current or former attorney in the world, with a net worth of $1.7 billion.
Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs is an American former naval aviator and disbarred trial lawyer. He is the brother-in-law of former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Scruggs first came to the public eye after successfully suing the asbestos industry on behalf of ill shipyard workers
In the early 1980s, Scruggs began representing clients who had been exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer. He won several major verdicts against asbestos companies, and became known as the “King of Torts.”
In 2003, Scruggs was indicted on charges of judicial bribery. He was accused of paying a $50,000 bribe to a judge in exchange for a favorable ruling in a case against an insurance company. Scruggs was convicted of the charges in 2007, and sentenced to five years in prison.
Scruggs was released from prison in 2012, and has since returned to Mississippi. He is now a consultant and advocate for tort reform.
Scruggs’s notable accomplishments:
- He won several major verdicts against asbestos companies, and became known as the “King of Torts.”
- He was a pioneer in the use of class-action lawsuits to represent victims of asbestos exposure.
- He was a vocal advocate for tort reform, and he helped to pass several laws that limited the ability of plaintiffs to sue corporations.