Trustee Steve Simpson has hired attorney Charles J. Mikhail to represent the interests of the pension trust in settlement negotiations. An order signed by Judge Breland Hilburn allows Simpson to hire Mikhail, who will be paid $225 per hour for his services.
Like many of the players involved, Mikhail appears to have conflicts which are tough to resolve. He is required to represent the interests of the pension trust and all of its members, yet his connections with certain plaintiffs counsel is unsettling.
Mikhail previously worked on tobacco litigation for Dick Scruggs. When Scruggs started shortchanging Mikhail on payments, Mikhail sued. The lawyers he hired to sue Scruggs? Jim Reeves and Matt Mestayer.
Cal Mayo, who is also suing Singing River, defended Scruggs in the suit.
Mestayer and Mikhail have worked together previously handling disputes for Attorney General Jim Hood related to tobacco company payments. They did so in 2011 in a case involving RJ Reynolds and were retained again in 2013 in another dispute with Lorillard and RJ Reynolds.
We have previously noted Lumpkin & Reeves’ large campaign donation to Simpson. Now we have Simpson hiring an associate and former client of Mestayer.
4 thoughts on “New Pension Plan Attorney Has Ties to Reeves & Mestayer”
The hiring of Mikhail is no accident. I now expect the Pension Trust to formally endorse some settlement plan which gives something less than promised to retirees/employees. In the coming weeks interested parties will roll out their PR campaign shouting “something is better than nothing” to put fear into all retirees/employees, and more importantly, taxpayers.
I agree with the concept that an accounting/making the pension trust whole is separate from determining accountability of why the hospital (a) got in its current financial state, and (b) it made no contributions to the pension trust since 2009. But to resolve the former issue, without addressing the latter, allows those responsible for this mess to repeat their actions and create the same problems in the future (at best), or escape the consequences for their illegal activity (at worst). Sadly, no one but a few attorneys outside an exclusive inner circle seem interested in running those facts to ground.
That campaign seems to have started, if the comments by plaintiffs on the SRHS Hopes page are used as a barometer.
Not that I would know, but I am sure that marathon runners get tired halfway through and often think of quitting. We cannot quit now. We must realize that there is a reason that certain parties are trying to push a settlement through as fast as they can. Singing river wants the settlement before January. Why now? It’s been almost 2 years of expensive games! And look at all the interconnectedness between their side and all their attorneys and judges. I am certain that the settlement will allow for termination either by the health system or by the court. And given the friendly nature of the court system to SRHS, I would venture to say that this pension will be terminated soon. Furthermore if I agree to the settlement I also think I forego my right to future litigation. Do not let them split us. A house divided cannot stand.
Oh Cold Hand, what a freezing heart,
Warm us with another thought!
While considering the thought of forfeiture of future litigation, this observer also believes that any retiree accepting the “pending” 13th month cost of living adjustment is likewise making an ethical forfeiture.
Does not So Called Special Fiduciary Trustee Simpson state that this adjustment is not warranted by the retirement plan’s formula, but he is recommending it anyway. How is this corrupt stealing from the plan any different than the corruption perpetrated on the plan by the trustees of the retirement trust? How exactly would this behavior be any different than that exhibited by others.