Motion calls for Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys to be sanctioned

Posted at 9:01 AM, June 7, 2023 and last updated 8:17 PM, July 17, 2023


HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (Court TV) – The battle between convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh and the family of his former housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield, continues to heat up as a new motion accuses Murdaugh’s attorneys of wasting the court’s time.

Alex Murdaugh is led outside the Colleton County Courthouse by sheriffs deputies.

Alex Murdaugh is led outside the Colleton County Courthouse by sheriffs deputies after being convicted Thursday, March 2, 2023, in Walterboro, S.C. Disgraced South Carolina lawyer Murdaugh was convicted of murder in the shooting deaths of his wife and son. The jury deliberated for less than three hours before finding Murdaugh guilty of two counts of murder Thursday. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

In a new filing, attorneys for the Satterfield family describe a recent motion filed by Murdaugh’s attorneys seeking to throw out his confession of judgment as being “like a spoiled child … overindulged and undisciplined.”

Murdaugh confessed to lying when he initially claimed that his dogs tripped Satterfield in 2018, causing her to slip and fall. Satterfield died from a head injury sustained in the fall on the Murdaugh’s property. In documents filed on May 11, Murdaugh admitted that he “invented Ms. Satterfield’s purported statement that dogs caused her to fall to force his insurers to make a settlement payment.”

Eric Bland, the attorney representing Satterfield’s family, shared a new motion filed in the case with Court TV, wherein he accuses the Murdaugh attorneys of asking the Court, “May I have a mulligan?”

More aptly described, through their Motion, Team Murdaugh (which includes Murdaugh and his counsel) have stumbled late on the judicial first tee with a small bucket of balls and with the apparent attempt to fire shots until they finally hit the fairway. Obviously, Murdaugh is not a golfer. Neither are his lawyers. There are no mulligans.

Dividing the motions into “Whiff,” “Slice,” “Duff” and other golf terms, Bland argues the Court has no basis to throw out Murdaugh’s confession of judgment. The motion accuses Murdaugh’s team of playing “fast and loose” with the Courts and attempting to change facts as they suit his case.

The motion further argues that Nautilus decided to pay the claim independent of any statements that Murdaugh made and failed to take the opportunity to conduct its own investigation: “The matter was resolved for business or other insurance company internal reasons, unrelated to any self-admitted fraud.”

When it served Murdaugh to parade the Confession before Courts as a sign of his magnanimousness and contrition, he did so. When Nautilius said in effect, “thanks for admitting you stole the money we paid to you beneficially for the Satterfields, we would like it back now,” he reversed course and now seeks to disavow the same Confession. The goal of judicial estoppel “is to prevent a party from playing ‘fast and loose’ with the courts, and to protect the essential integrity of the process.” Who has played faster or looser with the Courts than Murdaugh?

RELATED: Alex Murdaugh’s crime saga timeline: Murder, fraud, death and betrayal

The Satterfield family, through Eric Bland, has accused Murdaugh of stealing the insurance settlement from Nautilus which was meant for the estate. The signed confession of judgment would award the family $4.3 million.

Bland, in his motion, has asked the judge in the case to not only deny the request to dismiss the confession of judgment but asked that the Court “send a strong message to [Murdaugh] (and to his entire legal team) to stop victimizing his victims and to stop weaponizing the legal system to extract punishment. Surely the legal Rubicon has been crossed by the filing of this Motion and anyone who facilitated its filing should be sanctioned.”

In addition to the lawsuit, Murdaugh was indicted on a 22-count federal indictment alleging that he schemed to steal money and property from clients at his law firm. Murdaugh additionally faces 102 criminal charges at the state and local levels for misappropriating funds and attempting to stage his own death.

In March, Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in the shooting deaths of his wife, Maggie, and youngest son, Paul.