Sunday, June 24, 2007

Judge Sends Wecht Dispute to Discipline Board

Judge Schwab

Thank goodness for electronic filing. I'm not talking about tax returns, I'm talking about electronic filing of court documents in the Wecht case. The policy has saved many trees from sacrificial deaths as quintuplicate copies filed in Pittsburgh federal court.

The Wecht case may be eons from coming to trial, but the parties have already generated 488 court documents. That's documents--not pages. Each of the documents may be dozens of pages, some with attached exhibits running for many pages themselves.

I blogged about "Crouching Lawyer, Hidden Attorney" and "Wecht Defense Team Strikes Back". I sat out coverage of the government's response-to-the-response (Document 486), and the defense's request to file a response-to-the-response-to-the-response (also known as "motion to file sur-reply to motion for sanctions", Document 487).

That brings us to Document 488--the judge's response to the flurry over U.S. Attorney Buchanan's call for Wecht's attorneys to be punished.

Judge Arthur J. Schwab has filed a court order referring this side-dispute to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's disciplinary board.

The judge writes:

• the question of whether or not comments by Wecht's lawyers violate court rules "is also of significant interest to attorneys admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to the public."

If the disciplinary board agrees to take over refereeing the sanctions battle, the inevitable Document 489 may move on to other issues in the Wecht case.

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