October 18, 2011 Articles

Accused of Bias, Judge Recuses Himself from 17 Ongoing Cases

Recent decisions enhance prosecutors' ability to conduct international investigations at a time when the DOJ is aggressively targeting international antitrust and FCPA violations.

By Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr. and Michael Zabel

Can joint representation with independent counsel remedy a conflict of interest? In a recent criminal case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a federal judge denied the public defender’s request to withdraw over a conflict of interest from a prior representation and instead ordered the public defender to obtain separate counsel who could independently manage any claimed conflict. When later accused of bias against the defender’s office, the judge voluntarily recused himself from 17 ongoing criminal cases.

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