A Pennsylvania doctor is seeking a new trial in his drug case after learning that the lawyer that was representing him was under investigation for suspicion of being involved with drugs. The man's current legal team has relied on the holding in a similar case involving federal charges to help support its legal position.
According to the doctor's current legal team, the prosecutors violated professional conduct rules and criminal procedure rules of the state by failing to notify the doctor and the judge presiding over the "pill mill" case that the doctor's lawyer was under investigation for drug-related activity during the doctor's trial. The lawyer who represented the doctor has since pleaded guilty to charges related to selling prescription pills to undercover police officers. One of the two drug sales happened only one day after the doctor's jury trial was completed. The doctor was found guilty of running a corrupt organization from his medical office in Franconia.
According to the doctor's legal team, it was improper for the prosecution not to inform the judge that the lawyer was being investigated for potential involvement with drugs. The team claims that this created a conflict of interest related to the doctor's representation. Therefore, his current legal team believes that the doctor's due process rights were violated and that a new trial is the only way to remedy the situation. The legal team is asking for an evidentiary hearing to take testimony from the doctor's former lawyer and the district attorney who handled the prosecution. Subpoenas may be issued to receive documents from the district attorney's office to substantiate the doctor's claims.
Individuals who believe that their constitutional rights have been violated may choose to discuss their options with a criminal defense lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a violation of this nature may result in a case being remanded or evidence being suppressed.
Source: The Reporter, "Convicted Franconia pill mill doctor wants new trial", Carl Hessler Jr., June 12, 2014