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Willis v. Carroll Township

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


August 5, 2008

HAROLD C. WILLIS, PLAINTIFF
v.
CARROLL TOWNSHIP, ET AL., DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Christopher C. Conner United States District Judge

(Judge Conner)

ORDER

AND NOW, this 5th day of August, 2008, upon consideration of defendant Dianne Price's motion to disqualify Anthony R. Sherr, Esquire as counsel for plaintiff Harold C. Willis (Doc. 42), in which defendant Price alleges that Attorney Sherr's representation of plaintiff involves both concurrent*fn1 and successive*fn2 conflicts of interest, and it appearing that defendant Price was formerly the manager of Dauphin Borough and is now a member of the Dauphin Borough Council, that Attorney Sherr represented defendant Price in her capacity as the Dauphin Borough manager in the matter of Johnson v. Dauphin Borough, No. 05- 1518 (M.D. Pa.), and that Attorney Sherr currently represents Dauphin Borough in the matters of Richcreek v. Gulick, No. 97-0614 (M.D. Pa.) and Rife v. Borough of Dauphin, No. 08-0314 (M.D. Pa.), and the court finding that no successive conflict of interest exists because Attorney Sherr's former representation of defendant Price did not involve the "same or a substantially related matter" as the instant case,*fn3 see PA. RULES OF PROF'L CONDUCT R. 1.9, but that a concurrent conflict of interest does exist because Attorney Sherr's representation of plaintiff is "directly adverse" to his representation of Dauphin Borough,*fn4 see id. R. 1.7, it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The motion to disqualify (Doc. 42) is GRANTED.

2. Anthony R. Sherr, Esquire is DISQUALIFIED from representing the plaintiff in the above-captioned action.

3. Anthony R. Sherr, Esquire shall provide a copy of the instant order to the plaintiff in the above-captioned action.

4. On or before September 3, 2008, the plaintiff is directed to either:

(1) obtain qualified counsel and notify the court of the identity of such counsel, or (2) notify the court that he wishes to proceed without counsel, that is, pro se, for the remainder of this action.

5. The pretrial and trial schedule in the above-captioned action is STAYED pending plaintiff's decision to retain counsel or elect to proceed pro se. Thereafter, the court will issue a revised pretrial schedule.


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