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Willis v. Carroll Township

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


January 29, 2009

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

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner

ORDER

AND NOW, this 29th day of January, 2009, upon consideration of the motion (Doc. 55) for reconsideration of the disqualification of Anthony R. Sherr, Esquire ("Attorney Sherr"), filed by Attorney Sherr on behalf of pro se plaintiff Harold C. Willis ("Willis"), and it appearing that by the order of court (Doc. 54) dated August 5, 2008, Attorney Sherr was disqualified due to a concurrent conflict of interest between his continuing representation of the Borough of Dauphin and his representation of Willis,*fn1 (see id.), that Willis subsequently filed a stipulation (Doc. 61) dismissing Borough of Dauphin Council member Dianne Price ("Price"), and that Willis now claims that Price's dismissal presents new facts and circumstances that "nullif[y] any concurrent conflict existing at the time" of the court's disqualification order, (see Doc. 55 at 3); see also Jilin Pharm. USA, Inc. v. Chertoff, 447 F.3d 196, 199 n.4 (3d Cir. 2006) ("The purpose of a motion for reconsideration is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnicki, 779 F.2d 906, 909 (3d Cir. 1985))), and it further appearing that Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7 specifies that a "concurrent conflict of interest exists if . . . there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person," PA. RULES OF PROF'L CONDUCTR. 1.7(a)(2), and that Attorney Sherr continues to represent both the Borough of Dauphin and Price, in her position as Dauphin Borough Council member, and the court concluding that Attorney Sherr's reinstatement in the above-captioned matter poses a significant risk that either the above-captioned plaintiff or the Borough of Dauphin will receive counsel and advice that is materially limited,*fn2 it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The motion for reconsideration (Doc. 55) of the order of court (Doc. 54) dated August 5, 2008 is DENIED.

2. On or before February 9, 2009, 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.

3. The pretrial stay imposed by the order of court (Doc. 54) dated August 5, 2008 is LIFTED.

4. A revised pretrial and trial schedule shall issue by future order of court.

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States District Judge


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