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Thomas J. Bell, et al v. Lackawanna County

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


June 7, 2011

THOMAS J. BELL, ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS
v.
LACKAWANNA COUNTY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner

ORDER

AND NOW, this 7th day of June, 2011, upon consideration of plaintiffs'motion (Doc. 119) to disqualify Thomas Myers, Esquire, and the law firm of ElliottGreenleaf & Dean, (collectively, "defense counsel"), as counsel for defendantsLackawanna County, Corey O'Brien, and Michael Washo (collectively,"defendants") in the instant matter, and it appearing that plaintiffs allege thatdefense counsel's prior representation of plaintiff Anthony Bernardi ("Bernardi")gives rise to a successive conflict of interest in the instant case,*fn1 and it appearingthat defense counsel previously represented defendant Lackawanna County inWrightson, et al. v. Lackawanna County, et al., No. 3:04-cv-00038 (M.D. Pa.), a case in which Bernardi testified as an employee of Lackawanna County,*fn2 and the court finding that defense counsel's involvement in the Wrightson case does not give riseto a successive conflict of interest because defense counsel did not representBernardi,*fn3 and the court further finding that no conflict of interest exists because Wrightson did not involve the "same or substantially related matter" as the instant case,*fn4 and the court noting that Bernardi's involvement in the Wrightson case is now a matter of public record,*fn5 and the court concluding that disqualification is not warranted under the circumstances presented in the instant case,*fn6 it is hereby ORDERED that:

1. The motion (Doc. 119) for disqualification is DENIED.

2. A revised schedule for briefing the pending motions for summary judgment shall issue separately.

CHRISTOPHER C. CONNER United States District Judge


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