February 16, 2005
Prisoner Sues Lawyers for Allowing "Wrongful Conviction"
Pennsylvania millionaire Joel Sandler, convicted of solicitation of murder--and not (yet) exonerated--sued his lawyers for allowing his "wrongful conviction." Not only did they blow trial, they also lost on appeal. In a questionable legal move, he also lodged a false advertising claim against the "hit men" he hired to kill his wife, who were, in fact, undercover cops. (OK, this is a joke).
As it turns out, Pennsylvania follows the usual rule that a demonstration of innocence is required to pursue a malpractice claim in a criminal case. Bailey v. Tucker, 621 A.2d 108 (Pa. 1993). As Mr. Sandler is still inside, collateral estoppel would seem to bar the claim. [Jack Chin]
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