University of Pittsburgh

John Burkoff and Arthur Hellman on Pulling a Judge Off a Case -- Twice

Publish Date/Time: 
April 1, 2012

Professors John Burkoff and Arthur Hellman discussed the Third Circuit's removal of a Pittsburgh federal district judge from a high-stakes business case.  The Circuit removed the same judge from another high-profile case just four years ago.  This week the appeals court removed Judge Arthur Schwab from the dispute between the UPMC and West Penn Allegheny health systems, a case that has generated uncertainty and anxiety across the region over the past year.  In 2008, the appeals court removed Judge Schwab from the criminal case against former Allegheny County coroner Cyril Wecht.  According to Professor Hellman, repeated fights with attorneys can put a judge on the defensive.  "It's now starting to look personal, and that disserves the appearance of justice..."  Professor Burkoff noted that the appeals court had given no reason for its action.  “"It was enough of a slap in the face for the [Third] Circuit to do this -- it would have been worse and harsher if they had said why."


See the Post-Gazette article here.

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