Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1410 Posts and Counting

And Now the Defense . . .

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | March 18, 2012

No. 819

From the media accounts it sounds pretty grim for Senator Jane Orie.  A gang of witnesses, including her ex-chief of staff have testified that campaign work was being done in the office on state time. On top of the evidence at the first trial, there is the forgery evidence — although nobody knows who is responsible for the apparent forgery.

Another difference — the Senator’s sister Janine is to be tried separately.  Perhaps this is due to evidence that she erased some of the forgery evidence from the Senate computer system after the first trial.

But don’t overlook the possibility that the defense could put in a winning case.  After all, at least some of the prosecution witnesses are testifying against the Senator to save their necks.  Moreover, if the jury thinks that Janine and others did campaign on company time, but possibly without the Senator’s knowledge, or gets a whiff of the aroma of political vendetta, an acquittal could be in the cards.  And Senator Orie is expected to testify in her own behalf. I hear that she was very convincing in her first trial.

And never forget, the standard for conviction is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Its possible.  Ask Cyril Wecht.




CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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