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June 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Justice Lawyer Held in Contempt in Sen. Stevens Case Says She’s Not to Blame

Judge Emmet Sullivan held lawyers in contempt /court photo
Judge Emmet Sullivan held lawyers in contempt /court photo

By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — The fallout from the messy trial of ex-Sen. Ted Stevens won’t be going away any time soon.

The latest: The BLT-The Blog of LegalTimes reports that Patty Stemler, one of the four Justice Dept. attorneys held in contempt for failing to turn documents over to the defense, has filed a motion saying that she had no involvement in the missteps. She wants out of this mess.

Stemler, chief of the Appellate Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, filed the motion Wednesday before D.C. U.S. District Judge James Robertson, BLT reported.

It was U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan who presided over the trial and subsequently found Stemler and three other prosecutors in contempt. Sullivan eventually let one of the prosecutors off the hook after finding he had a minor role in the debacle, BLT reported.

Sullivan also vacated the conviction of Stevens at the request of the Justice Department because of the missteps on the part of prosecutors.

In her Wednesday filing, Stemler said her section helped put together a pleading that accompanied the documents, but it did not play a role in collecting them, BLT reported.

“Ms. Stemler is not aware of any contumacious conduct with regard to these documents,” the motion states. “In any event, she was not part of ‘the team of attorneys responsible for’ the underlying collection, logging, and production of documents.”

Stemler is being represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

Read Patty Stemler’s Motion to Vacate Contempt

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