A state discipline court left attorneys for former Judge Ann H. Lokuta with two options Monday: refile a brief accusing her prosecutors of keeping a witness' misconduct complaint and criminal investigation secret, or save the allegations for a potential appeal.
Those choices manifested after the state Court of Judicial Discipline volleyed the brief back to Lokuta's attorneys Monday because they had submitted it without the court's "authorization."
The court was acting to enforce a haphazardly applied rule that requires attorneys to obtain the court's permission before making certain filings, Lokuta's attorney, George Michak, said.
Lokuta's attorneys filed their brief last Friday - five weeks after the court began deliberating whether to return Lokuta to the Luzerne County bench.
"It's a procedural issue," Michak said. "It's not a decision on the merits, and it's not a setback by any stretch."
Lokuta and her attorneys will spend "a day or two" considering whether to refile the brief with the necessary permission or use it as ammunition for an appeal if the court denies her reinstatement.
Full Article and Source:
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