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U.S. v. ONE PARCEL OF REAL ESTATE
April 4, 2002
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
ONE PARCEL OF REAL ESTATE LOCATED AT 1948 MARTIN LUTHER KING DRIVE, SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS, ET AL., DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, United States District Judge.
When attorney Bruce Locher's discovery motion was denied, he took an
underhanded course to obtain that which the Court said he could not have.
There is a price to be paid for this misconduct.
Mr. Locher is sanctioned $1,000.00.
On May 26, 1999, Mr. Locher sought leave to file a motion for
production of probation and parole records. In its June 7, 1999, Order,
the Court informed Mr. Locher that the discovery deadline expired on
March 19, 1999, that the deadline had previously been extended for his
benefit by a period of 120 days, and that he had ample time within the
extended discovery period to file a timely motion for production.
Explaining that it would "not sanction the current attempt to extend
discovery well beyond the Court imposed deadline as the trial"
approached, the Court denied Mr. Locher's motion for production. The
Court also warned him that it would not tolerate additional delay and
that further "dilatory conduct may justify the imposition of sanctions."
Try as the Court did to impress on Mr. Locher that its patience and the
discovery period had both ended, these efforts were to no avail. On
August 19, 1999, Mr. Locher appeared in U.S. District Judge Jeanne E.
Scott's courtroom during a sentencing hearing for Melvin Logan, the drug
kingpin who supplied the money used to purchase the real estate, cars,
etc. at issue in the forfeiture case. Without ever mentioning this
Court's June 7, 1999, Order, or the fact that discovery had expired, Mr.
Locher made an oral motion for a copy of Melvin Logan's presentence
investigation report ("PSR"). Judge Scott asked Melvin Logan, his
attorney, and counsel for the Government if any of them objected to Mr.
Locher's motion. When no one objected, Judge Scott ordered the United
States Probation Office to provide Mr. Locher with a copy of Logan's
Mr. Locher's backdoor ploy might have gone undetected had his
co-counsel not used the PSR to later cross examine a Government witness.
When the Court asked co-counsel how he got a copy of the PSR, co-counsel
said that "It was disclosed as a result of the motion that Mr. Locher
made orally to Judge Scott."
The Court inquired of Mr. Locher whether he told Judge Scott that he
had moved for a copy of the PSR on May 26, 1999, and that the Court
denied his motion in its June 7 Order. Mr. Locher admitted that he did
not tell Judge Scott about the June 7 Order.
The Court informed Mr. Locher that it was of the opinion he "appear[ed]
to have at the least dissembled with Judge Scott and tried to go in the
back door and get what he could not get in through the front of this
case." It invited Mr. Locher to dissuade it of that opinion, and he
Your Honor, my motion which was filed May 26th,
1999, asked this Court specifically for the probation
and parole records of certain informant witnesses that
the Government intended to call during the trial. And
that was the motion that this Court ruled upon and
denied. Melvin Logan is not an informant witness.
He's a defendant in that case. That's the motion that
was before the Court, Your Honor. That's the motion
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