Friday, November 20, 2015

Reed Smith attorney to run for Attorney General in Pa.

AG candidate David Fawcett.
Reed Smith attorney David Fawcett, a former GOP Allegheny County Councilman whose legal crusade against an Appalachian coal baron resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court opinion and a John Grisham novel, confirms will run for state attorney general next year as a Democrat next year.

"The office of Attorney General is, unfortunately, dysfunctional," Mr. Fawcett declared, referring to incumbent Kathleen Kane who is under indictment in an eastern Pennsylvania court and has had her law license temporarily revoked. “I'm running to provide the kind of leadership needed to reinvigorate the office and return integrity to it."

Fawcett joined Reed Smith in December 2010 as a partner in its Eastern Commercial Litigation Group. He had previously been a shareholder in Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

Chris Potter writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Mr. Fawcett is best known for representing Hugh Caperton, a West Virginia coal-mine owner who sued one of the industry's titans: former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.
Mr. Caperton alleged that Mr. Blankenship drove his firm into bankruptcy through unscrupulous business dealings, and in 2002, Mr. Fawcett and another attorney won him a $50 million jury verdict. West Virginia's Supreme Court reversed the ruling, but the 3-2 majority included a justice who won election with $3 million of help from Mr. Blankenship. The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled the justice should have recused himself because, given Mr. Blankenship’s support, the "probability of actual bias rises to an unconstitutional level."
"I knew it was going to be the fight of my life," Mr. Fawcett said of the case,which inspired John Grisham's 2008 novel "The Appeal." The Caperton saga, he said, “implicates the entire justice system.”
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