Cozen O’Connor: 3rd Circ. Frees Ex-Norris McLaughlin Atty For Bribery Appeal

3rd Circ. Frees Ex-Norris McLaughlin Atty For Bribery Appeal

Friday, August 31, 2018

Megan Scheib, a member of Cozen O'Connor’s Criminal Defense & Internal Investigations Practice, is quoted in Law 360 on the court’s ruling to release Allentown, Pa., lawyer Scott Allinson while he appeals his conviction in Law360. Megan argued in papers filed with the Third Circuit that Allinson was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated after a jury found him guilty of participating in a pay-to-play scheme with former Mayor Ed Pawlowski. Notwithstanding the fact that Allinson was not a significant contributor to Pawlowski, or the fact that neither he nor his law firm received any legal contracts from the City of Allentown, Allinson was convicted of bribery and conspiracy, resulting in a 27-month sentence. Over the defense’s strenuous objection, the District Court ordered Allinson to report to prison immediately following his June sentencing hearing. Megan sought relief from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that immediate detention was punitive, unlawful and unwarranted and, further, that the case presents a novel and significant issue on appeal. The Third Circuit granted the motion for release pending appeal, a form of relief rarely granted at this procedural posture, and referred the matter back to the district court to set the conditions of Allinson’s release.

“The case presents a novel issue for the Third Circuit: applying the higher standard for proving quid pro quo corruption established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 in U.S. v. McDonnell  to a case involving only campaign contributions, not cash or other gifts,” Megan said.

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Megan Susan Scheib

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mscheib@cozen.com

(215) 665-5592

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