One of the four Justice Department lawyers held in contempt in the aftermath of the Ted Stevens trial is asking for the decision to be reversed, claiming she had no involvement in the events which led up to the contempt finding.
Patty Stemler, Chief of the Appellate Section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, filed her motion earlier today before Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In February, Judge Emmet Sullivan held Stemler and three other prosecutors in contempt for failing to turn over documents to Stevens' defense team, in spite of a court order requiring them to do so.
Sullivan later reversed his contempt finding for one of the prosecutors, ruling that he had played a minor role the department’s handling of the documents. In her filing today, Stemler, represented by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partner Howard Shapiro, argues that she too was only tangentially involved.
According to the motion, while Stemler’s section helped compile a pleading which accompanied the documents, it did not have any part in collecting them.
“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.”
UPDAT June 4: The case has been reassigned to Judge Sullivan.