Lawyer's 'Inflammatory' Words Don't Warrant New Trial
Regarding Holland's trial argument itself, Wecht said that the comments were not so prejudicial as to warrant a retrial.
"While we deplore Holland's intractability in flouting the trial court's clear directions, we nonetheless disagree that the remarks in question so obviously compromised the jury's deliberations as to establish a basis for the grant of a new trial," he said.
Holland declined to comment on the case. Appellate counsel to Ferguson, Daniel J. Siegel, said that the jury's verdict was consistent with the evidence and that the trial court was incorrect in throwing it out.
"It's an unusual case because the issue was whether Holland overstepped. But corrections were made, and there's no question that the verdict was consistent," Siegel said.
Morton represented himself in the case. PCC was represented by Lisa Bellino Apelian of Campbell, Lipski & Dochney, who declined to comment.
(Copies of the 23-page opinion in Ferguson v. Morton, PICS No. 13-3400, are available from The Legal Intelligencer. Please call the Pennsylvania Instant Case Service at 800-276-PICS to order or for information.) •