Mezrow Suffers Third Mistrial in Two-Year Period
Both Mezrow and Pansini told The Legal on Thursday that they believed Mezrow's comment during openings complied with Lachman's order.
"The intent was [to say] that Rosalyn Pierce relied on the records of the federal government," Pansini said.
"I strongly believe what we did was in conformance with what [Lachman] said," Mezrow said, adding that he believes Lachman granted the mistrial in an abundance of caution, recognizing that it would be easier to start the trial over since no witnesses had been called yet than it would be to go through the entire trial, only to have a verdict potentially overturned because of a statement that was made during openings.
Weisgold, however, said he thought Lachman had no choice but to grant the mistrial after an "obvious violation of her instructions."
"It's a real shame that the 12 jurors and all the lawyers and the witnesses had to go through this process," Weisgold said Thursday. "A lot of time was, unfortunately, wasted."
Williams was the latest in a string of mistrials involving Mezrow.
Last October, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Lisa M. Rau declared a mistrial eight days into the trial in DiSalvio v. Cream-O-Land Dairy, after discovering Mezrow's law license had been suspended for failing to pay his annual registration fee and submit the requisite paperwork.
Before that, in November 2011, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary F. DiVito declared a mistrial in Antonson v. Rothman Institute after defense counsel alleged that Mezrow cross-examined a defense witness on the stand regarding inadmissible evidence in an effort to mislead the jury into believing the witness had intentionally destroyed the evidence.
Rau issued an order in DiSalvio on Oct. 29, 2013, declaring a mistrial because Mezrow "did not disclose his administrative suspension to this court, opposing counsel or his clients at any point prior to or during the trial until this court raised the issue today."
Rau said in the order the court first learned of the suspension through the Office of the President Judge's list of attorneys who are administratively suspended.