Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lawyer's end-run around state court subpoena for testimony about client in case of missing child

In State of Ohio v. Doe, the Sixth Circuit ruled against an Ohio lawyer who had removed to federal court the matter of a state court subpoena that would compel her her to give testimony about what a former client, now deceased, told her about the disappearance of a young girl. The Court concluded that the case should have been remanded to state court.

The Court said:

"Having had her day in court, Lewis seeks to profit from outrunning her first state court contempt order by raising federal arguments that she failed to raise when she had the chance. Lewis 'has experimented with the state courts and been beaten, and now seeks a different forum.' Rosenthal, 148 U.S. at 147. Section 1442(a) of the removal statutes does not confer federal jurisdiction for such purposes."

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