Government’s Clean Air Act Prosecution Ends in ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict for Remaining Defendants

July 11, 2022

The Legal Intelligencer
By Aleeza Furman

Attorneys with Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads secured a not guilty verdict for a Pennsylvania excavating contractor that was indicted by a grand jury for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

Lathrop Nelson, a lead defense attorney on the case, said the decision to go up against the U.S. Department of Justice in a trial was not an easy one given the risks that a loss would entail, but doing so ultimately led to a full acquittal for defendants M&J Excavation Inc., M&J co-owner John Sidari Jr., and construction superintendent Dennis Charles.

Nelson said that U.S. sentencing guidelines disincentivizes fighting charges at trial by providing benefits to defendants that cooperate with the government and accept responsibility.


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