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Spanier Conviction a Likely Blow to Civil Suits Over Freeh Report

March 28, 2017

Th Legal Intelligencer
By Max Mitchell

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was acquitted of the two most serious charges he faced over allegations that he harbored serial child molester Jerry Sandusky, but the guilty verdict on a misdemeanor child endangerment charge will likely kill any chances of recovery in civil suits over fallout from the Sandusky scandal, according to attorneys.

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Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads attorney Jeremy Mishkin, who often represents defendants in complex civil suits, took that notion one step further, and said that, given the fact that Spanier was acquitted and found guilty on very similar charges, the argument could be made that no clear connections could be drawn.

“I could almost see a judge saying we can’t speculate about what a jury did and why,” Mishkin said. “I can imagine a judge saying, ‘I’m not going to allow any of that into evidence.'”

The argument, however, would require some serious “flyspecking by some very smart lawyers,” he said.

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