Judge DeLaughter’s honest services and the theatricality of his Chicago lawyer

One of the charges against Judge DeLaughter is that his actions denied the state (or its citizens) the benefit of his “honest services” and that this was mail fraud. I have written in some detail about the legal and factual issues that could arise from this. Shortly there after, the United Supreme Court declined to take a case, U.S. v. Sorich, that involved the reach of the statute criminalizing honest services mail fraud. Justice Scalia wrote a long dissent, arguing the court should take the case because of possible overreaching in applying the statute. I wrote about that dissent. About a week later, Judge DeLaughter hired counsel, Tom Durkin from Chicago. Hohlbrook Mohr made a interesting catch about Durkin: That Durkin was one of the defense lawyers in Sorich. Mohr writes in his AP story about honest services:

“It’s an issue which we intend to vigorously pursue in our pretrial motions,” DeLaughter’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin of Chicago, told The Associated Press. …
Durkin submitted as an exhibit a National Law Journal article that calls the particular type of mail fraud “the hottest little criminal statute in federal court.” …

NMC
3/16/9