In a Case Involving PA Skill Game Misconduct, the Court of Appeals Rules Against POM
The privileged records of Seamans, Eckert, Cherin & Mellott, LLC (Eckert) were initially accessible to Pace-O-Matic (POM), a skill game developer located in Georgia, for the purpose of examining them for possible legal wrongdoing. The decision was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, however. Eckert is not required to provide POM with any information.
For many years, POM has been running skill games in PA in a gray area. The Commonwealth Court will provide a ruling on the legality of skill games.
POM Does Not Have Access to Eckert’s Records in Case There is a Legal Misconduct Investigation
In the last several months, POM has been insistent that Eckert had a conflict of interest. According to the complaint, Eckert simultaneously represented rival businesses POM and Parx Casino.
United States District Judge Jennifer P. Wilson of the Middle District of Pennsylvania decided that POM may review Eckert’s records in order to look into any possible legal wrongdoing. Now that POM saw the ruling as a victory, the tide has changed.
The ruling rendered by Wilson in June was overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Third Circuit said that it would vacate the ruling and remand because the District Court erred in applying the judicial estoppel threshold in accordance with case law.
The decision has been reversed. Because Eckert withheld communications and allegedly manipulated litigation in bad faith, the District Court decided in favor of POM in June. The Third Circuit, however, had a different opinion. The District Court misused its authority, according to the Third Circuit.