On Pa. court sleaze, a kind of hush

Profile of a maverick attorney who after decades of fighting machine corruption and courthouse politics in Pennsylvania is now working for malpractice reform in the state: “[Bob] Surrick is upset about the silencing of the print media because of the fear of libel suits. He said that during the 18 years that Gene Roberts was the Philadelphia Inquirer’s executive editor, the newspaper won 17 Pulitzers, which was unheard of for a newspaper. But during the 1980s (while Roberts was still editor) Surrick said that the judges and justices started the business of suing their critics, particularly the print media critics, for libel, effectively silencing the Inquirer; after Roberts left, the newspaper no longer did investigative reporting on the judiciary. ‘If the media — the guardian of the truth about what is going on in government — does not tell you, who is going to tell you?’ Surrick asks.” (Eileen Laskas, “Whatever Happened to Bob Surrick?”, CountyPressOnline (Phila. suburbs), Jan. 28) (via Donna Rovito’s Liability Update Information Network). For more on the kinds of legal trouble you can get into by criticizing Pennsylvania judges, see Oct. 24-25, 2001.

Comments are closed.