Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo has issued a scheduling order for the trial of former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham.
This developed as Buckingham hired attorney Richard W. Pierce as his new counsel following the disqualification of his original counsel, attorney Brien Sers Nicholas.
Govendo said the trial will begin on Feb. 3, 2014, and that a pre-trial conference will be held on Jan. 21, 2014.
Both parties were directed to complete the exchange of discovery materials no later than Dec. 31, 2013, and are given until Jan. 7, 2014 to file pre-trial motions.
At a status conference on Oct. 4, Pierce and Office of the Public Auditor legal counsel George Hasselback agreed to talk about using Skype during trial. If the parties fail to agree on the use of Skype or other teleconferencing technology, Govendo said either party may file a motion to resolve the issue.
Last month, Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman denied Buckingham’s motion for the judge to reconsider his Aug. 16, 2013, ruling to disqualify Nicholas as Buckingham’s counsel.
Wiseman said he finds, again, that he did not err in determining that the Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7 and 1.9(a) prohibits Nicholas from further representation of Buckingham.
He also determined that there was no clear error based on Govendo’s recent ruling, holding as invalid the original summons issued against Buckingham.
In the disqualification order issued on Aug. 16, 2013 and made effective Aug. 19, 2013, Wiseman determined that there is a significant risk that Nicholas’ representation of Buckingham would be limited by his representation of his former clients, the officers involved in the case.
The Office of Public Auditor filed criminal charges against Buckingham in connection with an alleged violation of election laws and illegal awards of a sole-source contract, among others.