By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - A federal judge ordered two
lawyers on Tuesday to show why they should not be sanctioned for
a "vexatious" 742-page court filing containing dozens of
documents related to a sealed criminal proceeding.
The order to show cause, which was issued by U.S. District
Judge Leo Glasser against attorney Richard Lerner and his
lawyer-client Frederick Oberlander, was the latest twist in a
legal battle to unseal documents in a 1998 criminal case against
convicted swindler Felix Sater.
Sater, a cooperating witness in the 1998 case, which
involved a $40 million stock swindle, was supposed to have
remained a "John Doe." But Oberlander identified Sater in a
civil action brought against Sater in 2010 on behalf of
individuals allegedly defrauded by him.
Oberlander in February moved to unseal the docket sheet and
underlying documents in the criminal case. Judge Glasser in
August unsealed the docket sheet but is reviewing which
documents, if any, should be made public.
In the 742-page filing, Oberlander and Lerner said that
hundreds of pages of court documents, including a presentence
report for another defendant, had identified Sater before
Oberlander brought his lawsuit. Oberlander and Lerner attached
these documents to the filing.
On Tuesday, Glaser said the filing and attachments were
irrelevant to the "discrete pending issue of document sealing"
and ordered Oberlander and Lerner to show cause why they
shouldn't be sanctioned.
He scheduled a hearing for Nov. 19.
The filing "clearly had nothing to do with what was pending
that day in front of Judge Glasser," said Michael Beys, a lawyer
Lerner vowed to continue fighting to unseal the documents in
"We've kicked the hornet's nest and the Eastern District
obviously doesn't like that," he said. "But we will not back
The case is In Re Applications to Unseal 98-cr-1101, U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, No. 12-150.
For Oberlander: Richard Lerner.
For John Doe: Michael Beys, Jason Berland and Nader Mobargha
of Beys Stein & Mobargha.
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