Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Freeh’s firm appeals loss of privilege ruling to Superior Court

Louis Freeh’s law firm took its case to a higher court.

Pepper Hamilton LLP filed a motion in October asking Potter County Senior Judge John Leete to recognize attorney-client privilege in the relationship between Freeh, Sporkin and Sullivan and Penn State in the work behind Freeh’s independent investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case. FSS and Pepper Hamilton merged in 2012.

Leete denied that motion. In a November order. he said that Penn State was attempting to use attorney client privilege “as both a shield and a sword.”

On Friday, Pepper Hamilton filed a notice of appeal of that decision to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Leete said Nov. 14 that “there is no issue for the Superior Court to decide,” but attorney Thomas Zemaitis, of Pepper Hamilton, submitted the notice in Centre County Court of Common Pleas, along with Leete’s order and the docket.

It was not the only paperwork filed in the case Friday. An hour later, the Prothonotary’s Office logged a reply memorandum from the NCAA opposing the plaintiff’s second amended complaint.

The estate of the Joe Paterno, longtime Nittany Lion coach fired shortly after Sandusky’s 2011 arrest, is suing the NCAA and Penn State for breach of contract. The NCAA is also being sued for defamation, disparagement, conspiracy and contract interference.

The NCAA dismissed the second complaint, entered after a September judgment critiqued the filing, as “little more than a plea for this court to accept the same argument that it already has expressly rejected.”

At issue is the idea of Paterno as an “involved individual” at the time of his 2012 death.

“This court should affirm its prior ruling tha the estate lacks capacity to bring its breach of contract claim or obtain the relief it seeks,” the NCAA wrote.