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United States v. Beauchamp

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

April 4, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ALAN ANDREW BEAUCHAMP, Defendant.

         This memorandum opinion and order was originally filed under seal on April 4, 2017. It is being filed unsealed because the parties agree that it need not remain sealed.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SIDNEY A. FITZWATER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The United States of America (the “government”) moves on two grounds to disqualify defendant Alan Andrew Beauchamp's (“Beauchamp's”) retained counsel, William McMurrey, Esquire (“McMurrey”). Concluding that the government has not met its burden on either ground, the court denies the motion.

         I

         Following a four-year government investigation, the grand jury indicted Beauchamp for his alleged involvement in a healthcare bribery and kickback scheme at Forest Park Medical Center (“FPMC”). As relevant to the instant motion, the government alleges that FPMC illegally bribed Dr. Shawn Henry (“Dr. Henry”) in exchange for his sending patients to FPMC. The government contends that FPMC bribed Dr. Henry using two sham agreements for services he did not perform: one for Dr. Henry to serve as an on-call spine surgeon for FPMC's emergency room (“Emergency Room Agreement”), and one for consulting services (“Consulting Agreement”).[1]

         McMurrey performed legal work for FPMC prior to the investigation, and he has represented Beauchamp personally since the investigation began. The government contends that McMurrey advised FPMC on both the Emergency Room Agreement and the Consulting Agreement. McMurrey acknowledges that he worked on the Emergency Room Agreement, but he denies any knowledge of the Consulting Agreement. McMurrey also briefly represented Garry Craighead (“Craighead”), whom the government identifies as a potential witness in its case. According to the government, Craighead also received bribe and kickback payments from FPMC.

         The government moves to disqualify McMurrey based on an alleged conflict of interest arising from his alleged work on the Emergency Room Agreement and Consulting Agreement, as well as his prior representation of Craighead. Beauchamp opposes the motion.

         II

         “[D]isqualification cases are governed by state and national ethical standards adopted by the court.'” United States v. Starnes, 157 Fed.Appx. 687, 693 (5th Cir. 2005) (per curiam) (alteration in original) (quoting FDIC v. U.S. Fire Ins. Co., 50 F.3d 1304, 1311 (5th Cir. 1995)). As the party seeking disqualification, the government bears the burden of proof. In re Am. Airlines, Inc., 972 F.2d 605, 614 (5th Cir. 1992) (“[T]he party seeking disqualification bears the burden of pro[of.]”).[2]

         The government advances two arguments for why McMurrey should be disqualified: first, that he is a necessary witness, and, second, that he has a conflict from his prior representation of a potential witness.

         III

         The court first considers whether McMurrey is a necessary witness in this case.

         A

         Rule 3.08(a) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of ...


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