United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
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
A. FITZWATER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
court first considers whether McMurrey is a necessary witness
in this case.
3.08(a) of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of ...