Orie Melvin attorneys seek identity of woman who filed lawsuit

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Attorneys for suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin entered another document under seal today in federal court.

She is seeking the identity of a woman who contracted a sexually transmitted disease and filed a civil lawsuit against the man she said was responsible. The woman, who asked to file the suit anonymously against the man, is identified only as "Jane Doe."

The civil case was settled two years ago.

However, last week, Justice Orie Melvin filed a motion seeking to have the woman's name revealed, saying that it was of critical interest for her pending criminal case.

After her initial motion, court briefs by both Justice Orie Melvin and Stephen S. Stallings, the attorney who represents the woman, have been filed under seal.

The Post-Gazette filed a motion to intervene in the case this week, asking not for "Jane Doe's" identity, but to have the other documents unsealed to determine Justice Orie Melvin's interest in the case.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gary L. Lancaster gave the parties until today to file a response to the newspaper's motion.

Only Justice Orie Melvin's response appeared on the court's online docket this evening.

The case does note, though, that Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Claus is now listed as a respondent.

Justice Orie Melvin is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 23 on charges she used her judicial staff and resources to campaign for the high court in 2003 and 2009.

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Paula Reed Ward: pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2620.


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