Key figures in the Cyril H. Wecht case
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Arthur J. Schwab
Education: Grove City College, bachelor's degree in 1968; law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1972.
Professional: Clerked for then-chief Judge Collins J. Seitz, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1972-1973; Reed Smith LLP, from 1973 to 1990, serving as the deputy head of the litigation group and the founding chair of its technology law group. Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation from 1990 to 2002, serving as chair of litigation and later as chief counsel - complex litigation.
He was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in September 2002 by President George W. Bush.
Mary Beth Buchanan
Education: California University of Pennsylvania, bachelor's degree, 1984; law degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 1987
Professional: Appointed U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in September 2001.
Since then, she served from June 2004 until June 2005 as the as the Director of the Executive Office for United States Attorneys; and also as the chair of the attorney general's advisory committee.
She also serves as acting director of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. She was appointed to that position in November 2006.
Ms. Buchanan joined the U.S. attorney's office as a line prosecutor in 1988.
Stephen S. Stallings
• Age: 40
• Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, bachelor's degree, 1989; law degree from University of Florida College of Law, 1992.
• Professional: Mr. Stallings practiced complex commercial civil litigation in Miami for nearly 10 years, and was one of the youngest equity partners in the national firm of Hunton & Williams. While there, he represented entrepreneur Gus Boulis and his estate in litigation against Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan, exposing Mr. Abramoff's bank fraud in connection with the SunCruz Casinos cruise line.
He left private practice in 2001 to join the U.S. attorney's office in Miami, where he prosecuted domestic and foreign public corruption cases. He led the successful prosecution of a $170 million bank fraud case -- the largest in the Southern District of Florida.
In 2004, Mr. Stallings joined the U.S. attorney's office in Pittsburgh where he headed the multiyear, undercover investigation and prosecution of a number of officials in the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office, including former Chief Deputy Sheriff Dennis Skosnik.
Jerry S. McDevitt
Education: bachelor of science from the University of Pittsburgh, 1973; law degree from Duquesne University School of Law, 1980.
Professional: partner at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis. His practice covers civil and criminal law, and his clients include World Wrestling Entertainment. Mr. McDevitt also represented the family of Judith Barrett, who was the fiance of John Vojtas, a Brentwood police officer. Ms. Barrett committed suicide in 1993 with Mr. Vojtas' service weapon, and her family sued, claiming he caused her to do it. The jury found Vojtas liable and ordered him to pay $215,000, which was later settled by the borough for $125,000.
According to his firms's Web site, it is believed to be the only jury verdict in this country holding another person responsible for causing a suicide.
Mark A. Rush
Education: bachelor of arts degree from Washington and Jefferson College, 1984; law degree from Duquesne University School of Law, 1987
Professional: partner at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis.
His practice is concentrated on litigation, with emphasis on corporate criminal defense and complex commercial litigation. Mr. Rush has conducted internal and special committee investigations within the United States and in numerous foreign countries. He served as counsel for a presidential adviser in the Independent Counsel Investigation of President Bill Clinton, and as an investigator for the WorldCom bankruptcy examiner.
He also served as counsel for the Barrett family in the trial against Officer Vojtas.
He served as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1991 to 1995; and previously served as a United States Army Judge Advocate assigned to the U.S. Army, Japan.
Cyril H. Wecht
Education: undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh, 1952; medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, 1956; law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, 1962
Professional: Dr. Wecht served as Allegheny County Coroner from 1970 to 1980; as county commissioner from 1980 to 1984, and again as coroner from 1996 through 2005.
He has performed approximately 14,000 autopsies and has supervised, reviewed or has been consulted on approximately 30,000 additional postmortem examinations.
Among the high-profile cases he's been involved in are: the assassinations of both President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy; the death of Elvis Presley; the O.J. Simpson and JonBenet Ramsey cases.
First Published January 27, 2008 12:00 am