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Judge denies Brizzi’s bid for gag order in malpractice suit

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A judge Tuesday denied former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi’s request for a gag order in the legal malpractice claim filed against him by defrocked Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.

Marion Superior Judge Patrick McCarty refused a motion that would have barred parties from commenting to the media about the case. White sued Brizzi claiming legal malpractice in July over Brizzi’s representation in the criminal case that led to White’s removal as secretary of state. White was convicted of six of seven charges, including false registration, voting in another precinct and theft.

The suit alleges that Brizzi failed to present a defense and was ignorant of several areas of the law, among other things. Those allegations mirror many of the arguments White raised in his petition for post-conviction relief pending in Hamilton Superior Court.

White’s malpractice suit against Brizzi is the second filed against him by an elected official he represented who subsequently was convicted of a felony and removed from office.

Former Hancock County Coroner Tamara Vangundy sued Brizzi in May, claiming she paid for negligent legal advice from Brizzi regarding election law and the implications of a public official pleading guilty to a felony. Vangundy claims she did so on advice from Brizzi and was promptly removed from office.

Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed appointed a mediator in Vangundy’s case last month, but the mediator withdrew on Oct. 31, according to the case docket. A three-day jury trial in Vangundy’s case is scheduled to begin July 15, 2014.

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