Case 4:13-cr-00055-JAJ-RAW Document 55 Filed 11/05/13 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MICHAEL FRANCIS STEIN,
ORDER FOLLOWING PRE-HEARING
CONFERENCE ON CONFLICTS
INQUIRY AND RULING ON
GOVERNMENT'S MOTION IN LIMINE
The Court held a pre-hearing conference this date with
counsel for the parties. United States Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt
appeared for the government, and attorney Mark Weinhardt for
defendant Stein. Also appearing was attorney John Lorentzen,
counsel for the alleged victim, Wellmark, Inc. The purpose of the
pre-hearing conference was to discuss what will occur and what
issues will be taken up at the scheduled November 14, 2013 inquiry
into any potential conflict the law firm of Weinhardt & Logan
("W&L") may have in representing defendant Stein. Wellmark's
pending motion to quash a subpoena served on it by defendant was
addressed at the conference and by separate order has been granted.
There was general agreement on how the November 14
hearing should proceed. Testimony will not be taken. The parties
may offer exhibits, including affidavits. The Court will open the
hearing by having the government explain the purpose for the
inquiry and its position with respect to the existence of any
conflict of interest in W&L's representation. Defendant's counsel
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will make a complete disclosure on the record of facts relating to
W&L's and its attorneys' representation of and relationship with
Wellmark (including while working at the Belin firm). Counsel will
advise the Court what advice and assurances have been given to Mr.
Stein concerning the existence of any conflict and W&L's
representation of him. The Court will conduct a colloquy with Mr.
Stein concerning his Sixth Amendment right to the effective
assistance of counsel and matters he should consider relating to
his attorneys' prior representation of Wellmark and the potential
for conflict. If Mr. Stein wishes to waive any conflict which might
exist, the Court will take his waiver on the record. Mr. Stein
should also file a written waiver if that is what he wants to do.
The Court will then decide to accept any such waiver as knowingly,
voluntarily and intelligently made and make any appropriate
collateral findings. Portions of the proceedings, particularly
those concerning what has passed between attorney and client, will
occur outside the presence of government counsel.
The Court notes that while Wellmark at one point
contended it and Mr. Stein were concurrent clients of W&L, it now
appears without dispute that any attorney-client relationship which
previously existed between Wellmark and W&L has ended. There may be
a dispute between Wellmark and W&L as to whether their attorney-
client relationship ended prior to the appearance of W&L for
defendant but the parties and Wellmark appear to agree, as does the
Case 4:13-cr-00055-JAJ-RAW Document 55 Filed 11/05/13 Page 3 of 3
Court, that that issue need not be resolved in connection with the
conflicts inquiry to be made by the Court.
The conflicts inquiry on November 14 shall proceed
generally as above.
The government's motion for the inquiry has previously
been granted. Included in the motion  is a motion in limine to
prohibit any reference at trial to the prior representation of
Wellmark by W&L. Defendant does not resist based upon his current
understanding of the issues to be tried in this case, agreeing that
the former representation is irrelevant. Accordingly, the motion in
limine is granted subject to the parties' right to re-visit the
issue according to developments prior to or at trial. Unless and
until the presiding judge decides to allow mention or evidence of
W&L's prior representation of Wellmark, the matter will not be
commented up on by counsel or in testimony in the presence of the
jury. Counsel shall instruct their clients and witnesses
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated this 5th day of November, 2013.