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NEWS
October 12, 1989 | By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Gary Cohn, Inquirer Staff Writers
In a setback to former union leader Earl Stout, a federal judge ruled yesterday that Stout could no longer be represented in a pending criminal trial by prominent defense attorney Richard A. Sprague. The ruling by U.S. District Judge J. William Ditter Jr. deprives Stout of Sprague's services as the former union leader faces charges of stealing nearly $1 million from the city's municipal-workers' union he headed for more than 13 years. Stout has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
NEWS
September 8, 1989 | By Jim Smith, Daily News Staff Writer
Prominent Philadelphia trial lawyer Richard A. Sprague stands to collect half of what could be a $15 million fee from a city workers union even though another lawyer did the work, federal prosecutors contended yesterday. The prosecutors cited the arrangement as yet another alleged example of how former District Council 33 union boss Earl Stout spent union money without getting approval from the union's executive board, and as a reason why Sprague should be disqualified from defending Stout against fraud charges.
NEWS
June 29, 1991 | By Michael L. Rozansky, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Montgomery County judge has ordered a trial on a claim by lawyer Richard A. Sprague for $112,105 in fees and expenses from former Abington tax collector George H. Snyder 3d. In an order issued Thursday, Judge Richard S. Lowe called for a trial to let Snyder and his wife, Sandra, challenge a demand judgment note they signed Oct. 19, promising to pay Sprague $106,767, which was later increased by 5 percent for the cost of collecting it. At...
NEWS
January 18, 1990 | By Gloria Campisi, Daily News Staff Writer
He's been called the pit bull of the courtroom. And that's by his friends. It was no surprise to them that Richard A. Sprague won a sex discrimination case against the Police Department on behalf of a female police detective and male detectives who supported her. Colleagues say he built his reputation though hard work, sometimes 16 and 17 hours a day. "He's like a bulldog or a pit bull," said Pamela Higgins, one of Sprague's law...
NEWS
December 12, 1989 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Chester County judge has ruled that lawyer Richard A. Sprague may be sued by his former client, a union representing 13,000 Philadelphia city employees, in an action seeking to nullify a multimillion-dollar legal fee. Judge Leonard Sugarman, in a decision dated Thursday, ruled that Sprague was an "indispensable party" to a lawsuit that the union, District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, filed last...
NEWS
October 12, 1989 | By Kurt Heine, Daily News Staff Writer
Earl Stout, the ex-boss of the city blue-collar union who faces trial on charges of fleecing his membership of $1 million, yesterday lost his lawyer, who has been accused in a lawsuit of unethically putting himself in line to collect $8.5 million from the union. The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Ditter Jr. strips Stout of famed Philadelphia defense lawyer Richard A. Sprague, who won an acquittal for the union boss a decade ago on mail fraud charges. The judge disqualified Sprague for conflict of interest, saying the allegations against the lawyer would put him in the position of defending Stout "with one eye over his shoulder.
NEWS
September 14, 1989 | By Gary Cohn and Walter F. Roche Jr., Inquirer Staff Writers
A move by federal prosecutors to bar defense attorney Richard A. Sprague from representing former union leader Earl Stout on theft and racketeering charges is an "impermissible intrusion" into Stout's Sixth Amendment right to counsel, attorneys for Stout stated yesterday. In pretrial pleadings filed in federal court, Sprague associate Pamela Higgins argued that the prosecutor's attempt to disqualify Sprague "is an attempt to gain some tactical advantage" over Stout, the deposed municipal union leader.
NEWS
August 30, 1988 | By Katharine Seelye and Daniel R. Biddle, Inquirer Staff Writers
Richard A. Sprague, the Philadelphia lawyer who has sued to block the Nov. 8 statewide judicial elections, said yesterday that he was acting in the public interest in challenging what he called Gov. Casey's "illegal" scheduling of the elections. He also acknowledged having donated money - $1,000, records show - to the campaign of a Supreme Court candidate who lost in the primary. In addition, Sprague said under oath yesterday, he discussed the suit before filing it with William A. Meehan, the city Republican Party leader, and afterward with Robert C. Daniels, a politically active Philadelphia lawyer.
NEWS
September 1, 1989 | By L. Stuart Ditzen, Inquirer Staff Writer
In April 1985, a union representing 13,000 city workers won a court victory that led its attorney, Richard A. Sprague, to tell union leaders they had hit a "gold mine" worth $75 million to $100 million. Now, four years later, the union contends that Sprague arranged, without the knowledge of the union's trustees, to receive some of the fruits of that victory himself. District Council 33 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has said in court papers that Sprague negotiated an excessively large legal fee to be paid to another lawyer, who won the 1985 court victory.
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SPORTS
August 18, 2014 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Jared Sprague-Lott tucked a baseball under his pillow Saturday night in his bunk at the Little League World Series. The Taney pitcher will wake up Sunday morning with the biggest game of his young career hours away. He plans to hop over the chalked baselines when he takes the mound Sunday night for the second-round game at Howard J. Lamade Stadium. A little superstition couldn't hurt. But the pitcher from Bella Vista is not in Williamsport because of superstition.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The auction for control of The Inquirer's parent company has been scheduled for May 27, according to an attorney for one of the competing groups of owners. After weeks of negotiations, both sides have agreed to nearly all terms, lawyer Richard A. Sprague said Friday. Sprague represents owners Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest. The other group is led by George E. Norcross III. The men are among the five partners who own Interstate General Media Holdings L.L.C., the parent company of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, three websites, and a printing plant.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2014 | By David Sell, Inquirer Staff Writer
Unable to reach agreement, The Inquirer's rival owners are likely to ask a Delaware judge to choose the date for the auction of its parent company, according to one attorney in the case. Richard A. Sprague, who represents Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest in the dispute with a group led by George E. Norcross III, said the date and auction procedure were still unresolved. "The Norcross side would like the auction to be May 14," Sprague said Wednesday. "The Katz-Lenfest side would prefer it to be what the judge ordered, by May 28. The judge's order said by May 28, and our side would like the additional time.
NEWS
April 8, 2014
LET'S AGREE on two things about the controversial sting on Philadelphia pols. One, we still don't know who's right and who's wrong about how it was handled. Two, in its aftermath, individual and institutional rehab is in order. This is true for state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, whose rising-star reputation got sucked into a black hole from which it remains to be retrieved. It's true for the Legislature; once again tarnished, once again exposed for ethical lethargy and ongoing failures to promote public trust.
NEWS
March 31, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
She'd been taking a "brutal" beating in the media, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane told her supporters, but not to worry. "I am one tough woman," she said at a recent Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 fund-raiser. The next morning, however, Kane seemed less assured as she "lawyered up" for an Inquirer Editorial Board meeting she had requested to explain herself. Feared litigator Richard A. Sprague, with a specialty in libel, accompanied her. Kane stayed silent like a stone as Sprague did the talking.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald and Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writers
State Attorney General Kathleen Kane has hired one of the most feared litigators in the region, Richard A. Sprague, to represent her in possible defamation suits arising from accounts of her decision to end an undercover investigation that taped at least five Philadelphia Democrats accepting cash or gifts. Sprague said he would launch an investigation into the conduct of the prosecutors who ran that sting operation, which began in 2010 before Kane took office. She has said the case was mismanaged, possibly tainted by racial profiling, and far too weak for any prosecutions.
NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three weeks ago, Philadelphia lawyer Richard Sprague took what legal experts called an unusual and possibly risky move: asking the state Supreme Court to take away an appeal pending before a three-judge Superior Court panel for taking too long to rule. Although cause-and-effect are impossible to prove, on March 11 the Superior Court panel issued its opinion in Sprague's pretrial appeal in a 2005 defamation lawsuit by two former Lackawanna County commissioners against the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In what experts are calling an extraordinary legal gambit, Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague is asking the state Supreme Court to yank a case from the hands of three lower-court judges for taking too long to rule. Using language usually reserved for an opposing lawyer in a hotly contested trial, Sprague's motion says "inexcusable" delay by the three-judge Superior Court panel in a defamation case "reflects a deliberate indifference to their judicial duties. " His motion also asks the state's highest court to direct its watchdog agency, the Board of Judicial Conduct, to begin an inquiry into the conduct of the panel, composed of President Judge Susan Peikes Gantman and Judges Mary Jane Bowes and Judith F. Olson of Superior Court.
NEWS
November 7, 2013
A story Tuesday mischaracterized libel suits involving attorney Richard A. Sprague. The article should have said a libel suit filed by Sprague on behalf of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady against former ownership of The Inquirer has been settled. The article also erred in describing suits filed by Sprague on behalf of labor leader John Dougherty. It should have said one suit was filed solely against an Inquirer journalist and the other named several journalists and former owners of The Inquirer.
NEWS
November 7, 2013 | By Diane Mastrull, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Stating in part that "truth is a complete defense," a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by attorney Richard A. Sprague against a former Daily News columnist who had written that the acclaimed lawyer had lied while representing his former friend, ex-State Sen. Vincent Fumo. Judge Lisa M. Rau also found that just because public figures might not like what they read about themselves, that is not always justification for a lawsuit.
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