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YOUNGSTOWN Goldberg's state trial postponed



Published: Thu, February 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Goldberg's lawyers want all 31 counts to be dismissed.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Richard Goldberg's trial on state criminal charges, scheduled next week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, has been postponed.

Instead, Visiting Judge Stephen Yarbrough will hear arguments from lawyers Tuesday over whether the case should go to trial at all.

A county grand jury indicted the 56-year-old suspended lawyer in March 2001 on 31 criminal counts including forgery, theft, taking the identity of another and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

The indictment replaced one returned against Goldberg in December 1999. The original indictment was for a single count of theft.

All 31 counts in the second indictment are related to six cases handled by Goldberg while he worked as a medical malpractice attorney.

Goldberg's Columbus lawyers filed a motion in October 2001 asking Judge Yarbrough to dismiss all counts. They said local authorities do not have jurisdiction to bring the charges and that the statute of limitations had expired on some of the alleged crimes.

Prosecutors filed a response, arguing that the charges should stand and the matter should proceed to trial. They asked for the hearing so the issue can be argued orally, which is why Judge Yarbrough postponed the trial and will conduct the hearing instead.

Federal sentence: Goldberg already is serving a federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to keeping millions of dollars that should have been paid to former clients for civil lawsuit settlements.

The Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline has unanimously recommended that Goldberg be permanently disbarred as a lawyer. The high court justices have not yet acted on the recommendation.

bjackson@vindy.com




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