In an interesting bit of legal jousting, former Glaxo lawyer Lauren Stevens is demanding that the feds name any and all Glaxo lawyers - whether their are legal staffers or outside counsel - who may somehow be complicit in obstructing an FDA probe into off-label marketing of the Wellbutrin SR antidepressant. Stevens, you may recall, was the only person indicted on this charge last November (here is the indictment).
Recently, Stevens indicated in court filings that she received advice from other Glaxo lawyers, including the King & Spalding law firm that regularly works for the drugmaker. The feds, however, argue this is not a kosher defense and that such a maneuver would confuse a jury, because lawyers with whom she conferred would, effectively, be asked to offer opinions, not actual expert testimony (back story). But in its latest filing, the Stevens legal team says the feds actually alluded to the "possible existence of unindicted co-conspirators" in a December filing and referred to "unidentified individuals" who advised Stevens. Her lawyers write that the government "refusal to state whether it in fact contends that any individuals have participated in criminal conduct is inexplicable and unfair" to her.
Why does this matter to them? In their view, disclosing any alleged co-conspirators is "necessary to permit Ms. Stevens to respond to the government’s efforts to preclude" her defense, which centers on arguing she relied on advice provided by other lawyers. In other words, the Stevens legal team continues to work hard to find yet another way to place blame on Stevens' former colleagues. And so, when this trial begins in April, the courtroom may yet offer the unusual, if not amusing, spectacle of gobs of high-priced lawyers pointing fingers at one another.