Trials & Litigation

Court Reporter Sues Criminal Lawyer for Defamation Over Altered-Transcript Claim

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A Pennsylvania lawyer has so far been unsuccessful in his efforts to obtain an audiotape and other original materials that he contends would help prove his claim that transcripts of his client’s Washington County murder trial were altered. So attorney Noah Geary is now pursuing an appeal of adverse superior court rulings with the state’s highest court.

Meanwhile, he is facing a defamation case filed by the stenographer who, he alleged, made changes at the direction of the judge who presided over the murder trial, according to the Observer-Reporter.

Geary has previously contended that court reporter Toni DiNardo herself told him that President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca ordered her to alter the transcript of a sentencing hearing for his client, Gerald Szakal, as an earlier Observer-Reporter editorial details.

She says in her defamation suit that she has suffered damage to her professional reputation and emotional distress because of Geary’s false and malicious claims, which she alleges he made without appropriate investigation. DiNardo lives in Pittsburgh and has filed suit in Allegheny County.

Geary contends objections and motions for a mistrial he made during Szakal’s murder trial were either omitted or moved to a different point in the proceeding in the transcript, according to the Valley Independent.

Hat tip: Associated Press.

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