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Chris Mead and Noah Cherry Secure Dismissal With Prejudice Under the Speedy Trial Act for Client Pending Retrial in the District of Maryland


MAY 2024

On May 23, 2024, Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears partner Chris Mead and associate Noah Cherry secured a dismissal with prejudice under the Speedy Trial Act in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Through an indictment returned in September 2022, the government alleged that the client, a former Johns Hopkins physician, and her husband committed felony violations of the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and identity theft by disclosing patient records to an undercover FBI agent impersonating a Russian intelligence officer. The case went to trial in May 2023, and a mistrial was declared when the jury deadlocked on all charges. The government announced an intent to retry the case, but the Speedy Trial Act deadline passed while Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) discovery procedures supposedly were ongoing. The district court dismissed the case with prejudice, finding, inter alia, that the delay in the proceedings was unexcused and significantly prejudiced the defendants. At the first trial, Mr. Mead and Mr. Cherry argued that the firm’s client never intended to cause malicious harm or personally gain from the disclosure of records, as a HIPAA violation requires. They also argued that the undercover agent had entrapped the client, who only wanted to provide humanitarian aid to the Russian controlled side of Ukraine.

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