As an indication of the depth of the doping problem in American trial litigation, anti-doping officials in Pittsburgh caught a partner and two associates doping in a men’s courthouse bathroom just minutes before cross-examination of a key witness in a lengthy personal injury trial.
Officials declined to identify the attorneys, who were stripped of their attorney licenses pending further investigation. Upon credible allegations of attorney doping, Pennsylvania law mandates license suspension until lab tests are analyzed and any results are confirmed.
This is the fourth doping incident to rock the trial lawyers bar in the last six months. In each case, attorneys tested positive for either erythropoietin, known as EPO, or heptaminol, a widely used but illegal performance-enhancing drug. In one case, officials cleared an attorney after she demonstrated that corticoids found in her blood were from a topical ointment used to treat saddle sores associated with being second chair at trial.
“While we understand the pressures attorneys are under to perform well at trial, EPO is not an acceptable substitute for Fastcase, a shot of Cutty Sark, and an overhead projector,” said a Pittsburgh bar official, who declined to be identified. “Unless we do something now about the spread of EPO among litigators, our system of justice will never survive.”