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Nacchio’s Hearing–before the Judges Who Gave Him Bail–Set for Next Week

I said yesterday that the lawsuits against the telecoms were the only means left for us to find out how the government spied on Americans. I forgot about Joseph Nacchio, whose appeal will be heard by the same folks who decided his appeal addressed a "substantial issue."

The same three appellate judges who ruled that Joe Nacchio could remain free pending an appeal of his conviction of insider trading will hear his case next week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals announced Monday.

That could favor the former Qwest CEO because the judges already decided when they granted Nacchio’s request to stay out of prison that there was "a substantial question of law or fact" that could lead to a reversal of his April conviction.

"Nacchio has to be very happy," said Jay Brown, a University of Denver law professor who has followed the case.

The judges already have drawn some conclusions about the case and are sympathetic to Nacchio, Brown added.

But Marcy Glenn, head of the appellate practice group for the Holland & Hart law firm, didn’t think one should read too much into the fact that the panel is the same.

"The earlier decision was an interim decision, and it was made before there were any briefings on the merits of the case," Glenn said. "I would expect (the three-judge panel) to be absolutely open to all arguments at this point."

Oral arguments are scheduled for 2 p.m., Dec. 18. The case is being heard on an expedited basis, though no deadline for a decision has been set and the panel may issue its ruling at any time.

Jeralyn Merritt live-blogged a good deal of Nacchio’s trial, so hopefully she’ll give us her expert opinion on this appeal.

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