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Why Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli will appear in court earlier than expected

U.S. District Court in Boston updated its schedule for the college admissions scandal case to show that Loughlin and Giannulli will appear in court on Aug. 27.

Actress Lori Loughlin arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.
Actress Lori Loughlin arrives at federal court in Boston on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, to face charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal.
Steven Senne, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli will present a "united front" in their college admissions scandal case when they appear in court next month.

U.S. District Court in Boston updated its schedule for the college admissions scandal case to show that Loughlin and Giannulli will appear in court on Aug. 27, for a Rule 44 hearing, which “establishes a procedure for avoiding the occurrence of events which might otherwise give rise to a plausible post-conviction claim that because of joint representation the defendants in a criminal case were deprived of their Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel,” according to Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute.

So what does that mean? According to the Mercury News, the couple will waive their right to separate attorneys, stating that they understand there could be conflicts of interest.

“Giannulli and Loughlin are innocent of the charges brought against them and are eager to clear their names,” court documents state, according to the Mercury News. “And they believe their interests will be advanced most effectively by presenting a united front against the government’s baseless accusations.”

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told the Mercury News this will help the couple define their defense strategy. It lessens the likelihood that one spouse will bow out of the case and plead guilty, too. The couple also loses the potential benefit of testifying against each other in order to receive a lesser sentence.

However, the decision will make it harder for Loughlin and Giannulli to win an appeal based on having inadequate counsel.

But Loughlin and Giannulli’s lawyers believe “a common defense often gives strength against a common attack.”

“Whatever happens, Giannulli and Loughlin will have their interests fully protected, and the case will proceed without undue delay,” the attorneys wrote, according to the Mercury News.

Background: Loughlin and Giannulliare accused of paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters, Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli, could be crew team recruits for the University of Southern California. They both pleaded not guilty in the case.