SALT LAKE CITY — Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli will head to court Tuesday as the next step in the college cheating scandal.
Back in July, the U.S. District Court in Boston updated its schedule for those in the college cheating scandal to show Loughlin and Giannulli would 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.
Legal jargon aside, here’s the deal. Loughlin and Giannulli are represented by the law firm Latham & Watkins, which until recently represented USC in other legal cases, according to Reuters.
“Prosecutors contend the firm’s representation of the alleged victim is a conflict that warrants disqualification,” Reuters reports.
But the law firm contends that all recent work with USC is unrelated.
Meanwhile, the federal magistrate judge will likely ask Loughlin and Giannulli whether they understand the risks they’ll face if they’re using the same lawyers. After all, the law firm announced back in July that Loughlin and Giannulli plan to hold a united front.
“Giannulli and Loughlin are innocent of the charges brought against them and are eager to clear their names,” the filing read. “And they believe their interests will be advanced most effectively by presenting a united front against the Government’s baseless accusations.”
Still, there’s a little bit more going on here. The University of Southern California watches the scandal unfold as the new school year begins. According to The New York Times, about 20 USC students will enter the fall without knowing their status at the school since their parents are tied up with the college admissions scandal. That includes Loughlin’s daughters Olivia Jade and Isabella Giannulli.
Students remained “in a complete state of limbo,” said Joshua Ritter, a lawyer representing students involved with the scandal.
“They’re renting their apartments and everything else, getting ready for school and they have no idea what action if any the university is going to take,” he told The New York Times.
But it’s not just students. Faculty members are expressing concerns about how the university handled the ongoing investigation. The faculty reportedly feels that the school wasn’t transparent about who knew about the cheating scandal.
In fact, USC is battling with a parent in court right now who wants to see the records of all students who may have been admitted after their parents donated to the school.