The attorney for Paige Robbins—the former student accusing Lower Merion School District of spying on her via laptop camera, an argument her brother used to win a six-figure settlement—asked a judge Tuesday for permission to leave the case, according to a U.S. District Court filing.
In her Motion for Permission to Withdraw as Counsel (attached to this article as a PDF file) Philadelphia attorney Mary Elizabeth Bogan states, "It has become clear, during the representation of Plaintiff, that counsel has irreconcilable conflict(s) with the client which, in turn, has resulted in the filing of the immediate Motion."
It was unclear whether U.S. District Court Judge John R. Padova granted Bogan's motion. A call Tuesday night to a listed phone number for the Robbinses, who live in Penn Valley, returned a message that the number is not in service.
Bogan did not immediately respond to phone and email messages from Patch. The motion indicates Bogan told her client she intended to withdraw. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 11.
Bogan's motion to withdraw comes six days after she filed the initial complaint on Robbins' behalf. In that filing, Bogan asserted that, according to a 2010 deposition given by Lindy Matsko, Harriton High School’s assistant vice principal, the school district “remotely accessed the webcam feature on the laptop issued to the Plaintiff while she was in the bathroom, or in the nude, or partially dressed or sleeping or in her bedroom in a compromised state.”
In a Dec. 8 statement, the school district reacted with outrage to what they call “the epitome of an attempted money-grab and a complete waste of tax dollars.”
Bogan responded by commenting, in an article the Philadelphia Inquirer published Friday, “Who did the wrongdoing here? The school district is attempting to shift the focus to ... a 19-year-old woman standing up for her constitutional rights, when the school district has a track record of wrongdoing.”
Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, LMSD spokesman Doug Young said the district would likely not release a statement on Bogan's Tuesday filing.
Attorney Mark Haltzman represented Blake Robbins, Paige's younger brother, in his 2010 breach-of-privacy lawsuit that resulted in an eventual $175,000 settlement. That complaint, too, was spurred by photographs taken automatically and surreptitiously by his school laptop, and it brought worldwide scrutiny to the school district and its practices.