Buffalo Township attorney joins Jerry Sandusky legal fight
An Alle-Kiski lawyer has added another name to his list of high-profile clients — Jerry Sandusky.
Buffalo Township defense attorney Alexander “Al” Lindsay Jr. will represent the former Penn State assistant football coach in the next phase of his case.
Lindsay will be filing a Post Conviction Relief Act petition.
“He sought us out to represent him on this particular part of that case,” Lindsay said.
Some of the reasons such a petition can be filed: if it is believed the client's previous counsel was ineffective, new evidence has been found, or there was a violation of the U.S. or Pennsylvania constitutions or law in the case.
“Were reviewing the material in the case, but it's a long process,” he said.
Lindsay said he couldn't reveal much about the Sandusky case at this time, but this isn't the first high-profile case Lindsay has taken on in his more than 40 years as a lawyer.
Some of the big cases include serving as defense attorney for the Rev. Richard Rossi, who was accused of attempting to murder his wife, and John Vojtas, the former police officer accused of killing a man during a traffic stop. The Rossi case ended in a hung jury, and Vojtas was acquitted of all charges.
“I was probably destined to be a lawyer,” Lindsay said. “I was the oldest son. My father was a lawyer, my grandfather was a lawyer, and that was the family business.”
But it almost didn't happen.
Lindsay studied history at Washington and Jefferson College and had no interest in following the family business. He was set to join the military once he graduated in 1968, but a knee injury from wrestling kept him out for two years.
At the encouragement of his father, he went to law school for those two years.
To his surprise, he liked it. He was especially drawn to evidence law, trial advocacy and criminal law. He drew inspiration from his evidence professor, Welsh White.
“I think if I hadn't taken that evidence course, or if I'd taken it with another professor, I probably would have dropped out of law school,” he said.
Although he has been a defense attorney for the majority of his career, he began as a prosecutor.
Just a year after graduating from University of Pittsburgh's School of Law in 1971, he was hired as Butler County's first assistant district attorney, where he investigated and prosecuted public corruption.
“This was a dream job,” he said. “In a period of three years, I tried approximately 60 jury trials. I got tremendous experience.”
He continued dealing with corruption when he was appointed as assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania in 1975.
He held that position until he opened his private practice in Butler in 1980 and switched to being a defense attorney. Although he thought about going somewhere else, he decided to come back and settle down in a familiar area with his practice and family.
“I liked working in Butler,” he said. “It's my home county and I thought that I would have a good start here — and I did.”
Lindsay still lives on the farm he grew up on in Buffalo Township with his wife, Trish, who works as a paralegal at his practice. The couple has six children.
“We understand each other and we're best friends,” Trish Lindsay said.
She said she loves watching Al in court and often attends his trials to watch him in action.
“He gets the story in every case and he can see what the real strategy is for that case,” she said.
Lindsay said he enjoys going to trial. He thinks too many cases end up being settled out of court.
“I am proud of what I do,” he said. “We believe that lawyers like myself are soldiers of the Constitution.”
Lindsay said he's had many mentors from professors to other lawyers, but he's learned the most from judges.
“There's so many of them that have made such an impact,” he said. “They mentor you just by how they treat you in a courtroom.”
Lindsay said the skills to be able to go to trial are important for a lawyer and worries they aren't used enough. That's why he teaches a course on trial advocacy to law students at the University of Pittsburgh.
“I hope it's useful,” he said.
Lindsay also passes along his knowledge to his two associates Chad Doman and James Paulick.
“A lot of the more in depth (cases) that require a higher degree of expertise, Mr. Lindsay likes to bring us along,” Doman said.
Lindsay's practice is a good fit for the associates because they both enjoy being in the courtroom as much as he does.
“Coming here just opens the door even more for even more high profile cases that are going to go to trial,” Paulick said.
Doman and Paulick said they have received a lot of advice from Lindsay on how to be a good lawyer.
“A lot of times, it's just listening to what the client wants, what a good outcome is for them,” Doman said. “More than anything that dictates their course of action.”
Lindsay said what sets his practice apart from others is that they will try anything. He said they like to look at themselves as representing “the little guy against the huge entities.”
“We like to be in the courtroom, we like to try cases,” he said. “That's what we live for.”
Emily Balser is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-7710 or email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Alle-Kiski farmers: Crops weather heavy rain
- Springdale counters despair with ‘HOPE’
- Cost of Glade Run Lake dam to beat estimates
- Keystone Markers give insights about towns but have fallen victim to time, theft or traffic accidents
- Saxonburg residents surprised by zoning proposal
- Leechburg residents begin holiday lights campaign
- Union to work while ATI talks continue
- ‘Wax weed’ worries authorities
- Plum landslide to be fixed after year
- New Kensington residents rally in support of 82-year-old robbery victim
- Pyrotechnics display turns from benefit to burden in Tarentum