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Nader has one Pennsylvania lawyer to cover five simultaneous hearings

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports: Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has recruited a veteran of local election-law battles to help him fight a Democratic nominating-petition challenge, an indication that Nader plans an aggressive legal effort to get his name on the Pennsylvania ballot.

Lawyer Samuel C. Stretton, whose past political clients include unsuccessful state Senate candidate James Tayoun and onetime Philadelphia City Council contender Julie Welker, will defend Nader against accusations that up to 85 percent of the nomination-petition signatures filed by the independent candidate were marred by forgery or other problems. The campaign says it filed enough valid signatures to claim a ballot spot.

But as a solo practitioner, Stretton faces a daunting challenge in fighting for Nader: Commonwealth Court on Wednesday announced plans to hold five simultaneous hearings in separate courtrooms across the state to examine the matter.

Stretton said Nader's campaign had promised him help from additional lawyers, perhaps from out of state. The ad-hoc group that filed the challenge includes several lawyers and plans to field a full legal team to press its claims that Nader should be excluded from the ballot. -- Veteran lawyer to bat for Nader (Philadelphia Inquirer)