Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

Trump lawyer Alina Habba makes, then backs off, ‘conflict’ allegation against E. Jean Carroll judge

By 37ci3 Jan30,2024

Alina Habba, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, dropped a conflict-of-interest claim against presiding judge E. Jean Carroll on Tuesday. defamation trial After Carroll’s attorney threatened to pursue sanctions.

On Monday, Habba a letter According to the New York Post, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan and Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan worked at Paul Weiss, a large law firm unrelated to the case. Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison in the 1990s. An unidentified former partner at the firm, which employs about 1,000 lawyers, told the Post that Lewis Kaplan was “like his mentor.”

Habba said New York Post that the situation is “crazy and so related”. This is news for us,” he said. $83.3 million verdict In the Carroll case. “We will include it in our application and take appropriate measures. Failure to disclose this is a violation of ethics.”

The article quoted Zach Sawyer, a spokesman for Roberta Kaplan, who said they “overlapped for less than two years in the early 1990s” while working at the same major law firm. he was a junior associate and never worked for him,” Sawyer said.

In Monday’s letter, Habba said: “If the Honorable has indeed worked with Ms Kaplan in any capacity, particularly a mentor/mentee relationship – that fact should have been disclosed before any work involving these parties was allowed to proceed.” He suggested she violated the code of judicial conduct and could use that claim as ammunition in an application for a new trial.

He noted that there was “multiple collisions” with the judge during the trial and another last year, and he said he was “openly hostile to the defense attorney.” His letter suggested the “conflict” may have had something to do with his “judgments, tone and demeanor”.

“Here, without more information (or your Honor’s factually specific denial that you had a mentor-mentee relationship with Ms. Kaplan), we are unable to clarify our position as to what specific relief would be sought, including, but not limited to, new judgments on the issues of liability and damages. is not limited to holding. However, this Court must certainly provide counsel with all relevant facts,” Habba wrote. “We thank the Court for its prompt attention to this troubling issue.”

Roberta Kaplan he answered In a letter to the judge on Tuesday, he said the “allegations are completely without merit.”

He said he started at the Paul, Weiss firm in October 1992 as a junior litigator when Lewis Kaplan was a senior litigation partner. He was nominated to the bench by then-President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in August 1994.

“During this relatively short period of time, over thirty years ago, I can remember the Paul, Weiss partners I worked with, and none of them were Your Honor. More specifically, I do not recall ever interacting with Your Honor regarding a business, respectable person, client, or business. to attend a meeting or participate in the honorable court proceedings. In fact, I do not recall any direct interaction with the honorable person from that period,” he said.

“Needless to say, we never had the kind of ‘mentor’ relationship Ms. Habba claims,” ​​the lawyer said.

Roberta Kaplan called the lawsuit part of the Trump team’s plan to discredit the judiciary and said she could impose sanctions against Habba.

“While Ms. Habba ends her letter by characterizing this as a ‘disturbing matter,’ what is truly troubling is both the nature and timing of her false accusations of impropriety,” he wrote.

“Since the beginning of the recently concluded trial, Donald Trump and Ms. Habba have promoted a false narrative of judicial bias so that they can characterize any jury verdict against Trump as the product of a corrupt system. However, this strategy has now worked. In its post-conviction phase, now the Defendant’s It’s time to stop making false and outrageous claims of bias or impropriety.”

Habba responded with another letter shortly after, saying he had made no “false claims”.

“The purpose of the letter was simply to see if there was any merit to the recent New York Post report of the existence of such a relationship,” he said. “Since Ms. Kaplan has now denied that there was ever a mentor-mentee relationship between her and Your Honor, this matter appears to have been resolved.”

A court official did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the judge.

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