BY Staff WritersJanuary 30, 2024
3 months ago
BY 
 | January 30, 2024
3 months ago

Trump Lawyer Says Judge’s Ties To Accuser Warrant New Trial

Former President Donald Trump faces a significant legal setback.

A jury has recently ordered Donald Trump to pay $83.3 million to advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in a civil defamation trial.

In May 2023, Trump was found liable for sexually assaulting Carroll and subsequently defaming her. As a result of the trial, he was initially ordered to pay $5 million to Carroll. This latest ruling significantly increases Trump's financial liabilities, with the former president now owing Carroll a total of $83.3 million.

Trump's Legal Team Challenges the Verdict

Alina Habba, Trump's lawyer, is preparing to appeal the verdict. She alleges that preferential treatment was given to Carroll's lead counsel during the trial. Habba argues that this unfair treatment influenced the trial's outcome, prompting her to challenge the jury's decision.

Trump's defense team, led by Habba, believes that the judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, appointed by former President Bill Clinton, showed hostility towards them.

They also suspect a potential conflict of interest involving Judge Kaplan. This alleged conflict stems from a past relationship between Judge Kaplan and Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan.

Potential Conflict of Interest Highlighted

Roberta Kaplan worked at the law firm Paul, Weiss from 1992 to 2016, which overlapped with Judge Kaplan's tenure at the same firm until 1994.

This overlap has led to suspicions about their relationship and its impact on the trial. Habba, in her pursuit of an appeal, has focused on this aspect, believing it might have influenced the trial's fairness.

Trump's Defense Raises Serious Accusations

In her letter to Judge Kaplan, Habba expressed concern over the potential mentor/mentee relationship between Judge Kaplan and Roberta Kaplan. She stated, "If Your Honor truly worked with Ms. Kaplan in any capacity—especially if there was a mentor/mentee relationship—that fact should have been disclosed before any case involving these parties was permitted to proceed forward."

Habba's allegations extend beyond the potential conflict of interest. She contends that the court displayed overt hostility towards Trump and his defense team while favoring the plaintiff's counsel. This, according to Habba, significantly skewed the trial against Trump.

"We believe, and will argue on appeal, that the Court was overtly hostile towards defense counsel and President Trump, and displayed preferential treatment towards Plaintiff’s counsel,” stated Habba.

Financial Implications for Trump

In response to the verdict, Trump expressed his dissatisfaction, claiming that the legal system is being used as a political weapon against him. He has labeled the entire situation as a "Biden Directed Witch Hunt" and plans to appeal the decisions.

The financial ramifications for Trump are considerable. In addition to the $83.3 million owed to Carroll, Trump also faces a potential $370 million fine in a separate civil business fraud trial.

Legal experts suggest that Trump may need to escrow the money or bond the judgment during the appeals process. Andrew Lieb, a legal expert, explained the process: "When you put the money in a bond, you’re putting a percentage of the money to a bonding company who puts up the remainder.”

Public and Legal Perspectives

The appeal of the defamation case is set to go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Furthermore, Trump is currently facing a barrage of legal challenges, including being charged with 91 criminal offenses in four different criminal prosecutions.

The case has garnered significant attention from the public and legal experts. A representative for Roberta Kaplan denied any conflict of interest with Judge Kaplan. Additionally, a former partner at Paul Weiss claimed that Roberta Kaplan sought to stand out to partners at the firm, including Judge Kaplan.

Trump's vehement denial of the charges and his criticism of the legal proceedings highlight the contentious nature of this case. His accusation of the trials being politically motivated reflects the deeply polarized political climate in the United States.

Concluding Summary of the Case

  • Donald Trump ordered to pay $83.3 million to E. Jean Carroll in a defamation trial.
  • Trump's lawyer, Alina Habba, plans to appeal, citing alleged unfair treatment and potential conflict of interest involving the judge.
  • Trump faces significant financial liabilities, including a potential $370 million fine in a separate case.
  • The appeal will be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Trump is also dealing with multiple criminal charges in other cases.
Written by: Staff Writers

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