Alina Habba Alleges Conflict in E. Jean Carroll Judge's Past
Trump Lawyer Raises Concerns Over Potential Conflict of Interest in E. Jean Carroll Trial Verdict.
Alina Habba, the attorney representing former President Donald Trump, has raised alarm over a possible conflict of interest involving the judge in the high-profile defamation trial brought by E. Jean Carroll. Habba contends that a prior professional relationship between Judge Lewis Kaplan and her opposing counsel, Roberta Kaplan, could undermine the integrity of the $83.3 million verdict recently handed down.
In a letter filed in federal court on Monday, Habba expressed concerns that Judge Kaplan's past association with Roberta Kaplan during their time at the same law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, may have influenced his handling of the case. According to the filing, Habba cited an article in the New York Post quoting an unnamed former partner at Paul Weiss, who described Judge Kaplan as a mentor to Roberta Kaplan.
Habba argued that this purported relationship raises questions about the judge's impartiality and could justify seeking a new trial on liability and damages. She also criticized Judge Kaplan's perceived bias against Trump's legal team during the trial, alleging "overtly hostile" treatment and "preferential" treatment of Carroll's side.
The former president's legal team is already planning to appeal the $83.3 million verdict, which stemmed from allegations made by E. Jean Carroll that Trump defamed her by denying accusations of sexual assault. The trial concluded with a dramatic jury decision, awarding Carroll significantly more in damages than anticipated.
Despite the severity of the verdict, Habba's letter suggests that the integrity of the trial may have been compromised by undisclosed connections between the judge and opposing counsel. Citing the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges, which mandates recusal in cases where impartiality is called into question, Habba argued that Judge Kaplan's failure to disclose his past relationship with Roberta Kaplan constitutes an ethics violation.
In response to these allegations, a representative for Roberta Kaplan denied any conflict of interest, stating that the two individuals barely knew each other during their brief overlap at the law firm in the early 1990s. However, Habba contends that the alleged association was never disclosed to her or the defense team, and she plans to include these concerns in the appeal process.
The controversy surrounding potential conflicts of interest adds another layer of complexity to an already contentious legal battle. As Trump's legal team prepares to challenge the verdict, citing alleged procedural irregularities and bias in the trial proceedings, the case continues to captivate attention and raise broader questions about the intersection of law, ethics, and justice in the American legal system.
What nationality is Donald Trump?
Donald Trump is an American. He was born in Queens, New York City, United States, on June 14, 1946. Throughout his life and career, Trump has identified himself as an American businessman, television personality, and politician.