E. Jean Carroll lawyer says Trump claims of judge conflict no basis to toss $83.3 million verdict

Attorney Roberta Kaplan delivers her closing argument throughout E. Jean Carroll’s second civil trial as Carroll accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of raping her a long time in the past, at Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, U.S., January 26, 2024, on this courtroom sketch. 

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

E. Jean Carroll‘s lawyer on Tuesday rebutted a declare that she was mentored by the judge who oversaw the rape defamation trial of Donald Trump, and mentioned there may be “no basis’ to toss the latest $83.3 million verdict in opposition to the previous president in Carroll’s favor.

Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, blasted Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba for elevating “false allegations of a mentor-mentee relationship” between Kaplan and U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan once they each labored on the prestigious and huge New York legislation agency Paul, Weiss.

The Kaplans are usually not associated.

Roberta Kaplan, in a letter to the judge, famous that “the size of our overlap at Paul, Weiss was lower than two years,” and that she doesn’t bear in mind ever interacting with Judge Kaplan throughout that point, when she was a junior litigation affiliate and he was a senior litigation associate.

Roberta Kaplan joined the agency in October 1992 and Lewis Kaplan left Paul, Weiss in August 1994 upon his affirmation as judge.

Roberta Kaplan additionally instructed the judge in a letter that she reserved the correct to “search sanctions” in opposition to Habba for making “false and vexatious claims.”

Habba raised these claims in a letter to the judge Monday, three days after a Manhattan federal court docket jury discovered that Trump ought to pay Carroll $83.3 million in damages for defaming her in 2019 when he denied her declare that he raped her within the mid-Nineteen Nineties.

That civil judgment got here almost eight months after one other civil trial ended with a jury awarding Carroll $5 million in damages from Trump for defamatory statements he made about her in 2022. As within the second trial, Roberta Kaplan represented Carroll and Judge Kaplan presided over the case.

Habba’s letter steered that if there was a beforehand undisclosed conflict or potential conflict between Carroll’s lawyer and the judge, it “might definitely show related to President Trump’s forthcoming Rule 59 movement” to search a brand new trial or to radically cut back the large damages awarded.

The letter mentioned that Habba realized for the primary time this weekend, from a New York Post article, allegations that the judge “had a ‘mentor’ sort relationship with” Roberta Kaplan.

That article contained a quote, purportedly from a former Paul, Weiss associate, saying “Lew was like her mentor.” The individual quoted was unnamed.

“We consider, and can argue on enchantment, that the Court was overtly hostile in the direction of protection counsel and President Trump, and displayed preferential remedy in the direction of Plaintiff’s counsel,” Habba wrote.

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“Indeed, the rulings, tone, and demeanor of the bench raised important considerations even earlier than the New York Post’s investigative journalism unearthed these new info,” she added.

The letter mentioned that if Judge Kaplan “actually labored with Ms. Kaplan in any capability — particularly if there was a mentor/mentee relationship — that reality ought to have been disclosed earlier than any case involving these events was permitted to proceed ahead,” Habba wrote.

Roberta Kaplan, in her reply to the judge Tuesday, wrote, “As Ms. Habba effectively is aware of, these allegations are totally baseless.”

“During that comparatively temporary interval greater than thirty years in the past, I do bear in mind the Paul, Weiss companions with whom I labored and none of them was Your Honor,” Roberta Kaplan wrote.

“More particularly, I’ve no recollection from that point interval of ever interacting with Your Honor on a case, collaborating with Your Honor in a shopper or case-related assembly, or attending a court docket continuing with Your Honor. In reality, I bear in mind no direct interplay from that point interval with Your Honor in any respect,” the letter from Carroll’s lawyer mentioned.

Roberta Kaplan added, “Given the above, there was nothing for Your Honor to disclose.”

The lawyer additionally famous that the truth that she and the judge had each labored at Paul, Weiss beforehand was a matter of public report earlier than the trial.

“A jury of Donald Trump’s friends has now twice discovered him chargeable for sexual assault, defamation and $88 million in compensatory and punitive damages,” Roberta Kaplan wrote.

“There is no basis to set both verdict apart.”

Trump, who’s the main contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is interesting the verdict within the first trial, and plans to enchantment the verdict of the second trial.

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