Risk Update

Disqualifications Done & Connections Called — Dr. Dre (Not Forgotten), Judge (Questioned)

Judge rules Dr. Dre must find a new lawyer in Nicole Young divorce case” —

  • “A judge has ruled that power divorce attorney Laura Wasser — and Dre’s lawyer Howard King — cannot represent him in his blockbuster split from estranged wife Nicole Young. Wasser is known as one of LA’s biggest divorce attorneys, repping clients including Kim Kardashian.”
  • “But Young and her attorney argued in court papers that King had previously repped Dre and Young throughout their marriage. Wasser was ‘vicariously disqualified’ from repping the rap mogul because she was working with King.”
  • “Dre and Nicole were married for 24 years. But they split on March 27, 2020, according to court papers. He is reportedly worth about $800 million.”

DiFiore Didn’t Disclose Greenberg Traurig Connection During Arguments, Raising Questions” —

  • “New York’s top judge did not disclose her connection to the law firm Greenberg Traurig as two attorneys from the firm appeared before the Court of Appeals for arguments earlier this year, transcripts of the virtual proceedings showed.”
  • “At the time of the arguments in early January, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore was being represented by a separate attorney from Greenberg Traurig in two lawsuits over the court system’s decision to force out dozens of older judges.”
  • “But DiFiore made no mention of that connection as judges heard arguments in four mortgage cases Jan. 5, according to the transcripts. A spokesman for the court system said a judge has no obligation to recuse from a unrelated case when a private law firm represents them in their ‘official capacity.'”
  • “Gary Spencer, a spokesman for the Court of Appeals, declined to say if DiFiore disclosed her connection to Greenberg Traurig in any form. Instead, he issued a statement saying the court ‘does not address these matters through ‘disclosures.’'”
  • “Judges on the Court of Appeals gathered for a virtual meeting Jan. 5 to hear arguments in four separate mortgage cases. Greenberg Traurig represented companies in two of those cases and argued before the state’s high court. Weeks later in February, the Court of Appeals court handed down a single opinion in response to all four mortgage cases. The majority opinion, which was written by the chief judge, sided with the companies represented by Greenberg Traurig. Both Greenberg Traurig cases were unanimous rulings.”
  • “The chief judge should have divulged her connection to Greenberg Traurig through some channel, according to several experts on legal ethics. There’s some debate among experts over whether the chief judge had an ethical duty to disclose the information or if her providing the information would have simply been a best practice.”
  • “Judges should avoid ‘the appearance of impropriety’ under the judicial conduct rules. But legal ethics experts advise it’s unclear specifically whether DiFiore had an obligation to recuse herself from the cases.”
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