Risk Update

Judicial Disqualification Attempts — Brad, Angelina & Iran

(I’m sure no one is going to click…) “Angelina Jolie ‘Clearly Failed’ Trying to Disqualify Me in Brad Pitt Custody Battle, Judge Says” —

  • “Fighting for fair trial. Judge John W. Ouderkirk asserted that he “can and will remain impartial” in Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s divorce case, despite his personal history with each party.”
  • “According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly earlier this month, Jolie, 45, alleged that the judge failed to disclose “ongoing business and professional relationships” between him and the team representing Pitt, 56, who noted that the judge had a “well-documented history” with the actors. In a response filed on Tuesday, August 18, Ouderkirk, who officiated the former couple’s 2014 wedding, fired back at the Salt star’s claims.”
  • “‘The Objection to my continued service does not change my ability to objectively view and evaluate the evidence presented by both sides and apply the law impartially,’ Ouderkirk explained, noting that Jolie had ‘clearly failed’ to prove any kind of bias in Pitt’s favor. ‘Thank you for considering the issues presented affecting the lives of these parties and their children.'”
  • “Though the Maleficent actress requested that the court disqualify Ouderkirk as the private judge presiding over her divorce, he claimed that he had continuously made both Jolie and Pitt aware of his involvement in other cases since he was hired to oversee their case — and that those cases ‘might involve a party, lawyer, law firm and/or witness involved in the Jolie/Pitt matter.'”

Angelina Jolie asks judge in Brad Pitt divorce proceedings to be removed” —

  • “The filing said that during the Jolie-Pitt proceedings, Ouderkirk has ‘failed to disclose the cases that demonstrated the current, ongoing, repeat-customer relationship between the judge and Respondent’s counsel.'”
  • “It goes on to say that Pitt’s attorney ‘actively advocated for Judge Ouderkirk’s financial interests in moving — over the opposing party’s opposition — to have his appointment (and his ability to continue to receive fees) extended in a high profile case.'”
  • “Pitt and Jolie, like other high-profile couples, are paying for a private judge in their divorce case to keep many of its filings and the personal and financial details within them sealed, though some legal moves must be made within standard court procedure.”

Halkbank Loses Bid To Recuse Judge In Iran Sanctions Case” —

  • “A federal judge in Manhattan said Monday he won’t recuse himself from overseeing an Iran sanctions case against Turkey’s Halkbank, calling “speculative, tenuous and false” the claim that the judge sided with a group deemed a terrorist organization by the country’s government.”
  • “U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said the bank had taken out of context remarks he made at a legal symposium in Istanbul in 2014. Halkbank, which is accused of taking part in a conspiracy to help get billions of dollars into Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions, had argued the judge appeared to be biased because his remarks could be read as siding with followers of Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic cleric accused of a coup attempt in Turkey.”
  • “When the judge, who moderated a panel at the event, said, ‘It is no secret that the rule of law as contrasted with the rule of man is under some attack in Turkey,’ Halkbank claimed he was referring to the Turkish government’s efforts to shutdown a corruption investigation the bank says is the basis for the U.S. case.”
  • “Ruling on the motion Monday, the judge called those claims ‘a belated rerun’ of arguments he already rejected when they were made by former Halkbank co-defendant Reza Zarrab in 2016. Having rejected the argument once, the judge said he would not revisit the issue.”