Risk Update

Lawyer and Judicial Disqualification Attempts — Harvey Weinstein Trial

Harvey Weinstein’s legal team tries to get judge, attorney Gloria Allred removed from proceedings” —

  • “Harvey Weinstein is trying to distance people from his trial before it even begins. Wednesday marked the third day of jury selection in the disgraced movie executive’s rape trial, and it’s already proving hard to keep anyone in the room. In addition to the dozens of potential jurors who’ve been disqualified from the case, Weinstein’s legal team has also tried to get well-known attorney Gloria Allred and the judge who’s overseeing it all barred from the courtroom altogether.”
  • “Weinstein’s issue with New York Supreme Court Judge James Burke began Tuesday morning when he called out the defendant for using his phone in the courtroom ahead of the proceedings… Burke came out for the proceedings and asked Weinstein ‘Is this really the way you want to end up in jail for the rest of your life, by texting in violation of an order?’ ‘These comments reflect the court’s animus towards the defendant,’ Weinstein’s legal team argued in a letter calling for Burke’s removal from the case.”

These were rejected in the case of Allred:

  • “Weinstein attorney Damon Cheronis expressed concern that her presence could potentially allow her to coach or influence witness testimony and that Allred herself may be called as an impeachment witness. “It’s not because I’m trying to attack Ms. Allred. I’m trying to protect Mr. Weinstein’s right to not have witnesses in this courtroom,” Cheronis said.”
  • “On Wednesday, Justice James Burke denied the defense’s motion to eject her during the proceedings. ‘There would be no actual harm as to impeaching her simply for having observed the trial,” Burke said. “She may remain and she should certainly be on the witness list.'”

And in the case of the judge:

  • “‘All I meant to do was scare him enough for him to discontinue use of his phones,’ Judge James Burke said in denying the defense’s motion for relief and recusal on Thursday. ‘I never actually meant that I was going to put your client in jail for life.'”
  • “Burke said that Weinstein ‘was noncompliant and defiant and challenging to the court officers when asked to put away his phones.’ The judge reiterated multiple times that he has not made up his mind on the sexual abuse charges against Weinstein, despite the defense’s accusation of bias against the Hollywood producer.”