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Home » Trump-Carroll Judge Was ‘Mentor’ to E. Jean’s Lawyer, Conflict of Interest Appeal Expected.

Trump-Carroll Judge Was ‘Mentor’ to E. Jean’s Lawyer, Conflict of Interest Appeal Expected.

Donald Trump’s legal team is set to use a previously undisclosed “conflict of interest” as grounds for appealing a recent verdict that orders the former president to pay advice columnist E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million. Trump attorney Alina Habba told the New York Post she was previously unaware that Manhattan federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the case, worked with Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, at the Paul Weiss Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison law firm in the early 1990s.

Habba says neither the judge nor Roberta Kaplan revealed this professional history. “It was never disclosed. It’s insane and so incestuous,” Habba said, asserting the non-disclosure counts as an ethics violation. Early in her career, Roberta worked as an associate at the firm during the same period as Judge Kaplan, who was a partner until his 1994 appointment to the federal bench by then-President Bill Clinton.

A representative for Roberta Kaplan, Zak Sawyer, said no conflict of interest exists because Roberta never worked directly for Kaplan, a defense undermined by an unnamed ex-partner at the firm, who told the Post, “Lew [Lewis Kaplan] was like her mentor.”

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