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Judge Files Defamation Suit Against New York Daily News

Posted May 5, 2008 6:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Brooklyn judge has filed a $10 million defamation suit against the New York Daily News for publishing two columns that claimed he improperly presided over a case involving a lawyer who had represented him before the judicial conduct commission.

Judge Larry Martin claims in the lawsuit that lawyer Ravi Batra was the source of the columns, which he labels "outrageous, grossly irresponsible [and] malicious,” the New York Law Journal reports.

The columns claimed Martin presided over a mortgage foreclosure case in which his personal lawyer, Jerome Karp, secretly represented one of the litigants.

The articles cited allegations in a lawsuit filed by Batra and said the "complicated world of judicial corruption in Brooklyn—a snakepit filled with bribery and back-room political deals" was about to be "blown wide open."

Lawyers for Karp and Martin told the New York Law Journal that Karp’s involvement in the lawsuit involved a letter he wrote at the request of a party who wanted to intervene in the litigation. The motion to intervene was withdrawn before Martin retained Karp for the judicial conduct matter, Martin’s lawyer said.

Batra told the New York Law Journal that Martin’s lawsuit was "frivolous” and “ill serves one who sits on the noble bench."

In the judicial conduct case, Martin was admonished for sending ex parte letters seeking favorable sentences for defendants in other courts, the NYLJ article says.

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