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Legal Ethics

Recusal Motion Cites Pressure to Buy Girl Scout Cookies

Posted Aug 27, 2012 5:29 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Texas lawyer claims his refusal to buy a case of Girl Scout cookies may have spurred a judge’s animosity.

The motion filed by Brownsville lawyer Nat Perez seeks the recusal of Judge Elia Cornejo Lopez in a child sexual assault case against Perez’s client, the Brownsville Herald reports.

The motion says Lopez has removed Perez as court appointed lawyer for three defendants, a move showing her “animosity, dislike and disdain for counsel.” Lopez’s animosity against Perez is “possibly exacerbated by his refusal to purchase a case of Girl Scout cookies from her daughter’s troop,” the court filing alleges.

The motion cites an alleged spring 2011 incident in which Lopez directed Perez to speak to her court coordinator, who said Lopez wanted the lawyer to buy the cookies. The coordinator’s and judge’s daughters belonged to the troop selling the cookies, the motion says.

Another judge will rule on the recusal motion. Lopez told the Brownsville Herald she can’t comment.

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