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White-Collar Crime

Prosecutors Claim Federal Judge Bias in Lawyer’s Racketeering Case, Ask 3rd Circuit for New Judge

Posted Jan 25, 2012 3:37 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Prosecutors are seeking the recusal of the federal judge assigned to hear a criminal racketeering case against a prominent New Jersey defense attorney, contending that U.S. District Judge William Martini is biased against the government.

Among other issues, they have contended that Martini erred by severing witness murder conspiracy charges against former state and federal prosecutor Paul Bergrin from the rest of the criminal enterprise racketeering case. A jury deadlocked when that portion of the case was tried last year, resulting in a mistrial.

In a motion this week, prosecutors asked the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to remove Martini from hearing the case, contending that his handling of the case so far has raised questions about his impartiality, the Associated Press reports.

An earlier ABAJournal.com post provides more details:

Federal Judge Delays Racketeering Trial of NJ Lawyer, Says Prosecutors Mischaracterized Court

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