Trials & Litigation

Federal judge references 'mansplaining' while chastising BigLaw partner for interrupting

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Winston & Strawn partner Abbe Lowell blamed Zoom videoconference delays for speaking over a Massachusetts federal judge during a Tuesday hearing.

U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani used the word “mansplaining” when she chastised Lowell for interrupting. But it wasn’t clear whether she was referencing a comment made by someone else and whether Lowell was the supposed mansplaining offender, according to coverage by Law360.

The exchange began after Lowell talked while Talwani was still speaking, Law360 reported.

“If you would like to keep my attention, you will not keep interrupting me,” Talwani told Lowell. “I walked back from the last hearing and had comments made about mansplaining.”

Lowell said a delay in the internet connection led him to think that there was a pause, and he would stop and wait in the future, according to Law360. He apologized later in the hearing.

Talwani said there were no hard feelings, and she though that it was difficult to avoid speaking over each other while using Zoom.

Lowell told Law360 that he had apologized to the judge “if the delays caused by internet video calls made it appear I was interrupting her. It was unintentional.”

Lowell and other lawyers are seeking the release of former Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter, who are being held for possible extradition to Japan for allegedly helping to smuggle Carlos Ghosn, the former chairman of Nissan, out of that country.

Ghosn, now in Lebanon, was accused of financial misconduct, according to past coverage by WBUR.

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