Response to fake-citations query implicates attorney-client privilege, Michael Cohen's lawyer says

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Michael Cohen, who was once a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, exits the courtroom of Trump’s civil business fraud trial at the New York Supreme Court in New York in October. Photo by Yuki Iwamura/The Associated Press.

A federal judge who threatened to impose sanctions against former lawyer Michael Cohen’s attorney for apparently citing fake cases has agreed that the lawyer can file his response under seal—at least for now.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman of the Southern District of New York temporarily sealed the response Monday, after lawyer David M. Schwartz said in a letter motion his submission, a sworn declaration, “implicates the confidentiality of the attorney-client privilege.”

“Given that the issues implicate” Cohen, Furman said in his Dec. 18 order, he will give Cohen and his new lawyer, E. Danya Perry, until Dec. 28 to respond to Schwartz’s sealed court filing.

Perry, a lawyer with Perry Law, represents Cohen in the civil fraud trial against former President Donald Trump.

Perry had advised the court in a footnote that she was unable to verify three cases cited by Schwartz, a lawyer with Gerstman Schwartz, in a legal brief seeking to end Cohen’s supervised release.

That led Furman to issue a Dec. 12 order to show cause why Schwartz shouldn’t be sanctioned for citing cases that appear to be nonexistent.

Cohen and Perry should address the substance of Schwartz’s filing, whether Schwartz’s disclosures violate attorney-client privilege and whether they should remain under seal, Furman said.

Schwartz is now represented by his own lawyer in the matter, Bloomberg Law reports.

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