News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: Trump business misrepresented assets, New York AG says; judge apologizes for weed scolding

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Letitia James headshot

New York Attorney General Letitia James in February 2020. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Trump testimony sought in business probe

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a motion to compel the testimony of former President Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump in her civil probe of the family business. James said she has evidence that the Trump Organization made misleading statements about the value of at least six properties to obtain loans, insurance coverage and tax deductions. (New York attorney general press release, supplemental court filing, the New York Times)

Judge apologizes for weed lecture

A Michigan judge has apologized for berating a 72-year-old cancer patient during a Zoom hearing for failing to maintain his lawn. Judge Alexis Krot of Hamtramck, Michigan, said in a statement she “acted intemperately,” she is embarrassed by her conduct, and she has reported herself to the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission. (The Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News)

Judge orders counseling for Zoom-whispering lawyer

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin of the District of Massachusetts has ordered counseling for a lawyer who whispered answers to his client during a Zoom deposition. Sorokin said the lawyer, employment litigator Jeffrey Rosin of Boston, shouldn’t face further sanctions because he had to withdraw from the case, his firm had to give up $65,000 in fees, he had to pay the fees of the opposing counsel for the sanctions motion, and he was the subject of media attention. Sorokin referred Rosin to Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers for counseling on management of emotions and judgment when facing adversity. (Reuters,

Biden taps more groundbreaking judicial nominees

President Joe Biden’s latest round of judicial nominees includes a federal public defender who would be the first Black woman on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Philadelphia and a civil rights lawyer who would be the first Muslim woman to serve on the federal bench. Arianna J. Freeman is nominated to the 3rd Circuit, and Nusrat Jahan Choudhury is nominated to the Eastern District of New York. (Reuters, Bloomberg Law, White House press release)

University agrees to pay $490M to settle doctor abuse claims

The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $490 million to settle claims that a school doctor molested students during physical examinations. The doctor, Dr. Robert E. Anderson, died in 2008. More than 1,000 people will receive settlement cash. The agreement is among the largest reached by an American university to settle sexual abuse claims. (The New York Times, University of Michigan press release)

Judge OKs Puerto Rico restructuring plan

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York has approved a restructuring plan to reduce about $33 billion in Puerto Rico’s bond debt by about 80%. It is the largest public-sector debt-restructuring deal in U.S. history. (The New York Times, Reuters)

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