Former President Donald Trump’s legal team plans to appeal an $83.3 million defamation lawsuit decision by E. Jean Carroll, citing an alleged conflict of interest with the presiding judge, Lewis Kaplan.
Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said, “It was never disclosed. It’s insane and so incestuous.”
The team claims that Judge Kaplan had previously mentored Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, in the 1990s, which they assert was not disclosed.
The conflict-of-interest allegations stem from Roberta Kaplan’s time as a junior associate at the same law firm as Judge Kaplan before he was appointed to the federal bench.
An “anonymous former Weiss partner, who reportedly claimed Roberta Kaplan — a junior associate — made an extra effort to stand out to the managing partners,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Before becoming a founding partner at law firm Kaplan, Keckler & Fink in 2016, Roberta Kaplan worked alongside the judge at Paul, Weiss Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison in Manhattan,” the outlet continued.
“She began at the firm in 1992, according to her LinkedIn, where Judge Kaplan was a partner until he was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994,” reported the Daily Mail.
However, a representative for Roberta Kaplan stated that she and the judge barely knew each other, having overlapped for less than two years in the early 1990s.
Zak Sawyer, a representative for Roberta Kaplan said, “They overlapped for less than two years in the early 1990s at a large law firm when he was a senior partner and she was a junior associate and she never worked for him.”