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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Randomless Ethics for Judge's Lawsuit

Close ties undo 'Judge Sue:' City gets venue changed in $1M slip-&-fall case
The New York Daily News by SCOTT SHIFREL AND ELIZABETH HAYS - February 15, 2009

Things are a little too cozy in Brooklyn's courts when it comes to a politically connected judge who is suing the city over a courthouse fall, city lawyers charge. In legal papers, Corporation Counsel attorneys said it would be unfair for Justice Jack Battaglia - dubbed "Judge Sue" by the Daily News - to have his $1 million case heard by a colleague. "There exists an unspoken and inherently close relationship between plaintiff ... and the members of the judiciary who would then be presiding over this matter," city lawyers wrote in a carefully worded motion requesting a change of venue for the high-profile case. Not that they think there is anything clubby about the notorious Brooklyn court system, which has been rocked by patronage allegations in recent years, the lawyers were quick to point out.

"Of course the city does not suggest that any of the respected members of the judiciary in Kings County would intentionally perpetrate an injustice upon the defendant city," the papers filed in December continued. Battaglia, who was presiding over similar slip-and-fall cases against the city at the time of his November 2007 accident, filed the suit in December 2008. The two sides appeared in court for the first time last Wednesday - before Judge Richard Velasquez. Before becoming a judge in 2006, Velasquez worked for Battaglia's sister, Angela Battaglia, at the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Brooklyn Democratic boss Vito Lopez's pet nonprofit. Velasquez adjourned the case to April 1. After calls from The News on Thursday, the Office of Court Administration reassigned the case on Friday to Queens Supreme Court Justice Kevin Kerrigan. An OCA spokesman said Battaglia's case was randomly assigned to Velasquez.

Ethics watchdogs said the case should have immediately raised red flags. "A third-grader would have known that this stinks to high heaven," said Dick Dadey of the Citizens Union. Calls to Battaglia's lawyers were not returned. Battaglia is represented in the case by Borchert, Genovesi, LaSpina & Landicino, which includes Brooklyn Democratic Party lawyer Carl Landicino.


Anonymous said...

the problem now is how are they going to fix this one????????? have no fear they will figure out a way they are lawyers.

Anonymous said...

What is even more unbelievable, is that the DA's office knows that the judicial system is corrupt.

Why does the DA's office even have to ask for a change of venue?

Why do they have to make nice, nice to these criminals in asking them to do what they are mandated to do? Take themselves off the case.

If the Brooklyn DA and his office know the system is fixed, what hope is there for the average person?

Anonymous said...

The DA doesn't handle this case. Judicial ethics are for the public suckers to read; they are not for the judges to honor. It's NY courts under Lippman. Rotten from top to bottom.

Anonymous said...

This is great. Our legal system is completely run by organized crime. They can fix anything! It's quite frightening!

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
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