Judge’s Talks with Counsel Entitle Man to New Trial

     TRENTON, N.J. (CN) – The New Jersey Supreme Court granted a new trial to a businessman who claimed the judge in a buyout case discussed post-retirement job opportunities with the defendant’s attorney.

     Justice Rabner said the negotiations between Superior Court Judge Gerald C. Escala and the firm Herten Burstein “fell short of the high standards demanded of judges and fellow members of the legal profession, and had the capacity to erode the public’s trust.”
     Plaintiff Lawrence DeNike claimed Escala had been influenced by the job offer when he increased the amount DeNike had to pay in order to buy out defendant Michael Cupo’s interest in their company, Classic Mortgage LLC.

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