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January 16, 2008

Appellate judge's recusal may be good news for AY eminent domain plaintiffs

Atlantic Yards Report

LiarFlyer01-sm.gif Norman Oder considers the possible reasons as to why Justice Korman recused himself from the appeal of Goldstein v. Pataki, and attempts to read the tea leaves.

Though they didn't say so explicitly, plaintiffs in the Atlantic Yards eminent domain case had to be pleased to learn that U.S. District Judge Edward Korman, the most skeptical member of a three-judge panel who last October 9 heard the appeal after the case had been dismissed, recused himself from the case.

Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB), which organized the lawsuit and whose spokesman, Daniel Goldstein, is lead plaintiff, issued a press release yesterday stating that Korman had recused himself. Though no formal reason was stated, Korman did in court offhandedly mention that he'd received an Atlantic Yards mailer “some years ago” and responded in the affirmative.
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DDDB's press release stated, "Pursuant to the rules of the Court, the two remaining members of the three-judge panel may request a replacement judge at their discretion, but must request a replacement judge if they do not agree on how to decide the appeal."

Does that mean that the remaining judges, Robert A. Katzmann and Debra Ann Livingston, are divided? We don't know.
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It was clear that Korman seemed skeptical of the plaintiffs' case, and he's a Brooklynite who remembers the Dodgers. Then again, skepticism from the bench, as exemplified by state Supreme Court Justice Joan Madden's demeanor in court last May on the lawsuit challenging the environmental review, does not necessarily translate into a result, as Madden's decision last Friday showed.

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Posted by lumi at January 16, 2008 6:37 AM