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Juror Hears Judge Say Trial Is “Stupid” 
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Juror Hears Judge Say Trial Is “Stupid” 

Summary: A federal judge from New York had to excuse a juror from a case after he realized the juror heard the judge tell another judge the case was “stupid.”

The New York Daily News reports that Federal Judge Frederic Block, who’s known for running his mouth, got into a little bit of trouble on Wednesday when he told another judge that he was presiding over a “stupid little trial.”

  
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The conversation took place in a private hallway located behind the courtroom where the trial was being conducted. Judge Block apparently felt the discrimination suit, brought by a Bangladeshi food worker against Bevacco, an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, was an annoyance.

However, the judge quickly realized his mistake when he noticed one of the jurors on the “stupid” case passing by as he ranted. Unfortunately, the conversation occurred right before closing arguments. Judge Block returned to the bench and admitted his “faux pas” to the attorneys.

The judge confessed, “I just was walking out using the facilities in the hall, Judge (Jack) Weinstein’s chambers are right next to mine, and (he) says, ‘How are you?’ and I said, ‘I’m OK, I’m doing a stupid little trial.’ Unbeknownst to me, Juror No. 2 might have heard me say that.” He continued, “In the real world, things happen. I didn’t see this guy.”

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Christopher Van De Water, attorney for the plaintiff, Mohammad Muktadir, was horrified. “I’m sorry, what was said to (Weinstein)?” he asked. Judge Block again admitted, “I said I have a stupid little trial.”

Muktadir certainly didn’t feel that his case was stupid. The case was based on allegations of sexual harassment against a male chef. He also accused co-workers of calling him a “smelly Bangladeshi bum” during his employment in 2011. He also reported that a “family meal” prepared for employees contained ham and pancetta, which Muktadir could not eat because it was against his Muslim beliefs. However, the chef refused to create a separate dish for Muktadir.



Although Juror No. 2 had not told other jurors about the comment, he was excused from the trial after he confirmed he heard the judge.

Unfortunately for Muktadir, the jurors took just fifteen minutes to reach a conclusion, and they threw out the case without offering any monetary reward to Muktadir.

This isn’t the first time Judge Block has been in trouble for a loose tongue. In 2007, The News reported that he taunted federal prosecutors during a racketeering murder trial simply because they sought the death penalty. During a retrial on the murder of a Hasidic man which occurred during the 1991 Crown Heights riot, the eloquent judge asked for a black witness to clarify the term “chillin” for “somebody who is not a brother.” Clearly, such statements did not go over well with the public.

In his book, “Disrobed,” the judge admits inappropriate humor, such as stating “I will have egg foo young” on his face if a Korean-American defendant did not abide by the terms of the bail the judge set for him.

Photo credit: newyorklawjournal.com



 

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