Have Questions? Contact Us.
Since its inception, NYCLA has been at the forefront of most legal debates in the country. We have provided legal education for more than 40 years.
New York County Lawyers Association Issues Statement on Donald Trump’s attacks on SDNY Judge Kaplan and on the Federal Courts
The New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA), today issued the following statement:
As a matter of fundamental fairness, the New York County Lawyers Association (“NYCLA”) has a long history defending judges who are unfairly attacked, as judges are prohibited from doing so themselves by the canons of judicial ethics. Recently we came to the defense of Judge Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over the hush money prosecution of former President Donald Trump. Former President Trump attacked Judge Merchan and his family in a way which we believe undermines the rule of law.
Former President Trump has once again gone on the attack – this time against Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, a respected jurist on the federal bench. Knowing full well that Judge Kaplan is restrained from responding, Former President Trump made utterly inappropriate ad hominem attacks against Judge Kaplan, who presided over the trial of claims against the former president brought by E. Jean Carroll. Former President Trump denounced Judge Kaplan as “a terrible person, completely biased” and said that the trial was a “rigged hoax.” He also implied that he couldn’t get a fair trial in New York because it is a “completely partisan venue.”
Said NYCLA President Vincent Chang: “As he has in the past, once again, upon receiving an unfavorable outcome in court, former President Trump has launched personal attacks on the presiding judge and made outrageous claims that are designed to cast doubt on the integrity of the most important institution of our democracy – the very guardian of our democracy – our judiciary.”
We reject the notion that Judge Kaplan acted unfairly or that he should have recused himself simply because he was appointed by President Clinton. We also reject the baseless assertion that this jurisdiction is a “completely partisan venue.” Former President Trump was a defendant in a civil matter and was found guilty by a jury – not the judge – of inappropriate conduct. He chose not to testify in his defense. He chose not to waive his right to a jury. His counsel chose not to call a single defense witness.
Said Adrienne Koch, President Elect of NYCLA “As a disgruntled losing litigant, former President Trump has lashed out at Judge Kaplan, the federal courts, and our entire jurisdiction. It is the duty of a bar association to rebut these baseless attacks and this press release does so.”
Former President Trump’s grossly inappropriate attacks on Judge Kaplan, the judicial process and the venue constitute dangerous assaults upon the very heart of our system, and we condemn them.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and has a long history of supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence. For more information on NYCLA please visit nycla.org.
# # # #