In yesterday’s links post, I included a link to a new statement from Angelina Jolie’s lawyer Samantha Bley DeJean about the ongoing legal beef involving the private judge on the Jolie-Pitt divorce case, Judge John Ouderkirk. I thought it was merely a new statement with no new information. But it actually looks like DeJean made an entirely new filing this week, on Monday or Tuesday, which was in response to Brad Pitt’s lawyers’ filing, which was in response to DeJean’s first filing (last week). This is the response to Pitt’s response, because (I would assume) Pitt’s response was merely to smear his ex-wife all over again. Suspicious then that Page Six didn’t have exclusive coverage from Pitt’s perspective? Maybe because DeJean’s filing provided more details about just how badly the judge has f–ked up.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s divorce proceedings have hit another snag. In court documents obtained by ET, Jolie’s lawyer has responded to Pitt’s legal team’s opposition to her request to remove the private judge in their divorce case, calling it an “improper attempt to influence decisions.”
Jolie’s attorney, Samantha Bley DeJean, tells ET in a statement that Jolie is simply asking for a fair trial. “All my client is asking for is a fair trial based on facts, with no special favors extended to either side,” the statement reads. “The only way litigants can trust the process is for everyone involved to ensure that there’s transparency and impartiality.”
Meanwhile, a source tells ET, “These are just stall tactics and efforts to change the referee late in the game because they are clearly concerned about the outcome. This doesn’t seem to benefit anyone.”
Earlier this month, Jolie filed a request to have Judge John W. Ouderkirk taken off her and Pitt’s case, three years after he was assigned to oversee their divorce case. She alleged that Ouderkirk “failed to make timely mandatory disclosures of ongoing business and professional relationships between himself” and Pitt’s attorneys. Jolie also claimed that the judge didn’t inform her and her legal team of other divorce cases he was working on with Pitt’s lawyers, which made him “biased.”
Jolie’s latest court documents filed on Tuesday claim that Ouderkirk himself said there were “errors” in his disclosure of his cases involving Pitt’s attorneys. The documents also state that Jolie was not aware of the extent of the ongoing relationship between the judge and Pitt’s counsel until July, when Ouderkirk disclosed that there were multiple cases he was still working on that involved Pitt’s counsel, which is why she filed her request in August. Pitt had previously argued that her statement should have come in January 2017 when Ouderkirk had disclosed a number of past cases involving his counsel.
“The problem here is two-fold,” Jolie’s filing reads. “First, there are multiple matters in the last two years where [Pitt’s] counsel indisputably has had a professional, and for Judge Ouderkirk financially‚ renumerative, relationship with Judge Ouderkirk. Second, this was kept from Petitioner. Ouderkirk failed to comply with his legal duty to disclose the ongoing and expanding nature of that relationship….It does not matter what other matters (especially past representations) had been disclosed. What matters is what was not disclosed. What matters is the undisclosed recent relationships between Pitt’s counsel and Judge Ouderkirk.”
The documents argue that there is no way Oudenkirk could be seen as being unbiased. “The question is, can it really be said that a person would entertain no doubt about Judge Ouderkirk’s potential even implicit partiality knowing that (a) Respondent’s counsel has continued during the last two years to hire and appear before Judge Ouderkirk at hearings where he is paid to preside, (b) no one voluntarily disclosed this ongoing relationship (and certainly not in writing or on the record as required), but seemed content to keep Petitioner in the dark?” the documents read. “The answer must be ‘No,’ which means disqualification is required.”
The documents also hit back at the claim in Pitt’s filing that removing Ouderkirk would “create confusion and invite gamesmanship” in his divorce proceedings with her.
“Petitioner has engaged in no gamesmanship,” the court documents read. “She made a simple inquiry. When that inquiry revealed a failure to adhere to clear ethical rules, she immediately raised the issue. Until three weeks ago, she had no idea what had been going on behind her back. By contrast‚ Respondent’s counsel was fully aware of what was happening and presumably knew the rules requiring disclosure but remained silent and did not suggest to Judge Ouderkirk that he should be disclosing. Any gamesmanship has been by Respondent.”
[From Entertainment Tonight]
First of all, I friggin’ love Samantha DeJean and I want her to represent me in all of my legal dealings. I can tell from DeJean’s words that she’s about to rip Brad’s Oscar wiglet off his head and make him cry. How much does Brad Pitt suck? Let me count the ways – he and his lawyers continue to misrepresent everything about this. They’ve been lying to Angelina and DeJean for two years. The judge has been lying for two years. All of this sh-t about “well, Angelina could have raised this issue in 2014, when the judge was marrying us” is not any kind of legal argument. Pitt’s counsel and Judge Ouderkirk knew they were committing ethical violations and that’s why they were HIDING it.
Photos courtesy of WENN and Backgrid.
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