That Time Judge Engoron Pulled a Fani Willis

Let me pour you some piping hot tea to start your day. The most fascinating little news report has just resurfaced after going unnoticed lo these 22 years.

It seems that a certain New Yorker named Arthur Engoron, then a little remarked upon 50-something law secretary, may have tanked an $11million lawsuit with his unethical dating habits — ultimately forcing the judge who had been presiding in the case to recuse himself.

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An ugly divorce boiled over into a defamation suit in Manhattan Supreme Court, with Justice Martin Schoenfeld presiding. But in shades of a Fani Willis-Nathan Wade-style entanglement, Schoenfeld’s naughty secretary, Engoron, saw fit to take up with the prosecution’s secretary.

The resurfaced report is called “A Judicial Affair” (archived here in case the original gets disappeared by our beneficent tech overlords) and was published by The Jewish Telegraphic Agency in summer of 2002. Let’s dig in:

The law secretary of Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Schoenfeld [our hero, Arthur Engoron] may be in hot water for dating the secretary of a plaintiff’s lawyer who had a case pending before the judge. Nathan Lewin, a defense attorney for the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, said the court’s Jan. 23 ruling against his client in several pre-trial decisions is “suspect” because of that relationship, of which he was not informed until late last month.

What is it about prosecuting their enemies that gets leftists so hot and bothered? It’s kind of sick, when you think about it. If that little $11 million spat in 2002 got old Arthur so excited, one can only imagine the state in which he’s gone about as he levies multi-hundred-million-dollar penalties against the despised Donald Trump.

On second thought, let’s not imagine it. 

Let’s read on:

Lewin is defending the rabbis in an $11 defamation million suit filed by Helen Chayie Sieger of Borough Park, who claims their decision to allow her husband to remarry without requiring him to grant her a rabbinic divorce in effect labeled her an unfit spouse.

Lewin said in court papers that the law secretary, Arthur Engoron, claims he only began dating the secretary of the opposing counsel, Christopher Sullivan, on May 10. But Lewin said Sullivan’s actions in the case may have been “influenced” by information he received from the woman, identified in the papers only as Sue. And Lewin noted that Engoron “was drafting [later] decisions and communicating” with the judge about this case during the time he was dating Sue.

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The judge agreed that Engoron’s unprofessional behavior had compromised the case: 

Schoenfeld, at the request of the defendants, recused himself from the case July 1 after revealing that he had recently learned of the relationship. He said Engoron’s conduct raised ethical questions that he would report to the appropriate authorities, Lewin noted in his papers. Lewin said actions taken in this case may be criminal in nature and asked the court to conduct a full investigation.

One would think that such an unethical indiscretion would scuttle the ambitious 50-something Engoron’s fledgling law career, but come on, people — this is New York! Within a year, Engoron had been elevated to the bench. The AP summed up his meteoric rise to the judiciary hero he has become today:

Engoron joined the bench in 2003 as a judge on the New York City Civil Court, which handles small claims and other lesser-stakes lawsuits. In 2013, he was appointed an acting justice of the state’s trial court and ran unopposed for a permanent post in 2015. His term runs until 2029, though New York requires judges at his level retire when they turn 76.

Related: New York City Is Literally Crumbling

AP also notes that, similarly to Wade not being the best qualified to prosecute Trump in Georgia, Engoron was not the most appropriate judge to handle the Trump case. But this is Trump we’re talking about — the Great Orange Whale (that’s a literary reference, for those of you who were educated after the 1990s) — and that ol’ New York City magic was in play:

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Engoron has been involved in Trump-related cases since 2020, when he was assigned to intervene in quarrels among Trump’s lawyers and James’ office over demands for evidence and the direction of her investigation.

Trump’s lawyers wanted James’ lawsuit moved to a judge in the court’s Commercial Division, which is set up to handle complex corporate litigation, but an administrative judge kept the case with Engoron, citing his experience with the matter.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Engoron, that judicial Casanova, has been through three wives and who-knows-how-many side ladies. And now he has joined forces with the repugnant Letitia James to destroy New York City. What a hero!

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