December 26, 2007

Judge Marilyn L. Huff and Kevin Cooper

LA Times article on appeal ruling in Kevin Cooper's case:

In a Flashpoints radio program, December 21, 2007, judge in Kevin Cooper's trial was challenged as being "reactionary." In response, I did a little google digging and didn't come up with too much about Huff. Below are notes on what I found with associated links.

Huff Takes Time to Testify in Favor of Bush Nominee

Marilyn L. Huff testified in favor of Judge Benitez's nomination by George H. Bush despite strong opposition by Democrats and a "not qualified" finding by the ABA.

Opening Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy
Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
Judicial Nominations Hearing
February 25, 2004
The ABA reviews nominees in three areas: competence, integrity and judicial temperament. In Judge Benitez’s case, based on interviews with 23 judges and 44 attorneys, more than 10 members of the ABA committee concluded that, based on his temperament, he is not qualified to serve a lifetime appointment on the federal bench.

Chief Judge Marilyn Huff of the Southern District of California who has come today to speak in favor of Judge Benitez’s confirmation. [Benitez was also in the Southern Dist. Court]


Huff receives poor evaluations by attorneys:

According to nine attorney evaluations, provided by The Robing Room, Marilyn Huff's average evaluation score was 3.5 of 10 as of the date of this blog. Here are comments provided with five of the evaluations:

1. Weak on evidence. Tendency to let everything in rather than make hard (and correct) decisions. Has the intellectual capacity to make the right call, but appears too lazy to do so. Appears to decide early which attorneys/parties she likes and exhibits clear bias. Makes up her mind before all the evidence is in. Makes inappropriate comments to jury regarding their verdicts. She is the worst judge in this district by far. 2.8 of 10

2. Would not let me present closing argument on all of my causes of action. I felt like a slave to the courtroom timing device. Evenhanded Judge but not up to speed on the nuances of Civil RICO. 4.3 of 10

3. This Judge lacks even the most basic understanding of the law. What's worse, she is so afraid to reveal her own ineptitude, that she feigns knowledge and almost always gets it wrong. Should be removed from the bench. 1.2 of 10

4. The absolute worst judge on this otherwise good bench! 1.2 of 10

5. As soon as prosecutors began reporting judges for giving downward departures, she became a government hack. The only objection she understands is :"403, 403!" She is snippy, snippy, snippy. 2.9 of 10

Full set of scores: Of nine evaluations, she received an average score of 3.5 of 10.


CIA and Cocaine:

Judge Huff presided over the famous case of Rick Ross, sentenced to life for cocaine sales, which had a CIA connection. Below is a blurb:

Rick Ross, 36, was arrested again on March 2, 1994 and convicted of attempting to buy 100 kilograms of cocaine from Blandon in a federally run sting operation. During the sentencing hearing, Ross' attorney Alan Fenster charged that Blandon was working for the CIA and that Ross was "a victim of the most outrageous government misconduct known to man." Sentencing had been set for September 13, but U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff delayed sentencing so that she could study the allegations raised by the Mercury News series and receive a report from the CIA. On November 19, Huff denied Fenster's motion that his client's conviction should be set aside and sentenced Ross to life in prison. "The conduct of Ross [and two other accomplices] ... is not excused by any tenuous ties to the CIA," Huff said before the sentencing (Amanda Covarrubias, "Dealer Alleging CIA Drug Link Gets Life Term," Washington Post, November 21, 1996, p. A18; "Crack dealer who alleged CIA involvement gets life term," Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1996, s. 1, p. 10).

Finally, Judge Huff might have used Yahoo Edgar to search for SEC information on the following cases before her:

GEN PROBE INC 11/9/2004

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