Judge Signs Off on Harvey Weinstein's Legal Team Overhaul - NBC New York

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Judge Signs Off on Harvey Weinstein's Legal Team Overhaul

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Weinstein Sex Assault Case Going to Trial

    Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein will go to trial after a judge refused to dismiss his case. Chris Glorioso reports.

    (Published Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A judge signed off Friday on changes to the legal team representing Harvey Weinstein in his rape and sexual assault case

    • New lawyers Jose Baez, Ronald Sullivan and Duncan Levin replace Benjamin Brafman, who asked court permission to withdraw

    • Weinstein is charged with raping a woman and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman. He denies all allegations

    A judge signed off Friday on changes to the legal team representing Harvey Weinstein in his rape and sexual assault case, allowing the film producer to swap out his bulldog New York City defense attorney for a four-person team that's full of courtroom star power. 

    The disgraced Hollywood mogul was in court in Manhattan —along with new lawyers Jose Baez, Ronald Sullivan and Duncan Levin, and former lawyer Benjamin Brafman — as Judge James Burke approved the switch. 

    "Welcome to the New York State Supreme Court," Burke told Weinstein's new lawyers. 

    Weinstein, 66, and Brafman, 70, announced last week that they had "agreed to part ways amicably." The move came a month after they lost a hard-fought bid to get the case thrown out. 

    Judge Denies Defense Motion to Drop Harvey Weinstein Case

    [NY] Judge Denies Defense Motion to Drop Harvey Weinstein Case

    A judge denied a motion to dismiss Harvey Weinstein's criminal case in New York on Thursday, setting aside defense contentions that alleged improper police conduct in the investigation should negate the indictment. Rana Novini reports.

    (Published Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018)

    Weinstein's trial is tentatively scheduled for May. 

    He is charged with raping a woman in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex. 

    Weinstein's other new lawyer, Pamela Robillard Mackey, didn't attend Friday's hearing because she was out of the country. 

    Baez is perhaps the best-known name of the four. He first gained fame for representing Casey Anthony, the Florida mom whose televised trial in 2011 ended in an acquittal on charges of killing her young daughter. 

    Baez and Sullivan, a 52-year-old Harvard law professor, teamed up to successfully defend New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez against murder charges in 2017. Hernandez, in prison for a 2015 murder conviction, killed himself five days later. 

    Mackey, who's based in Denver, represented Kobe Bryant when the former basketball star was accused of raping a 19-year-old at a Colorado resort in 2003. The charges were dismissed when prosecutors said the accuser was no longer interested in testifying. 

    DA Drops Part of Harvey Weinstein Case

    [NY] DA Drops Part of Harvey Weinstein Case

    Manhattan's district attorney dropped part of the criminal sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein on Thursday after evidence emerged that a police detective had coached a witness to stay silent about evidence that cast doubt on the account one of his three accusers. Jonathan Dienst reports.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018)

    Levin is a former top deputy under Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. 

    Weinstein announced the new legal team on Wednesday. 

    Actress Rose McGowan, one of the first of dozens of women to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct, blasted Baez and Sullivan for agreeing to represent Weinstein after they defended her in a drug case last year. She called it a "major conflict of interest." 

    Baez and Sullivan said in a statement that McGowan's case had nothing to do with Weinstein and that they were certain there was no conflict.

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