Judicial Bias Alleged In Poker Champ DivorceBy Gordon Law Offices
Nov. 28, 2011 5:49p
Ex-Wife of Star Poker Player Files Complaint in Las Vegas Divorce Proceedings
After learning that her former husband made several contributions to the judge presiding over their divorce settlement, a woman is filing a petition alleging bias.
According to the court records regarding the case, the couple agreed to file for an uncontested divorce after being married for almost seven years. The wife told the judge that she and her former husband were teenage sweethearts who dated throughout college and were finally married in 2002. She claims to have provided full-time support to her husband, who has spent the last decade playing and winning in poker tournaments across the world.
They agreed to seek a divorce in 2009, citing irreconcilable differences. According to her testimony, the wife later learned that the terms of her settlement may not have been entirely fair. She filed a motion in the Clark County judicial system raising these concerns. The judge who had originally heard the divorce case was assigned to hear this new development. However, the woman filed a motion asking him to be removed, citing alleged bias on his part.
Poker Champion Biggest Individual Donor In Election Campaign
The bias allegations stem from campaign contributions made by the wealthy poker star to the election campaign of the Judge in 2010, after the initial divorce was granted. According to her complaint, the judge should have recused himself from hearing this new part of the case due to this financial relationship.
Citing the $5,000 contribution her ex-husband made to his election fund, the motion claimed that is was "improper" for the judge to preside over the case involving his largest campaign contributor. The judge in turn filed an affidavit affirming his ability to rule without bias in the matter.
A law professor at the University of Nevada says that the judge was in error in the affidavit, saying that the judge's "personal view" was "irrelevant."
"What is relevant," the professor argued, "is whether a member of the public would have reasonable concerns over his impartiality."
The ex-wife says she hopes this case will draw attention to what she claims is systematic bias against women in divorce proceedings throughout the country.
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