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Legal experts: Trump lawyer’s ’embarrassing’ performance ‘making the jury dislike her intensely’

via Forbes Breaking News
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Alina Habba, representing Trump in a defamation case, faced significant challenges during the cross-examination of E. Jean Carroll. U.S.

District Judge Lewis Kaplan repeatedly admonished her for procedural errors and interruptions.

Judge Kaplan said, “The application is denied. I will hear no further argument on it. None. Do you understand that word? None. Please sit down.”

“During which you should refresh your memory about how it is you get a document into evidence,” he continued.

“Denied,” said Kaplan to Habba’s next request.

“The jury will disregard everything Ms. Habba just said,” ordered Kaplan.

Legal experts and former prosecutors criticized her performance, highlighting her lack of trial skills and courtroom expertise.

Despite stepping in as Trump’s lead lawyer after another attorney’s withdrawal, her struggles have raised concerns about her ability to effectively sway the jury and handle basic evidentiary issues.

Judge Kaplan said, “The last I heard, Ms. Habba, I do not need announcements from counsel on what they intend to do.”

“And I make the rulings here, not the lawyers,” he added.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti asked, “Has Alina Habba ever tried a case in her life?”

The judge’s patience and attempts to guide her through the process were noted, but her performance was widely criticized.

Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis, wrote, “Can you imagine showing up to a trial and asking the trial court judge, ‘How do you suggest I proceed?’ because you don’t know the rules of evidence?”

“Lawyers can bring a variety of different skills to a legal team. Trial technique, oral arguments, subject expertise, negotiations, media relations, or witness work,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, here, the wrong skill set has been matched up with the wrong setting,” he added.

Former federal prosecutor Elizabeth de le Vega said, “Habba might think she’s doing a great job by performing for Trump, but she’s already succeeded in making the jury dislike her intensely. (I am 100% certain of that.)”

“Since the jury will be deciding the amount of damages, it would be a lot smarter to be as charming as hell,” she added.

Former Trump White House lawyer Ty Cobb said, “The judge was very patient with her.”

“He gave her sort of two recesses or two opportunities to try to guide her through it himself, called a halt, and took a break with the hope that one of her colleagues could help her figure out how to do what it was that she intended. It was really sort of, you know, embarrassing,” he continued.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said, “So she has had to step in, presumably, with a larger role than she anticipated.”

“Mr. Tacopina is a trial lawyer. Alina Habba may be a very skilled lawyer outside of the courtroom, and maybe inside the courtroom — it doesn’t bear the rules of evidence. So, it is an odd choice…. because basic evidentiary issues are the kinds of things that… [are] not something that’s part of her toolkit,” he concluded.

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