Meet the Brooklyn judge now at the epicenter of the Mar-a-Lago records case


U.S. District Decide Aileen Cannon’s determination got here after Trump’s authorized group and the Division of Justice each endorsed Dearie’s nomination — initially made by Trump — to parse the seized information for doubtlessly privileged materials.

Legal professionals and litigants who’ve appeared earlier than Dearie describe him as unbiased, thorough and even-handed jurist who’s match to wrangle the dueling sides. As a lot as any choose put on this troublesome place, they are saying he’s as much as the duty.

“He’s one of many few judges who either side wish to seem in entrance of. He’s held within the highest regard by attorneys. He’s somebody who really listens to the legal professionals and considers what they need to say earlier than he comes to a decision,” mentioned Lindsay Gerdes, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor.

Sean Hecker, an lawyer at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP who has had a number of instances earlier than Dearie (together with one pending) mentioned a lot the identical. “He’s independent-minded, extraordinarily good and clever. Exhausting to think about a extra certified particular person for this difficult project.”

Dearie is a former U.S. Lawyer for the Jap District of New York, a job he held from 1982 to 1986. He was chief choose of the Jap District from 2007 to 2011. He stays an lively choose on senior standing, which means he has a decreased caseload.

He additionally served on the International Intelligence Surveillance Courtroom for seven years — the place he was one of many judges who signed off warrants the FBI used to surveil 2016 Trump marketing campaign aide Carter Web page in an investigation into Russian election interference.

Federal investigators later decided an FBI lawyer altered an e-mail used to assist the surveillance utility — one thing Trump has used to discredit the whole investigation — although a choose on the FBI lawyer’s subsequent felony case acknowledged the applying might need been granted anyhow.

Some paperwork seized at Mar-a-Lago have been marked “FISA,” indicating they relate to intelligence derived from overseas sources, in line with an affidavit within the case.

“He works extremely nicely with events, however doesn’t tolerate nonsense,” mentioned Richard Garbarini of Garbarini Fitzgerald P.C. “He is not going to enable events, or attorneys, to play video games, or play fast-and-loose with the foundations.”

Although few, if any, instances will match the stakes and intrigue of the Mar-a-Lago investigation, Dearie does have some high-profile instances beneath his belt. These embody the corruption trials of a number of officers at FIFA, the worldwide soccer governing physique.

He additionally oversaw a courtroom battle within the 2017 New York Metropolis mayoral race. Former New York Metropolis Councilmember Sal Albanese didn’t meet polling and fundraising thresholds to achieve admittance into televised debates, and he sued the town’s Marketing campaign Finance Board in search of an injunction so he might take the stage. However Dearie dominated the finance board’s standards weren’t partisan, subjective or discriminatory.

Albanese didn’t prevail, however he got here away with a constructive impression of the choose.

“I believe he’s a good man, regardless of my shedding that case. He’s clearly very educated,” he mentioned in an interview. “His temperament was wonderful, and he was considerate. He requested a variety of good questions. Very level-headed.”

Prosecutors and legal professionals for Trump every introduced Cannon with two choices as candidates for the job: Dearie and Paul Huck Jr., a Florida lawyer with important ties to figures in Trump’s orbit.

The Justice Division proposed Barbara Jones — a former federal choose and Invoice Clinton nominee who has crammed the identical particular grasp function in three different delicate investigations — and former federal appeals courtroom choose Thomas Griffith.

Trump’s group objected to each of these picks whereas the DOJ indicated Huck was not acceptable as a result of he had by no means served as a choose.

Alexander Coleman, an employment lawyer who has had a number of instances earlier than Dearie — together with a high-profile case the place an NYPD cop alleged office retaliation after reporting colleagues who tried in charge him for one more detective’s botched investigation — mentioned he was impressed with the choose.

“He took a really troublesome, thorny situation and he untangled it and reached the appropriate end result,” he mentioned. “He’s very considerate and really contemplative.”

Dearie graduated from St. John’s College College of Regulation and has additionally labored as an lawyer in personal follow. He’s initially from Rockville Middle on Lengthy Island.

The choose didn’t reply to a request for remark.

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