For quite some time now, even though Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are single but not technically divorced, they’ve managed to keep their sh-t locked down and reportedly have been getting along better, at least according to tabloids that have been friendly to the Brad side of the situation. Now a new development – Angelina’s legal team is asking for the private judge assigned to their case to be disqualified. Per The Blast:
“Angelina’s lawyers say Judge Ouderkirk “utterly failed in fully complying with Judge Ouderkirk’s going ethical obligations. The motion accuses the judge of failing to disclose all of his ongoing and professional relationships with Brad’s lawyers.
Further, “The relationship between the judge and Respondent's counsel is continuing and growing. Within the last two years, Respondents counsel and their rms have retained Judge Ouderkirk in several matters. At the same time‚ Petitioners Bay Area counsel is not responsible for sending ongoing business to Judge Ouderkirk. Courts and commentators alike have acknowledged that the nature of private judging creates reasonable doubts about impartiality in light of the repeat-customer phenomenon.” Angelina is asking the court to disqualify Judge Ouderkirk immediately.”
Brange had previously agreed to keep the proceedings private but these documents had to be filed publicly in Los Angeles Superior Court which is why they’ve now been accessed. Basically Angelina’s counsel thinks that since the judge works often with Brad’s counsel, the judgement may be favourable to him since he’s thinking about future paycheques.
Not surprisingly, we’re already hearing how Brad’s team is spinning this. According to Page Six:
“…a source close to the case said this was a delay tactic by Jolie, because she believed things weren’t going in her favor. The source said the main issue is custody of their kids and her request for more child support.
The source said, “Jolie is basically trying to fire the private judge overseeing their divorce case. She has every right to do this, but if she thought she was in a good place in this legal proceeding, she wouldn’t need to do it. This is a classic case of someone expecting a bad decision trying to delay the process by asking for a new referee.”
Well, obviously. Of course she “believed things weren’t going in her favour” – because the way she and her people see it, it can’t be going in her favour if there’s a conflict of interest, if the judge is in business with Brad’s lawyers. Isn’t everyone saying the same thing here?
It would be one thing if Angelina was trying to disqualify a judge who had no “continuing and growing relationship” with Brad’s counsel – that certainly could be considered a “delay tactic”. But if there is reason to believe that Brad’s counsel and the judge are in a “repeat-customer” situation, that’s a problem, non? So bringing in a judge who isn’t all up in everyone’s business now that Angelina and her lawyers know that he’s all up in Brad’s lawyers business doesn’t seem unreasonable, especially since nickels and dimes are already on the table.
Remember, two years ago it was revealed that they couldn’t agree on the financials. Angelina said that Brad hadn’t paid “meaningful” child support and he fired back that he loaned her money to buy a house. She clarified that she asked him to help her buy a home for her and their children and that he’s charging her interest on a payment plan. I mean, if we’re charging interest on loans, and the money is still in dispute, why wouldn’t she be skeptical about the objectivity of a judge who may or may not be making money from Brad’s lawyer’s other cases?