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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Judge refuses to step aside in heated Panasonic bias case

Today's post is shared from
Panasonic asked that Judge Christine Farrington,
right, recuse herself from hearing a suit by three executives, left.
 Record file photo 

* Panasonic alleges unfairness in female executives' lawsuit

An Essex County judge refused to bow to accusations by Panasonic Corporation of North America on Friday that she had showed bias in the lawsuit filed by three female African-American executives who accuse the company of discrimination.

Judge Christine Farrington, sitting in Newark, rejected a motion by Panasonic to remove herself from the case, after attorneys for the Newark-based company, the U.S.-arm of the electronics giant, spent 90 minutes detailing a lengthy list of grievances.

Among Farrington's actions that Panasonic cited as unfair was an October ruling in which she ordered Panasonic's attorneys to pay a sanction of $94,105 for violating court rules of "professional conduct." The judge issued the order after Panasonic failed to hand over to the defense – allegedly for weeks — confidential documents concerning one of the executives, Glorina Williams Cruz, that were inadvertently given to company attorneys.

The attempt to remove Farrington was the latest episode in an increasingly bitter and confrontational case, which was filed by the executives – Cruz, Sandra Karriem and Marilyn "Penny" Joseph – in July 2013.

Before making her ruling Friday, Farrington called the case "an extremely contentious one."

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