Conflict Of Interest? Judge Who Denied Kesha Freedom From Sony Has Strong Ties To Record Label

Credit: MorgueFile

Credit: MorgueFile

A shocking update in Kesha’s lawsuit has been reported.

Back in April, the Tik Tok singer’s sexual assault lawsuit against her longtime producer, Dr. Luke, had its day in a New York courtroom. Kesha wanted to be free to record outside of her contract with Luke’s Kemosabe Records, a Sony Music Entertainment imprint, but the judge in the case, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich, denied her request. Justice Kornreich called Kesha’s contract with the label “heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.”

Did Justice Kornreich have an ulterior motive in denying Kesha’s freedom? In a recent report from Page Six, it was confirmed that Justice Kornreich is married to a man named Ed Kornreich, who is a lawyer and partner at Proskauer Rose, which counts Sony/RCA as a client. This left many believing there could be a serious conflict of interest in the judge’s role in this case.

The Hot Zone spoke with Erin R. Ehrlich, Esq, trial attorney and author of TheLegalChick.com, to hear her thoughts on this new development in the case.

“Should Justice Kornreich have recused herself from this case? Possibly. Under New York law, a judge is disqualified from hearing a matter in which he or she is ‘interested’. Typically falling under this umbrella is anyone related to the judge who may have an interest in the matter,” Ehrlich explained.

She continued, “However, Proskauer Rose is a massive international firm with over 200 partners, over 700 attorneys, and g-d knows how many clients. Justice Kornreich’s husband is a partner in the firm’s health law department. We can safely assume that he has little, if anything, to do with the firm’s representation of Sony and, therefore, likely garners no direct financial gain from the firm’s work for Sony.”

Ehrlich did explain the possibility how Justice Kornreich’s husband could gain from a Sony victory.

“Of course, the flip side of the coin is that the firm as a whole benefits from its representation of a major company like Sony and, therefore, Justice Kornreich’s husband is indirectly reaping the benefits of this representation,” Ehrlich stated.

Unfortunately for Kesha and those protesting for her freedom, Ehrlich explained the difficulty the singer would have getting out of the type of contract she is in, regardless of the judge in the case.

“The type of contract that Kesha was fighting is notorious for being onerous, unfair, slave-like and ripe for abuse by the record label. But because courts are not in the business of writing parties a better contract than they wrote for themselves, it is likely that Kesha would’ve faced the same result in front of another – disinterested – judge. So even if Justice Kornreich had a conflict of interest, Kesha would have difficulty arguing on appeal that she was harmed by it,” Ehrlich concluded.

Earlier this month, Kesha dropped most of her claims against Luke in California, but she will continue her appeal in New York. She also returned to the stage and announced she had sent 28 songs to her label, in hopes of releasing new music as soon as possible.

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