A Manhattan judge has had her own day in court, and you can now count Nora Anderson, whose election to Manhattan Surrogate’s Court in November, 2008, was delayed by criminal indictment, as a big believer in the jury system. That’s because yesterday a jury acquitted Anderson and a prominent attorney named Seth Rubenstein, who had been accused of funneling $250,000 in illegal contributions into her campaign, of the two remaining charges against them.
The Voice reported the alleged scam back in December, 2008, so we duly report the people’s decision. Credit here goes to the duo’s top-flight attorneys, Gustave Newman and Frederick Hafetz, who convinced the jury that all Rubenstein — who makes his living practicing in the city’s surrogate’s courts — was doing was making a generous gift to his friend, not an illegal campaign contribution. The details are best delivered by the New York Law Journal‘s excellent Daniel Wise, who makes it his business to follow these things closely. Wise ominously points out that the jury’s verdict effectively blows a hole in the state’s (already sky-high) campaign contribution limits. Anderson is expected to soon take her place on the bench — fifteen months late.