Following Black Star News Article, New Jersey Judge Accused of “Sabotaging” Case Recuses Self


Judge Meloni

A Camden, New Jersey judge accused by a high profile Manhattan-based attorney of trying to sabotage her case by guiding opposing counsel on how to file motions to dismiss her case in a recorded alleged secret ex parte meeting has recused himself following an article in The Black Star News earlier today.

Judge Louis Meloni of Camden Superior Court, who was presiding over a lawsuit filed by Susan Chana Lask over a year ago, held the alleged secret meeting with four opposing counsel/defendants on January 26, Lask had alleged in a motion to have the judge removed from the case.

Meloni had on May 29, 2015, dismissed a lawsuit, only against the attorney defendants, in the case filed by Lask more than a year earlier (see original story).

After Lask demanded all records of the case she discovered that Judge Meloni had on January 26, 2015 met without her knowledge or presence at the Camden County courthouse with the following opposing counsel/defendants: Carl D. Poplar, John H. Maucher, William A. Riback and Alix Schwartz.

In court papers Lask filed July 8 seeking Meloni’s removal, she claimed that in the over one-year period he handled the case he “made irrational and biased decisions” against her and denied her motions to depose the opposing counsel. Lask also alleged Poplar, one of the attorneys, was Judge Meloni’s “political crony and friend.”

During the alleged secret ex parte meeting Judge Meloni is heard saying the case had been an “ordeal” for Poplar; he’s also heard discussing what motions the opposing counsel, who wanted the case dismissed on summary judgment, should file for him to consider.

The judge and the opposing counsel are also heard wondering why Lask had not attended the court session. Lask maintain there was no court date and that the conversation was a ruse that the parties wanted on the record to make it appear she was a no show. The opposing counsel claimed there was indeed a court date and that they had even tried to contact Lask by phone, a transcript of the January 26 meeting shows.

Asked for her reaction to Judge Meloni recusing himself today, Lask said: “First Attorney Poplar insisted there was a January 26, 2015 trial date and that his co-counsel Maucher called me that day, and Poplar said Mr. Maucher will tell the court that right now. Then Maucher literally says he is not a liar but he checked his phone today and he saw that he called the wrong number on January 26, 2015—thus, he lied for eight months that he called me when he never did. Then the Judge gave a speech that he did not do anything wrong but because I accused him of wrongdoing that he is recusing himself.”

It is a system that clearly does not honor the Judicial Code of Conduct or attorney ethics, and it mandates a state and federal investigation why this particular Camden County court and these licensed attorneys pervert ethics and our civil rights,” Lask added.

Lask now has to wait for another judge to be assigned on the case.

All the opposing counsel did not return messages from The Black Star News earlier today seeking comment on the case.

Judge Meloni also didn’t return a message seeking comment.

This evening, Kelly Law, the Trial Administrator at Camden Superior Court also didn’t respond to an e-mail message seeking comment. She didn’t return to an earlier e-mail message and phone call earlier today seeking comment.


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