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R. Kelly Reshuffles Legal Team, Dismisses Lawyers Before Federal Trial

UPDATE (7/15): A federal decide granted a request from R. Kelly’s two longstanding attorneys, Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard, to withdraw from Kelly’s case following points amongst Kelly’s authorized staff, as Associated Press reviews. Greenberg and Leonard said it was “unimaginable” to work alongside two new legal professionals Kelly employed. The information comes simply weeks earlier than the R&B singer’s sex-trafficking trial is scheduled to start in Brooklyn federal courtroom on August ninth.

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Initially revealed June tenth, 2021

Two months earlier than R. Kelly is about to face trial in Brooklyn to face federal racketeering charges, the singer’s authorized staff engaged in some in-court drama as two of Kelly’s longstanding legal professionals formally requested the decide overseeing the trial to be faraway from the case at a listening to Wednesday.

Steve Greenberg — Kelly’s most public defender who has represented the singer since he began dealing with felony fees within the aftermath of 2019’s Surviving R. Kelly — and Michael Leonard requested to withdraw from Kelly’s protection, stating that it was “unimaginable” to work alongside a pair of recent legal professionals Kelly had employed, Nicole Clean Becker and Thomas Farinella; on the listening to, the brand new legal professionals said that Kelly had terminated his prior authorized staff the earlier week, the New York Times reports.

“Our causes for withdrawal are vital and it’s unimaginable, in our perception, for us to have the ability to proceed to correctly signify Mr. Kelly beneath the present circumstances,” Greenberg wrote in a letter to the decide.

Through the listening to, Greenberg cited Becker and Farinella’s lack of trial expertise in addition to their demand for a extra distinguished position at trial for his and Leonard’s exit. “Frankly, everybody desires to be first chair, everybody desires to do opening, everybody desires to do closing, and that simply can’t be,” Greenberg stated on the listening to Wednesday; Greenberg was extra forthright in an interview with the New York Instances following the listening to, calling Kelly’s new legal professionals “clueless.”

Douglas Anton, a New Jersey lawyer who was representing Kelly as a part of the Brooklyn federal trial towards the singer, has additionally stepped again right into a “behind-the-scenes” position on the authorized staff, he told Billboard, including that he withdrew from the Brooklyn trial in late 2020.

Regardless of the shift in Kelly’s protection staff, the decide overseeing the Brooklyn case didn’t additional postpone the federal trial that was already Covid-delayed, which is now scheduled to start August ninth; Kelly’s Chicago trial on federal fees is about to start out September thirteenth. Since Kelly’s arrest in July 2019, the singer has been held with out bail in Chicago’s Metropolitan Correctional Heart, though he’ll be transported to New York nearer to the Brooklyn trial’s begin date.

Previous to Wednesday’s listening to and following the information of his ouster from Kelly’s authorized staff, Greenberg not-so-cryptically tweeted on June seventh, “Typically you possibly can’t save somebody from themselves, irrespective of how exhausting you strive… Typically folks simply gained’t hear and there may be nothing you are able to do.”

R. Kelly Reshuffles Legal Team, Dismisses Longtime Lawyer Ahead of Federal Trials

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