A D.C. federal judge is recommending Judge Pauline Newman and her Federal Circuit colleagues use mediation to resolve the 96-year-old’s claims that a probe into her fitness to keep working should be transferred out of her colleagues’ jurisdiction.
During a Thursday status conference, Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the US District Court for the District of Columbia said the case “really cries out for some type of mediation” and questioned whether the parties have sat down to try to work things out more informally.
Cooper said he’d recommend a former federal judge who would be well suited to mediating the issues, including to what extent Newman should be required to give up medical records and submit to neurological testing, as well as what the scope of her duties should be in the meantime.
In her highly unusual complaint, Newman claims Federal Circuit Chief Judge Kimberly Moore and her other colleagues are too close to the ongoing investigation they launched into whether Newman has a disability that impedes her work. She’s asked for another circuit’s judicial council to preside over the probe. Newman also counters that she’s perfectly fine and has been improperly sidelined from hearing new cases while the dispute plays out.
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