Saturday, July 3, 2010

Judge Feldman Owned Exxon (NYSE:XOM) Stock: Groups Want Him Off The Moratorium Case

Environmental groups are asking U.S. District Judge Feldman to recuse himself citing financial conflicts, due to evidence showing he owned stock in Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). Feldman has received much criticizing for his ruling putting a block on the six month moratorium issued by the president.

In the U.S. District Court filing against Feldman, the groups state that his investments in oil and gas companies prove his ruling to show prejudice. According to the Judges 2009 financial holdings, he held stock in Exxon Mobil during the days leading up to his ruling. After the public release of his financial records, Feldman said that he learned about his investments in Exxon Mobil on June 21st, the day prior to his ruling. He sold the stock the following morning.

Federal Judges, under the Federal law are not allowed to rule in cases where there could be a financial interest in the parties or the outcome. If there is an appearance of conflict they are prohibited from ruling on or being involved in those cases.

Some legal experts are saying that Feldman's decision to sell his stocks before making his ruling absolves him of any legal wrongdoing. "I doubt a recusal motion would survive under those circumstances," said Deborah Rhode, a law professor at Stanford Law School and director of the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession.

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