Judge Rakoff is well regarded and has a fan in the courtroom. We learned today that a Cardozo law student, who has attended almost every day of the trial, wrote some letters to the judge about his rulings. To avoid any impropriety he called her to the side bar with the lawyers and told her she could not communicate with him. This all came out later when she had a little press conference outside the courthouse. Nothing was said about it in open court, it was all handled by the judge at the bench conference.
I wanted to draw a side bar and this especially long one afforded me that opportunity. Many legal issues have been taken up at bench conferences out of ear shot of the jury.
It has been a notable occurrence at this trial.