Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt custody dispute: retired choose negotiating deal disqualified by appeals court docket
The actors’ divorce finalized in 2016, but care and visiting issues for their six children have been resolved by a California court for the past four years.
During those talks, retired Judge John W. Ouderkirk – who officiated their wedding – was hired by both actors to privately negotiate the matter.
But Jolie’s attorneys urged Ouderkirk to back off last August, saying he had failed to fully disclose all ties to Pitt’s attorneys and has continued to work with them professionally in other cases.
A superior court judge initially denied Jolie’s request, saying she had waited too long to file the appeal.
But on Friday, a three-person jury from the second California appeals court ruled that Ouderkirk should no longer work on the custody battle. The appeals court agreed with Jolie’s argument that Ouderkirk had violated his ethical obligation to fully disclose his work in other cases involving Pitt’s lawyers.
“Judge Ouderkirk’s failure to make mandatory disclosures violated his ethical obligations; and in the circumstances, Judge Ouderkirk’s ethical violation could be … impartial,” the court said in a statement.
A representative from Pitt told CNN that the appeal court’s decision was based on “a technical procedural issue.”
“The facts haven’t changed. There is an extraordinary amount of factual evidence that has led the judge – and the many experts who testified – to a clear conclusion about the best interests of the children legally necessary based on the detailed knowledge of what is best for the children “, said Pitt’s representative.
A representative for Jolie did not immediately respond to CNN’s requests for comment on Saturday.
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