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GRAND ENTERTAINMENT GROUP v. ARAZY

October 30, 1987

Grand Entertainment Group, Ltd., et al.
v.
Ariel Arazy, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEWCOMER

 Newcomer, J.

 This case involves the distribution of various video cassettes including Half A Loaf of Kung Fu, Joy of Letting Go, Andy Warhol's Dracula, Love and the Midnight Auto Supply, and Sensuous Susanne. See Complaint at para. 8; Distribution Agreement at Exhibit A.

 Presently before the Court is defendant Ariel Arazy's motion to disqualify the judge. Defendant bases the motion on two statutes: 28 U.S.C. §§ 144, 455. *fn1" Defendant has supported his motion with two affidavits, one completed by the defendant, himself, and one completed by his counsel Robert E. Smith.

 A summary of the affidavits follows.

 Mr. Arazy stated that Matthew Wax, who is associated with the plaintiff corporations, personally told defendant Arazy that:

 1. Judge Newcomer "likes" Mr. Wax. See Declaration of Arazy at para. 4(a);

 2. Judge Newcomer stated he would not permit the present action to drag out and would commence a trial in the near future. Id. at P 4(c).

 3. Judge Newcomer "dislikes" defendant, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Gerber, and wanted to prevent Smith from proceeding as Arazy's counsel. Id. at PP 4(b), 4(d).

 4. Judge Newcomer was "somewhat" aware of Wax's supposed generosity on behalf of children in the Philadelphia area. Id. at P 4(a).

 5. Judge Newcomer had refused to permit a California attorney, Mr. Lloyd Robinson, to conduct the trial on behalf of the defendants in a separate case, Wax v. Infante, No. 87-1628 (E.D. Pa. 1987) (and previous related litigation) (hereinafter " Infante litigation"), involving Mr. Wax and the distribution rights of video cassettes. Id. at P 7;

 6. Judge Newcomer ruled in favor of Wax in the Infante litigation. Id. at P 8.

 Mr. Smith, defendant Arazy's counsel, has averred the following:

 1. Wax and Arazy met together at E. Parry Warner's law office on October 1, 1987. See Smith ...


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