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Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, Brooklyn, New York – Appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, January 1, 2018.
The six-page order Wednesday, written by Justice Alan D. Scheinkman, reversed a lower-court decision handed down a day earlier to delay publication. While an injunction against author Mary Trump remains in place, the ruling means Simon & Schuster can continue with its plan to distribute “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” which is scheduled to be released later this month.
The president’s younger brother, Robert S. Trump, filed the lawsuit against Ms. Trump on Friday in New York State Supreme Court in Dutchess County, alleging that details she included in the book violated a decades-old confidentiality agreement signed by Ms. Trump as part of a financial settlement stemming from a familial inheritance dispute.
Simon & Schuster, the book publishing unit of ViacomCBS Inc., said in court documents that it wasn’t a party to the Trump settlement and therefore wasn’t bound by its terms.
Justice Scheinkman agreed.
“Unlike Ms. Trump, S&S has not agreed to surrender or relinquish any of its First Amendment rights,” he wrote, adding that the company isn’t acting as an agent of Ms. Trump.
The judge didn’t rule on the issue at the core of the Trump family clash: whether Ms. Trump breached the terms of her settlement agreement. But he said that courts often balance the interests of the parties with “other legitimate interests, including, especially in this context, the public interest.”
“[T]he legitimate interest in preserving family secrets may be one thing for the family of a real estate developer, no matter how successful; it is another matter for the family of the President of the United States.”Justice Alan D. Scheinkman
The court in Dutchess County will hear additional arguments on July 10 and rule on whether the temporary injunction against Ms.Trump should continue.
Charles J. Harder, attorney for Robert S. Trump, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. He has previously called the actions of Ms. Trump and Simon & Schuster “truly reprehensible.”