Convicted NXIVM leader Keith Raniere back in court for discussions about his attorney - 2019-11-01
There were no surprises in yesterday's "Curcio" hearing for the Keith Raniere case. Raniere was wearing tan prison garb, and he seemed confident, even upbeat as he entered the courtroom and approached the bench. The hearing is regarding a possible conflict of interest around defense lawyer Teny Geragos' application to become a US attorney in the Eastern District of New York. The Eastern District is where the Raniere trial took place, and Ms. Geragos was presumably applying for the spot vacated by prosecutor Moira Penza, lead government attorney in the Raniere case.
Yesterdays hearing was a postponement from the original hearing on September 13th. At that hearing, Mr. Moskowitz, the attorney appointed by the court to represent Raniere in this matter, had not yet had adequate time to confer with his client. At the time of the September hearing, Garagos' application to become a US attorney was still pending. She has since withdrawn it.
Geragos' application arrived to the government on August 12th, which was after the trial was over. Judge Garaufis explained to Raniere why the Curcio hearing was still necessary even though Geragos has now withdrawn her application. The trial has ended but the case is not yet over; It is still his responsibly to sentence Raniere. During the time when her application to become a US attorney was pending, there may have been advice given by Geragos or communication with the government that would create a potential conflict.