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US: Judge will not recuse in mushroom antitrust case

 |  May 16, 2019

The trial in the antitrust litigation stemming from allegations that mushroom farmersconspired to fix prices is set to begin May 20, and US District Senior Judge Berle M. Schiller of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania plans to oversee the proceedings.

Schiller on Tuesday, May 14, denied a request to step down from the case after one of the defendants demanded his recusal, alleging he had participated in ex parte communications with some of the parties engaged in settlement talks.

In a six-page ruling in In re Mushroom Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, Schiller said he disagreed with defendant M.D. Basciani’s characterization of the settlement talks as “ex parte” and said the defendant failed to establish why recusal was necessary.

“This court finds no reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts would perceive an appearance of bias in these circumstances,” Schiller said.

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