The judge overseeing the upcoming corruption trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said on Wednesday that she expects the trial to last from four to six weeks and has requested a pool of 70 prospective jurors from which to pick a jury.
Silver is set to go on trial Nov. 2 and is accused of doing legislative favors for Glenwood Management, a real estate firm, and Dr. Robert Taub, a cancer researcher, in return for them giving business and clients to law firms that generated $4 million in fees to Silver.
U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni also ruled on two unresolved evidence disputes, telling lawyers that Taub is likely to testify that state research funding is the only reason he used Silver's law firm, and she is likely to allow emails in which he expressed distaste for the firm, Weitz & Luxenberg.
The judge, in her final pretrial conference, said she hasn't decided whether to permit emails in which Glenwood officials and lobbyists expressed concern about the ethics of Silver getting fees from a law firm he had asked Glenwood to use to seek a property tax reduction.
Silver declined to comment after the hearing, other than to predict vindication. "This case should be tried in the courtroom, not in the press," he told reporters.