Judge Scolds Two Rubashkin Lawyers For Contact With Jurors

Sholom Rubashkin, former CEO of Agriprocessor, Inc., of Postville, is led in to the temporary Federal Courthouse in Cedar Rapids on Friday, November 14, 2008. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

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By Richard Pratt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge says defense lawyers working for imprisoned former kosher slaughterhouse manager Sholom Rubashkin violated a court rule by contacting jurors who convicted him of bank fraud in 2009.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade ruled Monday that Des Moines attorney Guy Cook and Kansas City attorney James Wyrsch violated a rule that bars attorneys and their investigators from contacting jurors without court permission.

Reade says she will decide how to punish them at a future hearing.

Reade called Monday's hearing after jurors reported being contacted by private investigators working for Rubashkin as he prepares an appeal of his 27-year prison term.

In one case, Rubashkin's daughter made an emotional appeal at a juror's home.

An inquiry into the contacts revealed Cook's law firm also contacted jurors in December 2009.

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