Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Racial remarks prompt new trial - Spokane

Racial remarks prompt new trial, Spokesman Review, Jan. 26, 2008:

A Spokane County Superior Court judge has ordered a new trial in a medical malpractice case where a Spokane attorney of Japanese descent was repeatedly referred to as 'Mr. Kamikaze' and other racially charged names during jury deliberations.

Judge Robert D. Austin said he was surprised when he received attorney Mark D. Kamitomo's motion for a new trial in mid-December, based in part on the racial comments.

"We'd hoped we'd moved beyond this, and we apparently have not. It's upsetting," a visibly emotional Austin said during a court hearing Friday.
One juror said that the verdict against the Japanese American attorney's client being read on Pearl Harbor Day was "almost appropriate."

Mark Kamitomo's father was interned in a Canadian internment camp during World War II.

The Spokesman Review has posted the defense memorandum in opposition to a new trial and the plaintiff's reply memo (including two affidavits from jurors).

Thanks: Skylee Robinson.

Photo of Mark Kamitom from Northwest Asian Weekly.

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