Bankman Trial Gets Underway : Courtroom Drama

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Bankman Trial Gets Underway

In what can be likened to the suspenseful unfolding of a courtroom drama on prime-time television, the Bankman trial kicked off in Manhattan’s courtroom on Tuesday. It’s a case that has the city’s denizens and keen-eyed Law360 reporters, alike, clinging to every word, every action.

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By midday, a diverse ensemble of 50 potential jurors had begun to fill the courtroom, echoing the shuffling of poker chips in a high-stakes game. Judge Kaplan, acting as the dealer, began to layout the charges against Bankman-Fried, setting the stage for a six-week legal showdown.

The judge’s initial line of inquiry was akin to probing for cracks in a dam, searching for any hint of bias or potential compromise. An astonishing 22 out of the initial 50, almost half, were excused either due to personal commitments or perceived biases. The details ranged from professional conflicts to prior knowledge about the case. One juror, for example, made headlines for admitting to being influenced by a popular Joe Rogan podcast. Another revealed financial wounds inflicted by investments in FTX and Alameda.