U.S. District Judge Gary Brown of the Eastern District of New York ruled Wednesday that “unusual, if not unique, circumstances” in the case of Michael Cohn mean the former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission examiner can have a bench trial in the coming weeks, despite objections from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The trial could be the Eastern District’s first since the coronavirus pandemic swept New York in March. No trials have been held since, the district executive’s office confirmed Thursday. At least two bench trials have been held using videoconferencing software in the Southern District.

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