How A Heated 'Varsity Blues' Trial Nearly Went Off The Rails

By Brian Dowling (May 20, 2022, 7:10 PM EDT) -- A lead "Varsity Blues" prosecutor grew so irritated by a judge's handling of witness testimony that he accused the court of having its "thumb on the scale" for the defense, according to trial transcripts that experts say show the perils of heated sidebar discussions.

The judicial critique from Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen E. Frank is one of many sharp appraisals he made of U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani's handling of the second college admissions scandal trial during sidebar discussions, according to court transcripts.

The three-week trial ending with former star University of Southern California water polo coach Jovan Vavic's conviction was...

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