Kevin Spacey Trial: Who is Judge Lewis A. Kaplan? (and Podcast update)

Kevin Spacey Trial Podcast: Episode 1: Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to sit down with Adam H Douglas over at Popping Culture and discuss the upcoming Kevin Spacey trial. You can check that out below.

what to expect from the trial

Kevin Spacey could be on the stand early, with some dramatic moments from the get-go. 

Kevin Spacey jury selection begins tomorrow

Jury selection for the civil lawsuit brought forth against Kevin Spacey by Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp begins tomorrow in New York. His Honor, Lewis A. Kaplan, is presiding over the litigation.

District Judge Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan

District Judge Hon. Lewis A. Kaplan is no stranger to high-profile cases. In his almost 30 years on the bench, the Harvard Law alum has presided over some of the most in/famous litigations in recent history, including Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit against the Duke of York, columnist E. Jean Carroll’s case against Donald Trump, cases involving prominent names in organized crime, and Tanzanian-born al-Qaeda member Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Guantanamo Bay prisoner to have a civilian trial. 

His Honor Kaplan recently ordered that if lawyers for Anthony Rapp call Kevin Spacey as a witness on their “case in chief,” then cross-examination will not be limited to “the scope of the direct examination.”

What is “Case In Chief” & Why Does It Mattter?

“Case in chief” is when the plaintiff (Anthony Rapp), has the opportunity to present evidence that supports their case at the beginning of the trial. 

If you’ve ever watched a courtroom drama, you’ve seen this. It’s what happens after the opening statements.

It’s at this point that Mr. Rapp’s lawyers will start presenting their arguments—before the defendant has an opportunity to provide context or reject inaccurate testimony. 

They get to present their evidence first because they have the burden of proof.

Embed from Getty Images

So this scenario could play out something like this:

Rapp’s lawyers call Kevin Spacey to be a witness at the start of the trial when they first present their position. 

They’ll lay out their theories and arguments to support what they are hoping to prove—that Kevin Spacey made an unwanted sexual advance against 14-year-old Anthony Rapp. 

Rapp’s lawyers can ask Mr. Spacey open-ended questions at this time, such as “when did you first meet Anthony Rapp?” This questioning is called direct examination.

After the Rapp’s lawyers ask Mr. Spacey their questions, the Spacey’s lawyers have an opportunity to ask him some additional questions. These questions are often aimed at clarifying, offering insight, or can provide context to something said in an earlier answer. This is called “cross-examination.”

In a court case, the judge will often limit cross-examination questions to the subjects discussed in the direct examination.

For example, if the Anthony Rapp’s lawyers direct examination questions were all about apples, then Kevin Spacey’s lawyers could only ask him questions about apples. They couldn’t bring up the topic of oranges.

Still with me, folks?

So, in layman’s terms, Justice Kaplan’s order says that when Kevin Spacey’s legal team asks him questions—after Anthony Rapp’s lawyer’s—they aren’t “limited” to the original question subjects; they can introduce new topics.

In other words, Kevin Spacey’s lawyers don’t have to stick to asking him questions about apples—they can talk about oranges or anything else that is relevant. 

Anthony Rapp, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA Sept. 2012

Legally speaking, this is going to be a barn burner.

Like their clients, the legal teams representing Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp are both top-tier performers, excelling in multi-million dollar settlements and award-winning verdicts for past clients. During the next days and weeks, we’ll witness some of the best legal minds digging into one of our generation’s most controversial court cases. 

And I’m gonna try to keep y’all up to date through posts here and the Kevin Spacey Trial Podcast on Popping Culture.

Hit me up with questions or comments, and I’ll do my best to get you the information/ answers you need. 

Fasten your seatbelts, everyone. It’s gonna be one hell of a bumpy night.

8 thoughts on “Kevin Spacey Trial: Who is Judge Lewis A. Kaplan? (and Podcast update)

  1. Many thanks for this clarification, I read it very quickly, but I think I understood. I’ll come later to this interesting blog because I truly need a safe space to share my views and my opinions on the case. Thank you for everything.

  2. This was very interesting about the civil trial. Is it good or bad that they picked the jury so quickly? Are you at the courthouse? I live an hour’s plane ride away, could I get into the courtroom? Thanks

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, Maureen. I appreciate it. I think the speedy jury selection has more to do with efficiency than anything else. The His Honor Judge Kaplan is known for running tight trials, with little wasted time.

      No, I’m not in the courthouse, but I have a colleague there.

      While the courtroom/ trial is open to the public, it may be difficult to get in. Please also remember, courtroom security is typically very strict, and because of the intense public attention, you can expect even tighter security. Also, Justice Kaplan does not permit cell phones or other electronic media in his courtroom. The courtroom location for the trial is listed as follows: Courtroom 21B, United States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY.

      If you do go, please let me know.

      Take care and be safe.

  3. Ana, thank you for your honest reporting on Kevin Spacey’s case. You report the truth and don’t follow the lies and gossip like other reporters on this case. Keep at it! Your clear report helps Kevin Spacey supporters like me by winnowing out the gossip and give us the truth. Your knowledge of how the court works helps a lot! Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog post, Kimberly. I appreciate it immensely. And thank you for your kind comment. I am so happy that you find it helpful. Because I’m no longer a journalist—I’m just a gal with a blog—I have more freedom to write what I think is important, even if others consider it unpopular.

      I’ll try to keep you up to date.

      Take care & stay safe,


  4. Hi Ana,
    Thank you for your reply.
    It is so refreshing that a reporter is looking at Kevin spacey’s case with an open mind.
    I have discussions with my family and when I mention all the “facts”, not rumors they seem to see the light. Hopefully, all of Kevin’s fans can do this and let the man get back to what he does best, act, direct, sing, dance and be happy.
    Any updates on yesterday and today’s events in the courtroom?
    Thank you, it is so good to talk to someone who tells the facts not rumors.

    1. Hi, Maureen,

      Thank you for that. (But remember, I’m not a journalist any more. I’m just one woman with blog who has some thoughts on things.)
      Yes, I’m working on a post about yesterday’s events. I’ll have it up here shortly.

      Stay tuned.

      And thanks!


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