Senior United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts of the Southern District of New York,stationed in Manhattan, died overnight, probably in the early morning hours of February 3, being found dead that morning. She had held court as normal the week before and no indication prior to her death that anything was wrong.
She was scheduled to preside over the trial of Michael Avenatti, an attorney accused of defrauding Stormy Daniels of book proceeds. The trial was scheduled to start April 21, but will now clearly be delayed while proceedings are handed off to a new Judge.
She had handled numerous high profile cases over the years, including several terrorism cases and the Bill O’Reilly defamation case.
She was still holding down a substantial docket so this will clearly gum things up in the Southern District of New York for a few weeks until they get all her cases parceled out to new Judges.