Judges flock to company-sponsored seminars

Some corporations have cases before those attending expenses-paid affairs

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Conservative foundations, multinational oil companies and a prescription drug maker were the most frequent sponsors of more than 100 expenses-paid educational seminars attended by federal judges over a 4 1/2-year period, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation months in the making.

The Center identified instances where judges who attended seminars underwritten by certain firms and trade groups later issued rulings in the funders’ favor.

And the Koch Foundation and The Searle Freedom Trust, both major supporters of conservative causes, were sponsors for most of the conferences organized at George Mason University and Northwestern University.

Both schools conducted more judicial seminars than any other university or organization between mid-2008 and 2012, the Center's analysis found. 

The project's main investigation, written by Center for Public Integrity reporters Chris Young, Reity O'Brien and Andrea Fuller, is found here.

Other components include:

Follow the Center on Twitter at @PublicI and friend us on Facebook for additional project updates.

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