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School lawyers reply to state's recusal motion

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Attorneys representing schools in Texas' massive school finance trial in Austin say state attorneys who asked the presiding judge to recuse himself from the case haven't proved he showed bias.

   The plaintiffs' attorneys responded Thursday to the state's recusal motion earlier this month. State District Judge John Dietz has declined to recuse himself.

   Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's staff had asked Dietz to give up the case because of emails he and members of his court staff exchanged with attorneys representing the 600-plus school districts suing the state. State attorneys contend that some of the emails "suggest that the judge is coaching the plaintiffs' counsel in order to improve their case."

   The plaintiff's attorneys say what the state calls "coaching" is "nothing more than the judge giving guidance."

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