Peterson attorneys seek Brodsky’s financial records
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org January 25, 2013 1:14PM
Joel Brodsky is seen during a press conference outside the Will County Courthouse following the announcement that he stepped down as an attorney for Drew Peterson Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, at 14 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 25, 2013 6:52PM
Drew Peterson’s former attorney wants to keep his former colleagues from seeing his financial records, and is fighting a subpoena for those records in Will County court.
Peterson’s current attorneys want the records to help prove their point that Joel Brodsky was motivated in part by personal financial gain when he represented Peterson.
They filed a subpoena seeking the records in preparation for a hearing on their motion for a new trial Feb. 19. Brodsky claims the subpoena violates attorney-client privilege.
As part of the motion, they claim Brodsky ruined Peterson’s chances of acquittal, not the least of which was orchestrating and sensationalizing the media coverage of the case.
Brodsky “paraded Drew across the airwaves as if Drew were a sideshow, suggesting carnival-like pranks to heighten public recognition of himself and his client, as exemplified by the ‘Win a Date With Drew’ and a Bunny Ranch Reality Show,” according to one filing in the case.
In December 2007, Brodsky and Peterson struck a deal with a publicist to get the duo photo ops and television appearances, magazine spreads and even product endorsements, including commercials.
The men also wanted the publicist to get them book and film deals, the attorneys say.
Releasing the financial records from Brodsky’s client account for Peterson would not violate attorney-client privilege, said Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg.
Brodsky attempted to file a statement in response to the subpoena Thursday, which was promptly sent back to him by Judge Edward Burmila.
“Attorney Brodsky is not to file any documents in this matter without leave of this court,” Burmila’s order said, adding that Brodsky has withdrawn from the case. “The proper response to a subpoena is to file a motion to quash the subpoena.”
Brodsky filed the motion to quash the subpoena Friday morning after getting the judge‘s permission, Burmila said.
In it, Brodsky points out that Greenberg appeared on a court television show during the trial, and said Greenberg sought media attention for himself while he was representing Peterson. He also claims the financial documents are privileged and irrelevant to any legitimate issue in the motion for a new trial and that the subpoena is a “fishing expedition.”
“For him to accuse me of the things he has is the height of hypocrisy,” Brodsky said.
Burmila set Feb. 19 and 20 as the dates for Peterson’s hearing on his motion for a new trial. If Burmila denies the motion, Peterson’s sentencing hearing will begin immediately.
Peterson was convicted in September after a 24-day trial in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
In December, Peterson attorney David Peilet filed a memo in Will County Circuit Court supporting the defense team’s claims that former lead attorney Brodsky had a conflict of interest and ineffectively assisted Peterson during his trial.
Brodsky has denied those claims.
The motion from Peterson’s lawyers claimed, among other things, a number of errors on Brodsky’s part during the trial.
During the hearing for a new trial, Greenberg and fellow Peterson attorney Joseph “Shark” Lopez may have to take the stand, as well as Brodsky.
In his motion Friday, Brodsky said Peterson could request the documents in a letter or authorize their release in writing.
“If they give me a proper letter from Drew, of course I’ll comply,” Brodsky said. “There’s nothing shocking in there, believe me.”
After a brief court appearance Friday, Peilet headed over to the jail to meet with Peterson and have him sign a letter authorizing Brodsky to release the financials.
Peilet said they are giving Brodsky a week to hand over the documents, and that he’s hopeful Brodsky will drop his motion to quash the subpoena. If not, Burmila said he would hold a hearing on Brodsky’s motion sometime before Feb. 19.