Peterson attorneys seek Brodsky’s financial records
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org January 25, 2013 9:00PM
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: February 27, 2013 6:20AM
Drew Peterson’s former attorney is fighting a move by his ex-colleagues to obtain his financial records regarding Peterson’s representation as part of their motion for a new trial.
Peterson’s current attorneys want the records to help prove their belief that Joel Brodsky was motivated in part by personal financial gain when he represented Peterson. Brodsky claims the subpoena violates attorney-client privilege.
Peterson’s attorney Steve Greenberg filed a subpoena seeking the records in preparation for a Feb. 19 hearing on a motion for a new trial.
Part of that motion claims 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, Peterson’s attorneys say.
In a motion to quash the subpoena Brodsky filed Friday, he 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 by allegedly leaking impounded court documents.
Releasing the financial records from his client account for Peterson would not violate attorney-client privilege, Greenberg said.
Brodsky attempted to file a statement in response to the subpoena Thursday, which was stricken and returned 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is not to file any documents in this matter without leave of this court,” Burmila’s order said, adding that Brodsky has withdrawn from the case.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 did not appear in court, but filed the motion to quash the subpoena Friday morning after getting the judge‘s permission, Burmila said.
In his motion, Brodsky claims the financial documents are privileged, irrelevant to any legitimate issue in the motion for a new trial and that the subpoena is a “fishing expedition” by Greenberg, who Brodsky says has “gone rogue.”
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. 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 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, Brodsky said Peterson could simply request the documents in a letter, or, if he wants to proceed with the subpoena, provide a signed letter from Peterson authorizing the release.
“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 financial records.
Peilet said they are giving Brodsky a week to hand over the documents, and 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.