Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Drew Peterson, Legal Team Fallout and Sour Grapes

Lead lawyer, Joel Brodsky
Chicago, IL—The Drew Peterson Inquisition was an un-American legal experience.  Trial by unprecedented hearsay testimony rather than evidence doomed Peterson to an adverse verdict.  This was to satisfy the lynch mob mentality that dictated the predetermined result.   
There were no less that six lawyers defending Drew Peterson.  That was a recipe for dysfunction, anger and loathing.  I’ve seen it before even when the results were victorious such as in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. 
When the stakes are high each lawyer has different ideas and sometimes the mixture of ideas become incredibly caustic. 
As a criminal defense investigator and veteran of numerous murder trials I had my own ideas about Peterson’s defense direction.  I did not get to vote but sensed a disaster in the making, not from legal strategy but by the shocking perversion of the way this criminal trial was conducted.
I knew there were conflicts within the Peterson defense team.  I also understand that lawyers are remembered not for their overall batting average but the results obtained on a high profile case.   
Lawyers that believe in their positions fight for them like pit bulls.  Litigation is about conflict and lawyers are the gladiators that fight for survival.
Each lawyer had a huge personal risk of failure especially when you consider over 80% of all normal prosecutions end in conviction.  The Peterson prosecution was a lot of things but normal was not one of them.
I hate it when lawyers feud over professional decisions but it’s a reality.
I consider all the lawyers on the defense teem as legal champions in their own right.  I believe they made an adequate record to win at some stage whether in expected post-trial motions or in the higher courts.
Lead lawyer, Joel Brodsky released a statement today in response to former team member Steve Greenberg’s post trial,  sour grapes comments:
Steve Greenberg was given a job to for the defense team, which was to bring motions and make objections, as well as cross examine a few witnesses.   He failed to bring the most important motions, such as to bar the 2004 “botched investigation” evidence, saying he would object when the state tried to get the evidence in.  Then he failed to object when the State started with this evidence, potentially causing the loss of several important appellate issues.  He also missed several other important objections which are required to preserve issues to appeal.  It was then that Mr. Greenberg was relieved from the job of making objections.  Further, even though Mr. Greenberg he did win many of the motions, these were on small issues. Greenberg lost the big ones, such as barring the hearsay previously found to be unreliable, and keeping the “hit man” testimony out.  During the trial he was frequently absent from the defense table because he was hanging out in the press room, or by the TruTv television tent,.  He also failed to attend almost all after court team meetings, and was unprepared for his cross-examination of the few witnesses he had, fumbling for papers while the witnesses were on the stand. Mr. Greenberg was let go because of his failure to accomplish most of the tasks he was brought on board to take care of.

Also, for the record, Greenberg did not object to Harry Smith being called as a witness by the Defense, and in fact was in favor of him being called as late at the day before Smith was called.  Further, Smith was never barred from testifying, nor was his testimony reduced in scope by a motion that Mr. Greenberg made and any statements to that effect are false.  Finally, Greenberg never argued with me not to call Smith, and his statement to that effect is not true.  Greenberg didn’t change his story on the Harry Smith issue until after Smith testified and he felt that the testimony may have hurt Drew’s case, and only then did he vocally (to others but not to the defense team members), start saying that it was a mistake.  It is nothing more than a blatant attempt to distance himself from the conviction that was not really anyone’s fault, as the jurors public comments show that they were going to convict Drew Peterson no matter how lacking the evidence was.”
Joel A. Brodsky
Attorney at Law
8 S. Michigan Ave.
Suite 3200
Chicago IL 60603


True News said...

What's your opinion Paul, does Drew have a chance for an appeal?

Anonymous said...

as an expert in testifying in court, in cases of murder on down, it is my belief that the cocky attitudes of Peterson and his Attorneys was detrimental to this case, as well as the Heresay Law. Petersons Attorneys should have learned from the OJ Trial that many jurors don't understand full technicalities of the law, but they do understand showmanship, good or bad. Having a condescending attitude in News Conferences, etc. is usually spun to whatever side the Lame-Stream News Station doing the interview takes, and will not be impartial. The average untrained observer sees what he wants to see, or what he is LED to see. Media misleading is something EVERY competent Attorney or law Enforcement investigator should be highly aware of. Remember the side-show of the glove in the OJ Trial ? It could have been explained by the proscecution, but once a seed is planted, it is all the more harder to keep it from sprouting. Knowledgeable persons who spend lots of time in court, such as big-city police detectives, States Attorney's are well aware of this. Putting on a cocky and arrogant show for the Media will be detrimental to a case EVERY time. Both Peterson, and his Attorneys should have played it Low-Key, but chose the other road, and this road helped to contribute to a Guilty verdict for Peterson. Maybe not a full deciding factor, but highly detrimental, none the less.