Drew Peterson's Bid For New Trial Says Lying Joel Brodsky Blew Case
The lawyers still representing wife-killer Drew Peterson say former defense counsel Joel Brodsky "single-handedly deprived Drew of his right to effective assistance."
A devastating 32-page court filing not only blames defense attorney Joel Brodsky for single-handedly blowing Drew Peterson's murder trial, but paints the lawyer as a delusional, petty, fame-hungry liar.
"Attorney Brodsky expected that Drew Peterson would be his ticket to the legal elite," says the memorandum filed late Thursday. "Regrettably, he was poorly equipped to try a case of this magnitude, resulting in hornbook errors and a smorgasbord of ethical violations."
The memorandum says "Brodsky single-handedly deprived Drew of his right to effective assistance" and claims Brodsky "lied to Peterson, misrepresenting his qualifications, going so far as to tell Peterson that he, Brodsky had successfully tried murder cases and other serious felonies."
Brodsky's motivation for lying was to "elevate his own profile," says the filing, which was penned by defense attorney Steve Greenberg.
"Brodsky hired a publicity agent for the two of them," the filing says. "He 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 infamous 'Win a Date With Drew' and a Bunny Ranch Reality Show. In the process Brodsky accumulated large bills for hotel stays, meals, and spa treatments for he and his wife, all paid for by the respective media outlets."
Greenberg does not identify any of the media outlets who supposedly paid the way for Brodsky and his wife. But his filing does take aim at Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michelle "Michael" Sneed, alleging that she had been "repeatedly endowed" by Brodsky.
Brodsky "would construct the story, write the letter or provide the leak" for Sneed, Greenberg's filing said. "In doing so, he routinely breached attorney-client privilege."
Brodsky and Sneed both failed to return calls for comment regarding Greenberg's memorandum.
Brodsky's supposed obsession on staying in the spotlight made Peterson's defense of secondary interest, according to the filing.
"Once trial began Brodsky insisted on obtaining as much media hysteria for himself as possible," Greenberg's memorandum says. "Like a petulant child, he could not mask his discontent when others on the defense team received attention, and he had not. Throughout the trial Brodsky's tactics were focused on his own self-glorification, rather than legal acumen of the best interests of his client."
Greenberg and Brodsky have publicly feuded since Peterson was convicted in September of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. The squabble came to an end when Brodsky left Peterson's defense team to be replaced by attorneys David Peilet and John Heiderscheidt.
At the time, a tearful Brodsky claimed he was voluntarily quitting Peterson's defense team while also insisting he had not been crying. Greenberg's filing says Brodsky was "discharged."
While a significant portion of the memorandum is devoted to Brodsky's supposed missteps prior to Peterson's murder trial, it goes on to claim that Brodsky's decision to call Savio's divorce attorney, Harry Smith, to the witness stand was tantamount to "torpedoing" the case.
"Nobody who watched or participated in the trial, except Brodsky, thought that the idea of calling Smith was anything less than delusional," the filing says.
The memorandum accuses a "stumbling," "dithering" Brodsky of hammering home to the jury that Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, allegedly asked Smith if she "could get more money out of Drew if we tell the police how (Drew Peterson) killed Kathy."
Stacy Peterson mysteriously vanished, never to be seen again, soon after this supposed conversation.
The filing also says prosecutors took full advantage of the Smith situation.
Brodsky's "direct (examination) was the iceberg," the memorandum says, "the cross (examination) the rushing water, and the result was the Captain had sunk the ship."
Following the trial, jurors said Smith's testified clinched the guilty verdict they returned after a day and a half of deliberation.
Arguments over Brodsky's alleged ineffective counsel have been set for Jan. 10. According to the memorandum, Drew Peterson faces threats from Brodsky now that the lawyer is off the case.
"Brodsky repeatedly threatened to reveal privileged information if Peterson were to discharge him or otherwise reduce his role. Those threats have continued notwithstanding the fact that Brodsky has now been discharged," the filing says.
The memorandum even includes what it puts forth to be an excerpt from a Nov. 24 letter Brodsky sent to the jailed Peterson.
The letter "threatens to reveal confidential information," the memorandum says, and claims Brodsky told Peterson "this is of course the last thing you or I would want, but this could happen as an unintended consequence of (an) unfounded ineffective assistance accusation, which is not fully thought through."