Lawyers tangle at Peterson hearing

Feb. 19, 2013 at 5:52 PM

JOLIET, Ill., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Ex-policeman Drew Peterson's request for a new trial in the death of his third wife began Tuesday in Joliet, Ill., with a claim his lawyer botched his case.

Peterson is arguing he deserves a new trial because his former lawyer, Joel Brodsky, mishandled his defense against charges he drowned Kathleen Savio in 2004, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Attorneys will also argue over dismissal of a wrongful death suit filed by Savio's family, but in Tuesday's hearing, Peterson's new legal team underscored their claim of Brodsky's mishandling of the case by putting Reem Odeh, a former law partner of Brodsky's on the stand.

Odeh said Brodsky talked with her, on "many occasions." about potential money their firm could make with Peterson as a client, and testified Brodsky physically attacked her to stop her from taking a copy of an agreement with a publicist, after the law firm split up.

Brodsky denied each of her accusations.

Law professor Clifford Scott-Rudnick was then called to the stand, who said Brodsky violated ethical standards by signing a contact with a publicist and, in essence, becoming Peterson's business partner, an action Scott-Rudnick called "over the line."

Prosecutors contend Peterson received a fair trial and say alleged violations of professional responsibility by Brodsky do not indicate Peterson had ineffective counsel, the newspaper said.

If Judge Edward Burmila denies Peterson's motion for a new trial, a sentencing hearing could begin. Peterson faces up to 60 years in prison.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Study of antibodies in HIV patient may help lead to vaccine
Pepsi to launch own smartphone
History Channel special reveals Alcatraz escapees may have survived
Multiple attacks escalate Jerusalem violence; gun restrictions could ease
Genetic changes could make pig organs usable for human transplant