New Motion Alleges Drew Peterson’s Lawyer Misrepresented Experience, Threatened Peterson, and Turned Trial Into “Carnival”

CT  CT-MET-DREW-PETERSON-CASE_CTMAIN 0719 SRJoel Brodsky, former counsel for Drew Peterson, has had a tough year. First, he loses the case and then the client. Second, lawyers in a completely separate case cite his alleged grandstanding as harming not just Peterson’s chances for acquittal but all criminal defendants. Now, Peterson himself (through his new counsel) is claiming that Brodsky lied to him about his experience and used him as a virtual prop to try to become a celebrity lawyer.

Post-trial motions based on ineffective counsel are always harsh by necessity. Many criminal defense lawyers shrug it off as simply a former client trying every angle for a new trial. However, Peterson, 58, goes after Brodsky with allegations that, if true, would constitute serious misconduct under Illinois bar rules.

The motion claims that “Attorney Brodsky expected that Drew Peterson would be his ticket to the legal elite.” It states that the appetite for the publicity outstripped his experience, declaring “[Brodsky] was poorly equipped to try a case of this magnitude, resulting in hornbook errors and a smorgasbord of ethical violations. Individually and cumulatively Brodsky singlehandedly deprived Drew of his right to effective assistance of and conflict-free counsel.”

If further alleges that Brodsky threatened to release damaging details about Peterson if he fired him. The memorandum quotes Brodsky as allegedly stating in a November 24th letter that “… this is of course the last thing you or I would want, but this could happen as an unintended consequence of unfounded ineffective assistance accusation, which is not fully thought through.” It further states that Brodsky “misrepresented his qualifications” by claiming to have handled other homicide cases.

The motion says that Brodsky turned the case into a “carnival.” This includes Brodsky’s pitching of a “Win A Date With Drew” contest with a radio station. Other attorneys condemned Brodsky’s handling of the case at the time.

In addition to the alleged threats and representation, the motion says that Brodsky cashed in on the media appearances by charging media outlets for “hotel stays, meals, and spa treatments for he and his wife.”

Those are all extremely serious ethical allegations and would likely attract the scrutiny of the bar.

Brodsky came out with both guns glazing in response, calling Peterson “desperate” and adding “[h]e’ll say anything and he has an unethical lawyer … who will let him do that.” He also accused them of filing clearly false factual statements.

None of this is likely to result in a new trial under the very high standard applicable to such motions. Moreover, if Peterson was a victim of such methods, he was also a willing participant. The question is whether the bar will take up the issue sua sponte or wait for a formal complaint to be filed by one of the lawyers in the case. This goes beyond the usual ineffective claims in such motions due to the claim of misrepresentation and threats.

Source: Chicago Tribune and ABA Journal

13 thoughts on “New Motion Alleges Drew Peterson’s Lawyer Misrepresented Experience, Threatened Peterson, and Turned Trial Into “Carnival””

  1. Let’s get the appeal going. There’s been enough procrastination already. We all know that there was no real evidence against Drew. The police and the Will county medical examiner contradicted themselves and therefore lost all credibility, and the rest of the case was built around a lot of hearsay from a lot of people who were of questionable integrity. We need a new trial, a new judge, and a new jury – now! Let’s get the show on the road and get some real justice done. Free Drew! Free Drew! Free Drew!!

  2. I LOVE it! EVERYONE knew what an idiot brodsky was when this was going on but drew seemed to be loving the spotlight just as much as brodsky……drew got HIS and now its time for his crooked sideshow lawyer brodsky to get HIS… it love it LOVE IT!!!!

  3. mespo727272 1, December 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Celebrities are showmen. Showmen are always playing to an audience. I don’t much like celebrities.
    Juries are an audience.

  4. A) Brodsky, is a Lawyer… Nuf Said !

    B) Drew Peterson is a Cop, And he does what Cops are Proficient at…. Lying, Cheating, did I mention Lying?

    * Everyone Knows the Truth!

    By the way… I have Cops in the Family, Years Ago most Cops were Good Guys,They did in fact Help You.

    Nowadays…..Well you Know!

  5. nick spinelli 1, December 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Two peas in a pod. Plus, this is Illinois..there are no rules except “don’t get caught on tape.”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — –
    Anonymously Yours 1, December 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Oh come on… The cone heads are in abundance from Chicago today…
    Jersey is next:

    In jersey anythings legal as long as you don’t get caught” – Tweeter And The Monkey Man

  6. It seems that media grandstanding is how cases are carried out today. All sides run PR campaigns with selective leaks, public statements full of BS and pointless words of support.

    Given the media circus provided in place of actual news I expect it won’t get better soon

  7. Mike,

    I have no issue with that expansion of my statement.

    Media grandstanding is bad whether it comes from the defense, the prosecution or by-standers like family members.

  8. Two peas in a pod. Plus, this is Illinois..there are no rules except “don’t get caught on tape.”

  9. “Media grandstanding in the legal profession often undermines the legitimacy of the bar and the bench and can hinder the pursuit of justice.”


    Quite true but many times it works and it has become common practice from the prosecutor’s side as well. Turn your OJ example around and you see Marcia Clark, James Darden, the LA/DA, and the LAPD media grandstanding on a large scale. I remember well the numerous press leaks regarding the case that came from the police and the DA’s office as they led up to trial. This has become the standard for the prosecution on all high profile cases and it necessitates the defense using similar tactics. I hate it, but it has become endemic in our legal system, bolstered by a sensationalist press. “Win a Date with Drew” shows this guy was probably a clown and in it for the publicity. I did’t follow this case but I was aware of it due to all the pre-trial publicity, most of which was “leaked” by the prosecution.

  10. Although there may be something to the allegations, Peterson’s willing participation in the media sideshow certainly minimizes the complaint.

    Teapot, meet tempest. Tempest, meet teapot.

    That being said if Broadsky is found to be in substantive violation of the Illinois bar rules, he deserves to get figuratively slapped around for it. Media grandstanding in the legal profession often undermines the legitimacy of the bar and the bench and can hinder the pursuit of justice.

    OJ and “the Dream Team”! Looking your way.

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