After months of rumors and following a formal split from her law partner in August, attorney Reem Odeh filed a request today to be removed from the defense of Drew Peterson for the murder of his wife Kathleen Savio. She cited “irreconcilable differences with defense counsel Joel Brodsky” as the reason for her request.
In August, the offices of Brodsky & Odeh officially called it quits, with Joel Brodsky saying that the two attorneys had “grown in different directions”. But at that time Odeh stated that she would “continue to be a part of the defense team.”
In the weeks prior to the split, rumors were circulating about Joel Brodsky renewing the lease for their offices in his name only, changing the office phone numbers, changing the locks, and hints of far worse behavior.
In early August, Brodsky’s wife, Elizabeth Brodsky, ran an advertisement via Facebook for, “two offices with amazing view of the lake and millinium park for reasonable rent. The office will be remodeled completely at the end of September.”
On Saturday Ms. Odeh commented on her Facebook wall, “It’s been stressful. I was able to experience first hand how evil people could be towards one another and my patience and temper was really put through a big test.”
Odeh also punned in an update that she was taking care of the “haggage” that had invaded her office, while preparing to move forward with her career “working with real professionals with honesty and integrity”.
As early as January 2008 Odeh had spoken up about disagreeing with the way Brodsky was handling their high-profile client, saying, “I don’t think it’s appropriate. I think it is in the client’s best interest to keep it quiet and focus on the case. But he just says the case is going to make us famous and we’re all going to get book deals.” Joel Brodsky later claimed that she was misquoted, but Ms. Odeh never did retract the statement.
Odeh’s withdrawal follows in the footsteps of attorneys Andrew Abood and George Lenard, who withdrew from the Peterson case last April citing “irreconcilable differences” with co-counsel Joel Brodsky.
UPDATE 9/29: Andrew Abood contacted us with a statement about Reem Odeh:
Just a comment about Reem Odeh who seems to be taking some criticism. She is a good, honest and decent person. She is great mother. At a young age she has a unique quality about her — she is a rainmaker. She is able to generate a lot of business because clients have confidence in her and her abilities. A lot of law firms find lawyers that can sit in an office and punch out the billable hours, but finding a lawyer like Reem that can actually generate clients is a rare quality and I wish her all the best in her future endeavors. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to practice law with her and I appreciate the comments that she made about me to Joe Hosey.
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