Drew Peterson trial set to begin July 23rd

Proceedings got off to a late start this morning in Joliet, with Drew Peterson displaying a change in demeanor from his last court appearance. As pre-trial motions were argued, Peterson sat calmly and refrained from openly joking with the court or reporters.

Before the noon break, Judge Edward Burmila decided that the State would not be allowed to suggest that a witness is more credible based on their profession. In other words, although Pastor Neil Schori will be allowed to testify as to what missing fourth wife Stacy Peterson told him, and he can be identified as a pastor, the State can’t ask the jury to weigh his testimony more strongly simply because of his role as clergy.

The prosecution also argued that defense request to bar mention of Stacy’s disappearance from trial is “premature”.

During the lunch break, attorney Joel Brodsky phoned In Session and told Vinnie Politan that Judge Burmila has set the trial date with jury selection beginning July 23rd and opening arguments starting July 31. He also stated that he does not expect Peterson to take the stand. He also laid out how the defense team is splitting up responsibilities for the trial:

Darryl Goldberg and Ralph E. Meczyk: Forensics
Joel Brodsky: Opening statements and witnesses questioned during pre-trial hearing (Andrew Abood questioned most of them originally but he has since left the team)
Joe Lopez: Law enforcement witnesses and closing statement
Steve Greenberg: Legal objections and motions

This afternoon the judge ruled that the prosecution will not be allowed to mention that Stacy Peterson is dead, is presumed dead or was killed by Drew Peterson. However, prosecutors may ask a witness a question in such a way that it could come out that Stacy Peterson is missing. For instance, Neil Schori might be asked why he didn’t talk to police immediately after Stacy told him that Drew had killed Kathleen, and he might reply that he was motivated to say something after Stacy suddenly disappeared.

Joe Hosey tweeted that it looked as if Harry Smith’s conversations with Stacy Peterson would be barred from evidence, and that the judge was as yet undecided about his conversations with Kathleen Savio.

Looks like the defense filed a few more motions today and another hearing is set for June 6th.

Please check out the comments thread for updates.

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70 thoughts on “Drew Peterson trial set to begin July 23rd

  1. …Burmila agreed with the team of five defense attorneys assembled in court, saying prosecutors cannot argue Schori is more credible because he is a minister. But Burmila also noted the “peculiarity” in the case that will require jurors to determine not only if Schori is telling the truth, but if Stacy Peterson was being honest with Schori in the first place.

    http://www.suntimes.com/12529585-417/judge-expected-to-set-trial-date-for-drew-peterson-this-afternoon.html

    Isn’t that the jurors’ job – to determine whether or not a witness is telling the truth? I don’t really see how it’s any more or less ‘peculiar’ in this case.

  2. Brodsky just phoned into ,in session court tv and said, jury selection will start july 23, and he’s hoping first witness will be called july 31st.

    Will he be right or just another one of his guesses?

  3. Drew Peterson was sitting, shackled, in the jury section. His attorney, Steve Greenberg, asked him how he was doing, or how he was, something to that effect. Peterson answered “I’m in jail.”

  4. When Drew Peterson goes on trial on charges he killed his third wife, prosecutors will not be allowed to mention any presumption that his fourth wife might be dead too.

    Will County Judge Edward Burmila Thursday afternoon said prosecutors cannot mention that Stacy Peterson is dead, presumed dead or was killed by Drew Peterson.

    Peterson, 58, has not been charged with any crime related to Stacy Peterson, who disappeared in 2007. But it was her disappearance that led authorities to revisit the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in a dry bathtub in 2004.

    Her body was exhumed when Stacy Peterson disappeared, her death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy, and Peterson was charged with her murder in 2009.

    Burmila, though, did leave open a window for witnesses to bring up Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, allowing prosecutors to ask witnesses why they waited to come forward with information about Savio’s death. They are expected to respond it was Stacy Peterson’s disappearance that led them to do so.

    http://southtownstar.suntimes.com/news/12529585-418/judge-expected-to-set-trial-date-for-drew-peterson-this-afternoon.html#.T7VQCXf5hSk.twitter

  5. Joseph Hosey ‏@ShorewdILPatch

    #drewpeterson jury selection 7/23 arguments 7/30

    Looks like attorney harry smith can’t relate convo with stacy peterson.

    Testimony from regarding talks with Kathleen Savio still undecided

  6. That’s pretty disappointing if Harry Smith can’t testify about conversation with Stacy. I guess atty/client privilege begins at consultation and she’s not around to waive it, and can’t be proven dead at this point?

    I really hope his talks with Kathleen are admitted.

  7. …The judge heard a number of other defense motions, including one seeking to deal with what the defense called “innuendo.”

    Greenberg argued prosecutors are trying to introduce a lot of ambiguous evidence, when he said they have no evidence placing Peterson at Savio’s home; nothing suggesting there was a break-in, or that she let him in; and no evidence that he killed her.

    “They’re trying to prove he’s guilty by saying he was getting divorced, so he did it,” Greenberg said. He said that argument might be perfectly logical, but it’s not supported by the evidence.

    “What about all this crap?” he said.

    The judge denied that motion, saying the defense was asking for a trial ahead of the actual murder trial, and said the defense can ask him for a directed verdict of acquittal after the prosecution puts on its case….

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/05/17/drew-peterson-back-in-court-as-trial-looms/

  8. Prosecutor Kathy Patton said Thursday it would be ridiculous not to tell the jury in the upcoming murder trial why Stacy is not here to testify herself, if the jury is going to hear about alleged statements she made to others.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The judge heard a number of other defense motions, including one seeking to deal with what the defense called “innuendo.”

    Greenberg argued prosecutors are trying to introduce a lot of ambiguous evidence, when he said they have no evidence placing Peterson at Savio’s home; nothing suggesting there was a break-in, or that she let him in; and no evidence that he killed her.

    “They’re trying to prove he’s guilty by saying he was getting divorced, so he did it,” Greenberg said. He said that argument might be perfectly logical, but it’s not supported by the evidence.

    “What about all this crap?” he said.

    The judge denied that motion, saying the defense was asking for a trial ahead of the actual murder trial, and said the defense can ask him for a directed verdict of acquittal after the prosecution puts on its case.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/05/17/drew-peterson-back-in-court-as-trial-looms/

    Geez, has Greenberg never heard of circumstantial evidence? Let the jurors decide what to make of the evidence.

  9. EVENTS:

    05/17/2012 Impounded Document- Motion In Limine with Supporting Documents
    05/17/2012 Motion to Dismiss Petit Venire
    05/17/2012 Motion and Memorandum to Prohibit the State From Proceeding Under a
    05/17/2012 Motion to Require the State to Identify Exactly What Hearsay They Wish
    05/17/2012 Motion to Compel Production of a List of Witnesses to be Called at
    05/17/2012 Supporting Document(s)/Exhibit(s)
    05/17/2012 CF – Continuance by Defendant
    05/17/2012 Matter set for

  10. Judge Shuts Lawyer’s Loose Lips in Drew Peterson Murder Trial

    A Wheaton lawyer willing to tell how Drew Peterson’s missing wife Stacy made a damning statement about her husband won’t get to talk about it at the former Bolingbrook cop’s murder trial.
    By Joseph Hosey

    Wheaton attorney Harry Smith testified more than two years ago that just before she vanished, Stacy Peterson paid him a visit about divorcing her husband, Drew Peterson, and asked, ”Could we get more money if we threatened to tell the police how he killed Kathy?”

    “Kathy” was Drew Peterson’s previous wife, Kathleen Savio, and Drew Peterson has been in jail since May 2009 on charges he killed her.

    But Will County Judge Edward Burmila ruled Thursday that Smith cannot tell a jury about his supposed conversation with Stacy Peterson. And lawyers representing Drew Peterson in the murder case have filed a complaint with the state seeking to have Smith punished for relating the conversation at all.

    “He should be ashamed of himself,” said Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg, who accused Smith of violating attorney-client privilege.

    “The most basic of ethical duties — he just drove a truck through it,” Greenberg said of Smith. “Damn everything.”

    Trial date set
    Besides barring Smith from testifying about what Stacy Peterson supposedly told him, Judge Burmila set a July 23 date for jury selection in the Drew Peterson murder case and scheduled the trial itself to begin the following week.

    Asked by the judge if he was comfortable with that timetable, a shackled, bearded Peterson said, “I’ve been in solitary confinement for three years … ” before Greenberg grabbed his shoulder, cutting him off and telling him to keep quiet.

    Divorce, death and disappearance
    Stacy Peterson was not the only Drew Peterson wife to consult Smith about getting a divorce from the 58-year-old disgraced former Bolingbrook cop.

    Savio actually hired Smith and he guided her through a divorce that was about to be finalized when she was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004.

    Despite the animosity between Savio and Drew Peterson, and the very likely possibility that she was on the verge of claiming the bulk of their marital assets, the state police immediately declared Savio’s death an accident and closed the book on her case.

    The state police were forced to reopen that book when Stacy Peterson vanished in October 2007. State investigators declared that they had changed their minds and decided Savio was the victim of a homicide, and eventually charged Drew Peterson with murder.

    The state police also announced that the missing Stacy Peterson was the victim of a “potential homicide” and named Drew Peterson the sole suspect in their investigation. He has yet to be charged with harming her.

    Savio statements
    While Smith is forbidden to discuss his visit from Stacy — and may be disciplined for testifying about it during a pretrial hearing in February 2010 — it has yet to be determined if he can share conversations he said he had with Savio.

    Smith testified at the pretrial hearing that “throughout the whole (divorce) case she told me that, if I died, you have to go to the authorities and tell them Drew did it.”

    Smith said he did go to the police after Savio died but they did not bother talking to him.

    During the 2010 pretrial hearing, Smith also testified that Savio told him “Drew had broken into her house. That he was all dressed in black, that he had threatened her with a knife, that he threatened to kill her and make it look like an accident unless she got this divorce going.”

    Smith also represented Savio when she was charged with battering Drew Peterson while their divorce was pending. Smith won acquittals for Savio and the cases have since been expunged from her record. Drew Peterson accused Smith and Savio of coercing his son Kris, at the time age 8, to lie on the stand.

    Smith could not be immediately reached for comment following Thursday’s hearing.

    Decision pending
    Burmila will decide on June 6 whether to allow Smith to testify about the Savio statements.

    Burmila also entertained a laundry list of motions from the defense during the Thursday hearing. His decisions are not expected to impact trial strategy or the case, but Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky said the defense team has even more pretrial motions in store.

    Even though the Savio statements to Smith remain up in the air, Greenberg argued passionately that they should be kept out, and said prosecutors know it.

    “The state should have said, ‘We can’t use this,’” Greenberg said. “Instead, they embraced it. They went running into the grand jury with it.”

    “If the judge finds he violated his privilege, he’s got big problems,” Brodsky said after the hearing. Defense co-counsel Joseph “Shark” Lopez said of Smith, “He wanted his 15 minutes of fame.”

    http://shorewood-il.patch.com/articles/judge-shuts-lawyer-s-loose-lips-in-drew-peterson-murder-trial

  11. I am totally confused about what the defense attorneys are doing by filing a formal complaint against Harry Smith with the Illinois Attorney & Discipllinary Commission.

    Kathleen is not their client, so why are they the ones that are filing an attorney-client privilege violation complaint on her behalf? Why not her children, or her sisters, brother, etc.? Or why not any other attorney but them, for that matter? I don’t understand what gives them the authority to file this complaint. If it’s not on behalf of Kathleen, then on who’s behalf are they filing it? Even if Harry Smith did violate the privilege, again, why are they able to report him? Why didn’t Judge White file a formal complaint against him with ARDC if he thought he was in violation of his oath, or was acting unethically?

    Why can’t just anyone file a complaint against any lawyer that appears to be acting unethically or is violating some Code of Ethics? It just seems to me it would need to be the person that is harmed by the attorney that is representing them that should have this option/responsibility.

    Lawyers. Pffft. They’ll even chew off another lawyer’s leg if it suits them or furthers their cause.

  12. Rescueapet: Anyone can file a complaint against a lawyer to the appropriate disciplinary committee. The system is set up so that you don’t have to be directly or even indirectly affected by an attorney’s actions before you can report him or her for a possible violation. Part of the reasoning for this is to encourage people (particularly other lawyers) to report violations they made witness. Believe it or not, but the way the disciplinary committees are set up is actually a good thing:)

  13. As for the complaint with the ARDC, my guess is that’s a lot of hot air. Greenberg has to bluster and puff himself out and appear outraged about Smith’s coming forward because he knows exactly how compelling it would be for a jury to hear what Stacy and Kathleen told Harry Smith.

    Greenberg is pretending to be morally outraged in order to keep a very credible witness from testifying to some extremely damaging facts of this case.

    It’s his job, I get it. But that sneer and the snotty tone to his voice are pretty off-putting.

    BTW, I checked the the ARDC and Smith has no complaints filed against him as of 5/16/12, However, Joel Brodsky still has his 4-month suspension on record.

  14. Kris – Thanks for your input.

    I have to kind of chuckle about anyone being able to file a complaint against an attorney if they are of the belief that attorney is in violation of his ethical or professional responsibilities.

    I have seen enough unprofessional, strange and mind boggling actions by an attorney involved in this case that many have questioned tenfold.

    In fact, this blog has a very detailed account of the lawyer’s personal liquor/food establishment promotion via his client on radio stations.
    http://petersonstory.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/drew-and-joels-payola-radio-shakedown/.

    A 23 year old woman, Peterson’s last love interest prior to his arrest, claims that Drew Peterson’s lawyer, who she named as Joel Brodsky, concocted her engagement with Peterson as a stunt to gain publicity. http://petersonstory.wordpress.com/2009/02/10/its-official-christina-raines-stupidest-woman-alive/. Last I heard, she had retained Attorney Gloria Alred to represent her in this mess.

    IMO, I find it bizarre that a defense attorney can use his client to garner publicity for whatever personal reasons he wishes.

    Again, my question remains, if Attorney Harry Smith was in violation of anything that was unprofessional or unethical, why didn’t any one of the judge’s involved in this case report him? I know I heard of that being done in the Casey Anthony case by Judge Perry. I believe he personally reported defense attorney Jose Baez (Florida).

    I agree with Facs about the way Greenberg acted like a drama queen in getting his point across in the public about his contempt for Attorney Harry Smith. Attorney Smith has some powerful information to share. But I think that the Peterson defense team can pull up their big boy pants and act like the professionals they supposedly are.

  15. Brodsky must have had too much time on his hands for a while. At one point, Kristine McPherson, a known love struck groupie of Peterson’s, used to text and/or send him various comments from blogs and boards she read to inflame him. A supposedly high-profile, Chicago attorney, using a headcase to troll boards on his behalf, and then allow her to post crazy stuff like this:

    Rescue will soon be hearing a knock knock on her door. Guess who? Its the process server with a summons. Better get a good lawyer. Wow are they expensive. Soon she will be consulting a bankruptcy lawyer. Too bad libel judgments aren’t discharable. Loosing her home and business. Awh that’s too bad.

    Joel A. BrodskySent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

  16. Attorney Greenberg, who appears to be the most vocal and involved attorney now in the Peterson defense, had this to say PRIOR to becoming a team member:

    …Defense attorney Steve Greenberg, who has analyzed the Peterson saga for national news shows, said he sees the case as a tale of two autopsies.

    “The second Savio autopsy is just a different interpretation of the injuries,” he said. “The same injuries were documented in the first one, but what apparently happened is it was treated differently because Drew Peterson was a police officer. It’s just a fact that authorities at the time took his story and didn’t really look into it.”

    Greenberg said he doesn’t expect Glasgow will undercut his own case by running from the first autopsy, however.

    “He’ll say, ‘That was just that pathologist’s opinion at the time, but it’s really up to you to decide,’” he said. Glasgow will then point to the injuries noted in both autopsies and ask the jury to use common sense.

    “He’ll ask, ‘Do you think that someone who falls in a bathtub would have 17 bruises on their body?’”

    …”I don’t think this case got any more publicity in Will County than it did anywhere else in the Chicago area, or the state,” Greenberg said, “and you also have to remember that it’s not where you’re leaving, but where will you go.”…

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-05-10/news/0905080570_1_james-glasgow-hearsay-kathleen-savio

  17. CNN – AMERICAN MORNING – Aired May 8, 2009 – 07:00 ET

    Excerpt

    KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And hello again. Thanks so much for being with us. It’s 7:00 on the nose right here in New York. I’m Kiran Chetry, along with Carol Costello in for John Roberts.

    Well, new developments this morning. Former Chicago area police Sergeant Drew Peterson now accused of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her body was exhumed after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished.

    Stacy’s body has never been found and police are hoping that this trial could lead to answers surrounding Stacy’s disappearance and possible death as well.

    Joining us now from Chicago is criminal defense attorney Steve Greenberg.

    Steve, thanks for being with us this morning.

    STEVE GREENBERG, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Good morning.

    CHETRY: So right now we have Will County state’s attorney, James Glasgow, saying that Peterson drowned his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and that the state’s evidence is strong. They, as we said, exhumed the body, did another autopsy, and determined that she did die from drowning and that they called it a homicide even though it was at first ruled accidental. Do you think there is a strong physical case against Drew Peterson in Kathleen Savio’s death?

    GREENBERG: First of all, I don’t expect any prosecutor when they bring a murder prosecution to say anything other than we have a strong case. Let’s look at the case that they’ve got though, and sort of try and assess it.

    They’ve got two separate opinions from their own medical examiners, one saying it’s an accident, one saying it’s a homicide. Homicide means death at the hands of another.

    Those two opinions are going to conflict. It will be treated by a jury no different as if there was a defense expert and a prosecution expert…

    CHETRY: Right.

    GREENBERG: … who gave differing opinions. So the first thing the jury has to decide is which of those two people they’re going to want to believe. What they’ve also supposedly have in this case, though, is statements made by Stacy Peterson that Drew admitted committing this crime.

    CHETRY: Right, and let me get to that real quick just to give people a background on that.

    GREENBERG: All right.

    CHETRY: Apparently in the reporting – the “Chicago Sun-Times” has done a lot of reporting on this. But they’re citing apparently a meeting with her pastor where she told her pastor that her husband told her he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio. And he, of course, said that she did not want him to go to the police about it and she didn’t go to the police about it. How is that going to factor in given that Stacy Peterson is missing?

    GREENBERG: Right. And they’ve got his just absurd – you know, we all want our clients to keep their mouths shut obviously in this case. His attorney hasn’t advised him of that. His absurd explanation that she had a crush on the pastor and she was sexing herself up when she was telling him these stories.

    Here’s how it’s going to play in. There’s something called forfeiture by wrongdoing. If they can show that he killed Stacy Peterson or had a hand in her disappearance in order to keep her from telling that story, then a jury will hear that she made that statement if a judge believed that this statement is reliable. And it was made to a priest.

    CHETRY: Right.

    GREENBERG: And a priest is testifying about it. So the judge is probably going to find that it’s reliable. And the jury is going to hear that he had a hand in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. They’re going to be told, well, you’re not supposed to consider whether he’s guilty of that murder.

    CHETRY: Right.

    GREENBERG: But they’re going to have to decide if he was involved in her disappearance. So you’ve got this strange…

    CHETRY: OK. I want to get to one other thing though real quick – I just want to get one other thing…

    GREENBERG: Sure.

    CHETRY: … because then apparently according to “Chicago Sun- Times” their two long-time friends of Drew Peterson who claimed they cooperated with the police wearing wiretaps and recording for seven months intimate conversations with Drew Peterson. Now, if they do have these recorded conversations as well, how significant could his own words on tape be?

    GREENBERG: Well, I think Drew Peterson, if he is guilty of these offenses is one of the smartest and most cunning criminals we’ve ever seen. And I sincerely doubt if he admitted to these friends after he was – there was this firestorm, he admitted to anybody doing anything wrong. My guess is there’s nothing on those tapes. They probably just want their free trip to New York to talk on the shows.

    CHETRY: All right. And then, of course, the last thing is his stepbrother Tom Morphy, who apparently is going to be testifying or made some sort of deal with prosecutors. This is also the reporting from the “Sun-Times” that he says he helped move a barrel that he described as feeling warm and weighing about 120 pounds.

    GREENBERG: Right.

    CHETRY: So if he goes there and gets that type of evidence regarding Stacy’s disappearance, is that also going to factor in to Kathleen Savio’s case?

    GREENBERG: Well, that’s part of the testimony that will be heard by a judge beforehand when he determines whether Drew Peterson had a hand in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and whether her statement should be used in the murder prosecution for Kathleen Savio. It’s got a lot of interesting twists and turns. His attorneys definitely have their work cut out for them at this point.

    CHETRY: Certainly sounds like it. Steve Greenburg, Chicago criminal defense attorney, good to talk to you this morning. Thanks.

    GREENBERG: Thank you.

    No, thank YOU, Mr. Greenberg

    http://petersonstory.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/drew-peterson-adds-two-more-new-attorneys-to-his-defense-team/

  18. No matter what one thinks…it boils down to MOTIVE…and believe me in both cases, Kathleen and Stacy, Drew had his best interests at heart…

  19. Hi Estee. What I think matters is that all of the babble we’ve heard from the defense all these years doesn’t matter!

    Yes, he had his best interests at heart, and he’s not a likeable public character, thanks to his own doing. What should matter to him is that his defense team is good at picking a fair and impartial jury!

  20. Like I said, I understand why Greenberg is pretending to be appalled at a perceived breech of attorney ethics, but a very cursory look at the imagined misdeed reveals the truth of the matter.

    Harry Smith went to the ISP twice. First when a client who expressed fear for her life suffered a strange and fatal accident, and again when a woman came to him stating that she had knowledge about that other woman’s murder…and quickly disappeared.

    The fact that he then was asked to testify at a grand jury, a pre-trial hearing and now at a murder trial is just a testament to the value of what he has to offer as a witness.

    If Drew’s defense wants to paint that in a “sinister” light, it’s their prerogative to do so, but when Smith’s actions are compared to those of Joel Brodsky, who trotted out his client to the media in exchange for appearance fees, created a phony engagement and then offered a video package with Drew and his fiance to the networks (for a hefty price), tried to arrange boxing matches between Peterson and Geraldo Rivera, used his client’s media appearances to market his own failing sports bar, and then finally tried to arrange a job for his “Mr. Mom” client at a brothel in Reno, there’s only one attorney who comes off as a bit sleazy…and it ain’t Mr. Smith.

  21. And I’m sure no one reading here needs a reminder that three attorneys have left the defense team, all citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky as the reason.

    His former partner, Reem Odeh, stated when she left the partnership and defense that she was looking forward to working with “real professionals with honesty and integrity”, which one can only assume means that in her opinion Joel Brodsky had neither.

    Rescue brought up Kristine McPherson, who for a time was not only Drew Peterson’s champion but Joel Brodsky’s online toady. McPherson suffered occasional pangs of conscience about her role and shared them with us saying, “It appears that the truth is coming out in relation to myself and my actions over this case. I am an ethical & honest person, I do not like to be used for other people motives.”

    Yet again, someone close to Joel Brodsky attests that he isn’t exactly a model of integrity.

    We know that Joel Brodsky provided internal documents (a search warrant) to a blogger and private investigator named Paul Huebl. Huebl then got the name and address of a witness from the warrant and proceeded to publish both and to harass the man by phone. Brodsky also provided what he hoped would be incriminating photos of a different witness to another blogger who then published them.

    What does it take for someone to file a complaint with the ARDC against this boob?

  22. …Sue Doman, Savio’s sister, and husband Mitchell Doman also watched wearing buttons featuring Savio’s face. At Greenberg’s request, Burmila said those won’t be allowed in the trial….

    …still pending is a request from Peterson’s team to bar testimony from attorney Harry C. Smith, who they said violated attorney-client privilege when he testified at an evidentiary hearing about conversations he had with Savio and Stacy Peterson.

    Burmila found those conversations were covered by attorney-client privilege, but he said Savio might have waived that privilege when she purportedly told Smith, “If I die, you have to go to the authorities and tell them that Drew did it.”

    Attorneys will argue about that and other defense motions — Peterson’ lawyers said more could be coming — when they return to Burmila’s courtroom June 6.

    http://www.suntimes.com/12529585-418/drew-peterson-murder-trial-to-start-at-the-end-of-july.html

  23. William Curl’s murder trial is set to begin soon and the supporters of Toni Keller’s family are going to be wearing yellow t-shirts to show support. They’re going to be allowed to gather on the courthouse lawn as well. The judge in that trial says they will deal with “the summoning of the yellow” as the trial commences and talk with jurors when and if needed. Seems like a good approach.

  24. Looked up Joel Brodsky. Yup, still there:

    Disposition: Suspension for a specified period
    Effective Date of Disposition: January 31, 2004
    End Date of Disposition: April 30, 2004
    Definition of Disposition: Suspension for a specified period reflects a determination that the lawyer has engaged in misconduct and that the misconduct warrants an interruption of the lawyer’s authority to practice law during the suspension period, which is a fixed period of time identified in the Supreme Court’s order. The lawyer is not authorized to practice law during the period of the suspension.

  25. I know a few of the cops that work either with drew peterson or knows him and they all seem to think he wont do any time…but I am hoping and praying he is found guilty…..It wont be much confort for Stacy sister Cassie ( hope nickname is ok?) but at least in this life he will hang for Kathleen death and in the next life he will burn forever in hell for Stacy death….My heart goes out to all of the families even the peterson kids, losing two mothers in one life time is just wrong, but he wanted his money more then happiness for his kids. …..Any ways moving on Id like to say to the ower of this site its a great site and I surf it at least 3 times a week and have ya book mark on my desktop LOL Keep up the great work.

  26. Peterson has stated that he reads the bible these days. Maybe he could linger a little over these verses today:

    John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    James 5:16:Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

    Proverbs 28:13:Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

  27. If anyone wants to remind Peterson of those verses or urge him to confess in other words, here’s his address:

    Drew W. Peterson
    Will County Adult Detention Facility
    95 South Chicago Street
    Joliet, Illinois 60436

    Things to remember when mailing letters to an incarcerated person:

    All mail coming into the Will County Adult Detention Facility is opened and searched for contraband.
    Mailing contraband to an inmate is a crime.
    All mail must be received through the United States Postal Service; you may not drop off letters or envelopes at the reception desk.
    Envelopes may be no larger than 8.5 by 11 inches. Oversized greeting cards are not permitted.
    Do not affix any type of stickers or labels to the envelope. Do not tape or glue anything to the envelope or contents.
    Do not put any glitter, confetti, locks of hair, or any foreign substance in the envelope.
    Do not spray perfume or cologne on the envelope. Do not make lipstick impressions on the envelope or contents.
    Please do not include any laminated items, hard plastic cards, new envelopes, blank paper, or postage stamps.
    Do not send cash. You may include a money order made payable to: W.C.A.D.F. – ( Inmate’s Name ).
    You may send a photograph. However, photos may not show: Nudity, Guns, Gang Signs or Affiliation, Drugs, Criminal Acts, No Polaroid Photos

  28. I was reading up a little today on attorney-client privilege. I know that exceptions vary between jurisdictions but this seems to be a common one:

    The first exception is when the client discloses the information to another party other than the attorney and his or her staff. If the client does that then he or she just “waived” (lost) their privilege.

    Judge Burmila decided that Atty Smith violated his a-c privilege with Stacy Peterson when he testified about Drew killing Kathleen but she, in fact, told at least two other people the same information (Neil Schori and Scott Rossetto). Wouldn’t that mean that she waives the right to confidentiality in regards to those statements? Again:

    The attorney can not disclose confidential communications even after the client is deceased unless the client gives prior permission. Although, the client himself may accidentally lose the privilege if he gives out the information to a third party.

    http://voices.yahoo.com/the-exceptions-attorney-client-privilege-342047.html

  29. I understand that Judge Burmila might want to bar Atty Smith’s testimony because Stacy has not given him permission to disclose their discussion but I was under the impression that the pre-trial hearing regarding the hearsay testimony proved to Judge White to a certain degree of reliability, that Stacy is dead. Yes, the decision was sealed but it was also leaked and there is some reason why Drew Peterson was denied permission to wait out the appeals at home. What else could it be?

    Let’s say for argument’s sake, that Judge White believed Stacy to be dead. You might say that the attorney-client privilege continues even after death. True, but a family representative can then give permission to waive the privilege:

    The attorney may provide the file to police with the personal representative’s consent or if he believes that the client herself would wish to waive the privilege if she were alive.

    Why couldn’t atty Smith’s testimony be approached in that way? Let Cassandra Cales give permission to waive the confidentiality.

    I see two good arguments for an exception to attorney-client confidentiality here. I hope the State has argued both of these…

    http://tinyurl.com/6ql8rbj

  30. Honestly, I’m not even sure how the confidentiality is an issue with Atty Smith’s testimony. Everything I’m reading has to do with “information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the client” and none of what Harry Smith has to relate about his conversation compromises either woman. His testimony is all about the bad actions of Drew Peterson who was definitely NOT his client.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/il/narr/IL_NARR_1_06.HTM

  31. 1.6:220 Lawyer’s Duty to Safeguard Confidential Client Information

    IRPC 1.6 forbids, subject to the exceptions stated below, the use or revelation of confidences or secrets, without informed consent (consent “after disclosure”), and the prohibition is effective both “during or after termination of the professional relationship with the client.” It should be noted, however, that IRPC 1.9 (“Conflict of Interest: Former Client”) forbids a lawyer from using “information relating to the representation to the disadvantage of the former client” unless such use is permitted by IRPC�1.6 or “the information has become generally known.

    The Lifetime movie “Untouchable” depicted Stacy Peterson telling people that Drew Peterson had killed Kathleen Savio. The premiere of that movie had 5.8 million viewers. Exactly how many people need to hear about something before the information qualifies as “generally known”?

    I thought Judge Burmila was a big fan of the law who enjoys doing his own research rather than letting lawyers do it all. I wish he would delve into this a little more before making a final decision on Atty Smith’s testimony. In my opinion, the matter of attorney-client privilege has been twisted around and does not fit the context of this testimony.

    “I would guess that his hobby would be legal research,” said Steven Haney, a Joliet attorney with a busy criminal practice. “Most judges will rely on the lawyers to do the research … but that doesn’t happen with Judge Burmila.”

  32. I would think that Atty Smith coming forward in these cases would be acting on behalf of his client.

  33. Hi Charmed. I think that’s true for Kathleen Savio since she asked him to speak out if anything happened to her. AFAIK, that wasn’t the case with Stacy. According to Smith, when he talked to Stacy she was not afraid of Drew because she felt she had so much on him that he couldn’t hurt her and she never asked him to speak out if anything happened to her. But still, what about the exception that says an attorney can disclose if he thinks it’s what his client would have wished?

    That said, I’m just baffled that he can’t testify to something that is at this point common knowledge. I may be new to this stuff, but it looks as if confidentiality is only an issue if the information is a secret. Stacy told at least two other people that Drew killed Kathleen and it’s been common knowledge for years that she told people this. He isn’t breaking his client’s trust if he discloses something that is already out there.

    Disclosure of information that is not confidential
    Clearly, information that is not confidential does not fall under the duty of confidentiality. Disclosure of information that is already in the public domain does not breach the duty. Further, information that was not in the public knowledge at the time of the retainer agreement, is not subject to the duty if it subsequently enters the public domain. The purpose served by maintaining the confidence – the protection of the client – is arguably extinguished.

    Nonetheless, the lawyer still owes a duty of loyalty, and clients may feel betrayed if such information is disclosed, even if it becomes public knowledge. Though there are no legal ramifications for disclosure, discretion on part of the lawyer may be in the long term interests of maintaining the propriety of the legal profession.

  34. While it may be true that she didn’t ask him to speak out, she is missing. The information that she had and shared was more than enough reason for Drew to want he out of the picture. To me by not saying anything he would be allowing a criminal act, which (in Pennsylvania at least) nulifies ACP.

  35. From what I’ve been reading an attorney can speak out if they think that what they’ve heard in confidence amounts to the threat to the safety of a person, but damned if I can find anything that relates to speaking out after your client is murdered. You’d think that would be a given!

    For instance in Illinois, this is an exception:

    (c) A lawyer shall reveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes necessary to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.

    Every state seems to have exceptions for prevention of a crime.

  36. The main point of the confidentiality rule would seem to be to give the client some assurance that they can speak freely and even confess to criminal activity without their representation then turning and using it against them.

    I don’t see any of that being applicable to what Kathleen and Stacy told Harry Smith. Their incriminating statements were about Drew Peterson, not themselves.

    I guess if you want to nit-pick you could say that Stacy’s asking if she could get more money from Drew in a divorce settlement if she threatened to go to the police with what she knew about Kathleen’s death doesn’t paint her in a great light, but as far as I know it’s not illegal. Asking about something is not the same as engaging in illegal activity.

  37. Since Stacy is not involved in any wrong doing and the nature of her discussions would be protected until she said otherwise, doesn’t this supercede that since she is a missing person.

    Disclosure Adverse to Client
    [12] Other law may require that a lawyer disclose information about a client. Whether such a law supersedes Rule 1.6 is a question of law beyond the scope of these Rules. When disclosure of information relating to the representation appears to be required by other law, the lawyer must discuss the matter with the client to the extent required by Rule 1.4. If, however, the other law supersedes this Rule and requires disclosure, paragraph (b)(6) permits the lawyer to make such disclosures as are necessary to comply with the law.

  38. I guess I’d have to ask what law is requiring Atty Smith to disclose the information.

    AFAIK there’s no law in Illinois compelling him to come forward with what he and Stacy discussed – even though she is missing.

  39. To me, and I’m certainly nobody, the decision of no testimony from Attorney Smith’s re:counsel with Stacy, is a foreshadowing of Judge Burmila’s wont to side with the defense. You gave us quotes and opinions on this before, and I’m afraid I still harbor doubts about his being totally fair to the prosecution. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
    Also, Brodsky is a fine one to talk about someone wanting his “15 minutes in the sun”, isn’t he? Good Lord, that man’s had 3 YEARS’ worth!

  40. Drew Peterson’s lawyers are adding a little snark to some otherwise dry pre-trial motions.

    They filed a few last week as the former Bolingbrook police sergeant learned he’d go on trial at the end of July for the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. His attorneys argue in official court documents prosecutors can’t tie Peterson to the scene of the alleged crime.

    They said prosecutors “have theorized he either picked the lock (for which there is no evidence), knocked on door and gained voluntary entry (for which there is no evidence), used a key that he had somehow obtained (for which there is no evidence), or perhaps had Scotty from the Starship Enterprise beam him up (for which there is no evidence).”

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/12726326-418/even-the-motions-in-drew-peterson-murder-case-are-getting-snarky-now.html

  41. Or perhaps Drew asked one of Kathleen’s sons for the pass code to the garage door which is how they always accessed the house.

    And exactly what would the evidence be after he had gained entry by way of Kathleen opening the door for him? They don’t even bother trying to make sense, it seems.

    No evidence that Drew Peterson had a key to the house? What person would imagine he would have hung onto it for four years after murdering his wife?

    Is this situation really this funny to Peterson’s defense team? One woman dead, one missing. Four children with no mom and essentially no dad for the last three years. What a laugh riot.

  42. Yeah, beamed him up, alright. My gosh, is nothing serious with these boobs? This is about a man on trial for his life, and a woman now determined to have been murdered. What is wrong with them? I thought at least one of them would show some class. I was wrong.

  43. You know, Rescue, I’m torn. This is moronic enough to have been written by Brodsky, but the snide a-holeishness of it seems more Greenberg.

  44. Now that I think about it, is that going to be Brodsky’s opening statement? Because, if it is, the other guys better get on the stick and knock him down a few pegs. I doubt anyone is going to think mentioning Scotty from the Star Ship Enterprise beaming Drew up is something that should be coming from Drew’s lawyers. If it’s meant to be what the author of the motion thinks it is, meaning being funny, I shudder to think a sitting jury is waiting for the next punchline from the mouth of anyone on that defense team.

    Judge Burmila doesn’t want the victim’s family to wear buttons that support Kathleen. I hope Judge Burmila doesn’t want the defense lawyers making jokes at the expense of a dead mother of two. Someone act like they’re a credit to their profession. It certainly isn’t the defense team.

    I am hoping that the ST reporter, who decided to write about the defense and their “snarky” comments, is as appalled as most anyone else would be that reads it. If so, thank you Mr. Seidel!

  45. Yeah, Atty Greenberg has shot off a few snarky comments, but I am assuming it was written by Brodsky, since he’s the one that’s been spewing that the defense is coming out with a slew of motions pre-trial to knock out the hearsay statements. Besides, it is very common for him to kick into stuck-on-stupid mode when it comes to making totally unrelated, stupid comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand. I’ve seen him post snarky comments on his past favorite blog, on facebook, and even Geoff Pinkus’ facebook page, so it’s not something that is beyond him doing it. Greenberg makes snarky comments, but they’re more in line with being serious rather than this crap. If it was Greenberg, then he’s the putz and I apologize for blaming Brodsky as being the stupid idiot he sounds to be.

  46. I was thinking today about stuff that will never be heard at trial. If and when Drew Peterson is tried for killing Stacy, you know what will absolutely never be heard at trial? The fact that her mother also went missing and was never found.

    For years Joel Brodsky has trotted that out as if it has some sort of bearing on Drew’s guilt or innocence, but of course it has no relevance to what went down between Stacy and Drew and no judge would ever admit any testimony about that to trial.

    So what was the point of harping on that all these years?

    “I am a good lawyer!” LOL

  47. From Steve Greenberg’s FB page (who is taking credit, I guess, for the snarkyism):

    Steve Greenberg shared a link.

    guess they don’t like my writing

    (with a link to the story posted above)

  48. Why can’t they use one of those lie detector things on him? If he’s so confident in not being guilty why not give Peterson a run for
    his money..?

    I still hope and pray they can find Stacy. If there is that small chance she is still alive and well, just too afraid to come out, I give her my best wishes.

  49. Drew Peterson actually did take a polygraph test, but it was arranged by and in the office of his defense lawyer and he was only asked the questions that his lawyer had written specifically for the test.

    This was at the time that Drew’s PR people were looking for an author to write a pro-innocence book. They were working with Canadian author Derek Armstrong who required Drew to take a polygraph before he would agree to write the book. Armstrong later admitted that he was not allowed to submit certain questions. For instance, he couldn’t ask whether or not Drew had paid or attempted to pay someone to kill Kathleen.

    These are the four questions that were asked about Kathleen. Drew showed no deception in answering them:

    1. Did you see your ex-wife Kathy alive anytime after you picked up the kids from her house on Friday, February 27, 2004?

    2. Did you have any type of contact with your ex-wife Kathy after you picked up the kids from her on Friday, February 27, 2004?

    3. Did you have any involvement in the death of your ex-wife Kathy in 2004?

    4. Were you present at the time of your ex-wife Kathy’s death?

    However, Peterson did show deception in his answers to three out of six questions about Stacy Peterson:

    1. On Sunday, October 28, 2007, did you last see your wife Stacy in your home before going to bed but after coming home from work?
    ANSWER: YES
    RESULTS: DECEPTIVE

    2. Did you have any involvement in the physical removal of your wife Stacy from your home on Sunday, October 28, 2007?
    ANSWER: NO
    RESULTS: NO DECEPTION

    3. Did you in any way physically harm your wife Stacy during the time that she disappeared?
    ANSWER: NO
    RESULTS: NO DECEPTION

    4. Do you know the whereabouts of your wife Stacy?
    ANSWER: NO
    RESULTS: DECEPTIVE

    Then it would appear that these queestions were asked at a different session

    1. Did you receive a phone call from your wife Stacy on the evening of October 28, 2007, telling you that she was leaving you?
    ANSWER: YES
    RESULTS: DECEPTIVE

    2. Did your wife Stacy call you on Sunday, October 28, 2007, and tell you that if you wanted the car it was parked at the Clow Airport?
    ANSWER: YES
    RESULTS: NO DECEPTION

    Drew’s friend, Mike Robinson, who helped him out after Stacy’s disappearance by bringing Drew a cell phone and who was said to have communicated with him by notes which were shredded after reading was given the option of taking a polygraph test by State police , but he refused.

    Polygraphs are not admissible evidence in the State of Illinois, regardless.

  50. 05/23/2012 Emergency Notice
    05/23/2012 Impounded Document- Motion to Limit Electronic Communication to

    Wonder what this is about. Defense team doesn’t want reporters to text from courtroom or…?

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