We emailed attorneys Andrew Abood of Abood Law and and George Lenard and asked them if they wanted to comment on today’s motion to withdraw from the defense team of Drew Peterson. We specifically asked about the mention in Christy Gutowski’s story for the Daily Herald of a suicide defense. This was Mr. Abood’s reply:
I will assume that your source is Joel Brodsky.
It is inappropriate to disclose attorney client information including privileged information regarding trial strategy. I will not comment on myself, but I will say the George Lenard was extremely well prepared, had deep and thorough understanding of the facts and law and great knowledge of Will County juries as he has have over 150 jury trials. Over 7 times more than Joel Brodsky. He is recognized by many (including Judges and State’s attorneys) in Will County as one of the top defense lawyers in the County. His reputation for integrity and ethics is unmatched.
Any theory George Lenard promoted was based on the facts and law and well reasoned.
One could say that it was a trial lawyers dream to be involved in a case like this, and it was the type of case that was a perfect fit for an attorney with George Lenard’s skills and intellect. Anyone who witnessed the crosses of Pachter, Morphey or Mims witnessed some great and thorough examinations.
More importantly, the disagreements among defense counsel rested more with personalities and less with any particular position or issue related to issues to be fought inside the courtroom. It is not unusual when 3 attorneys are representing a single client to have differences of opinions. And it can be difficult when an attorney believes (right or wrong) that those differences are resolved without giving deference to those attorneys that had sound judgment, experience and skill as opposed to some other factors. When an attorney believes (right or wrong) that it is being done on charges of this magnitude it is a sign to exit.
I am grateful to have served as co counsel with George Lenard. His common sense, wisdom and advice is so sound that when tough decisions have to be made, he makes it easy to make the right decision. And although the emotional part of any attorney who has invested the time and effort that we put in says: “stay in the case”; the objective part said: “it was time to go.” And it was a decision that once made and the Motion filed, a huge burden had been lifted and I knew personally and professionally that I had made the right choice.
It should also be noted that the residence of Will County are well served by a number of extremely hard working dedicated public servants. Those in the state’s attorney office; those working for Judge White (including Judge White) and his court and the entire Courthouse personnel.
I should say that it was a pleasure working for and representing a client who was so grateful for the services we provided. Although we as lawyers often times work very hard for a two word verdict — “not guilty” — sometimes we also appreciate two other words “thank you”. And it is always easier and more inspiring to work for a client that uses that latter two words (thank you). It was easy and inspiring to work for Drew Peterson.
Finally I wish Joe Lopez the best of luck. He apparently has a great reputation and displayed a certain amount of courage entering a case on such short notice. I am sure he will do a great job and I hope that he obtains a fair and just verdict for his client — one that is two words and not one.
***UPDATE – 04/15/2010***
I just had a chance to read this story today. One of Christine Gutowski’s sources is Joel Brodsky. She also published the article about when the Hearsay decision would be issued — predicting based on “sources” that it would be issued that week — her source according to her for that statement about when the Hearsay decision would be published according to her was Joel Brodsky. She was inaccurate then and this story is inaccurate as well.
George Lenard was also kind enough to respond with his comments about withdrawing from the defense:
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the events that occurred leading up to yesterday. Any comments regarding the inner workings of the case would be inappropriate because as you know it is covered by the attorney-client privilege.
As I said, it is unfortunate that it had to come to this, but Andrew Abood any myself felt there were no other alternatives.
It was a great experience working with both Andrew and Drew. Andrew Abood is an outstanding attorney with unwavering ethics and I welcome any opportunity to work with him again in the future. Drew was a great client to work for and I wish him the best of luck in his trial.
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