Trials & Litigation
Former Drew Peterson lawyer sues onetime co-counsel and news outlets for libel
By Martha Neil
Feb 7, 2013, 01:30 pm CST
An Illinois lawyer who represented Drew Peterson in a high-profile murder trial last year has filed a libel suit against another attorney for the now-convicted wife killer and and local news media involved in covering the trial.
Joel Brodsky contends in the suit that Steven Greenberg, who also represented Peterson, wrote a letter obtained by the Chicago Tribune that was a “false narrative” intended to pay Brodsky back for trying to oust him as Peterson’s counsel and put all the blame on Brodsky for losing the trial. In a libel suit filed Wednesday in Cook County, Circuit Court, Brodsky says the Greenberg letter defamed him by falsely portraying him as a liar and an incompetent lawyer, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The newspaper is named as one of the defendants in the libel suit, along with those responsible for publishing a local version of AOL Patch. The Trib article suggests that Greenberg does not currently represent Peterson. However, other recent news coverage describes Steve Greenberg as a lead lawyer on Peterson’s current legal team, which is trying to overturn his conviction for murdering his third wife Kathleen Savio and get him a new trial.
A Sun Times Media Wire article says Brodsky contends Greenberg distributed a “substantially false” 15-page letter as well as a memo filed after Peterson’s conviction.
In response to a request for comment, Greenberg told the newspaper “We haven’t seen the lawsuit, but thinking back to my law school days I believe truth is a defense,” when the Sun-Times reached him on Wednesday afternoon. “You can add that he’s starting to annoy me,” said Greenberg.
None of the other defendants responded to requests for comment on Wednesday evening.
In addition to defamation, the suit asserts claims for alleged false-light invasion of privacy and violation of the Ilinois Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Additional and related coverage:
ABAJournal.com: “Lead Drew Peterson Defense Lawyer Stays on Case, Calls Competing Attorneys ‘Bottom Feeders’”
ABAJournal.com: “After Unusual Dispute Over Who Represents Drew Peterson, New Lawyer Takes Over Ex-Cop’s Murder Case”
ABAJournal.com: “Drew Peterson Lawyer Accused of ‘Hornbook Errors’ and ‘Smorgasbord of Ethical Violations”
Channahon-Minooka Patch: “Lawyer Blamed For Losing Drew Peterson Murder Trial Coughs Up Records “