Posted Apr 08, 2010 07:29 pm CDT
Only a few days ago, a federal judge in Houston said he wasn’t going to approve any more changes in defense counsel for jailed onetime billionaire R. Allen Stanford, who is accused of masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme.
But today the Houston Chronicle is reporting another addition to Stanford’s new defense team–Alan Dershowitz. It appears that Stanford may not need to get permission from U.S. District Judge David Hittner to retain the renowned Harvard Law School professor, because Dershowitz is being billed as a consultant in the case.
He is to focus on constitutional arguments for winning Stanford’s release from jail prior to trial. Although not convicted, the 60-year-old defendant is being held in a flight risk.
Attorney Mike Essmyer, who is representing Stanford along with fellow Houston practitioner Robert Bennett, says Stanford’s incarceration effectively prevents him from fully participating in his own defense.
“I cannot effectively defend the man if he can’t read over the paperwork,” Essmyer tells the newspaper. “Prison rules don’t match what’s necessary in a big paper case.”
He says the defense is looking to a Lloyd’s of London policy of directors and officers insurance for Stanford’s investment company to cover the cost of the consulting work being done by Dershowitz, according to the Chronicle.
ABAJournal.com: “How Many Lawyers Does Constitution Allow? Onetime Billionaire Allen Stanford May Find Out”
Reuters: “Dershowitz joins Stanford legal team as consultant”
Updated at 5:20 p.m. to include link to subsequent Reuters article and reported amount of alleged Stanford swindle.