Personal Lives

Paralegal is found dead in lawyer's bathtub; she may have drowned after a seizure


A paralegal who was dating her lawyer boss was found dead in his bathtub on Saturday morning.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death for the paralegal, 26-year-old Julia Law, report the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. But law enforcement sources told Philly.com on Wednesday that the evidence seems to show that she had suffered a seizure, and that she had likely drowned. They said that there was no sign of a disturbance, nor were drugs and alcohol found. She would have turned 27 on Tuesday.

A maintenance worker found Law’s body in the condo of Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr. Richard DeSipio, a friend and lawyer in Peruto’s law firm, told the Daily News that Peruto was staying with friends in New Jersey while overseeing construction of a new home there, and he was “crying, hysterical” on learning of his girlfriend’s death. The couple had been dating fewer than two months.

Peruto is a high-profile lawyer who obtained not-guilty verdicts in more than 200 jury trials, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported in a previous story. He told the Inquirer in a text message that “Julia was a beautiful, caring free spirit hippy, who I was blessed to have known.” He also said that, “Words can’t express how sad I am to finally have met someone who I believed truly loved me.”

DeSipio told the Daily News that Law had a key to Peruto’s condo and she had been texting co-workers up until 1 a.m. the day of her death, complaining that the condo was a real “bachelor pad” because it didn’t have any scented bubble bath.

Updated on May 30 to reflect the law enforcement sources’ information about the possible seizure.

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