In an unusual motion, Drew Peterson's former defense attorney is calling his defense-team rival "mentally ill," accusing him of leaking documents to the Chicago Tribune and speculating that he may be called to testify before a grand jury investigating his high-profile former client.
Joel Brodsky on Monday filed a motion asking to withdraw as Peterson's defense attorney in the civil wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of Kathleen Savio, Peterson's third wife, who the former Bolingbrook police officer was convicted this fall of drowning in 2004.
The motion was not unexpected – Brodsky was pressured to leave the defense team not long after Peterson's murder conviction. But what typically is a brief motion filled with boilerplate language became almost the complete opposite in Brodsky's hands.
The motion for leave to withdraw was filed not long after Peterson's defense team asked for a new trial based on what they said was Brodsky's inept legal performance.
In his motion, Brodsky fires back and alleges his defense team rival Steve Greenberg "suffers from a severe mental illness known as pathological narcissism."
Brodsky also claims that his former client is "like a man grasping straws" who has overlooked better legal arguments to attack Brodsky with "blatantly false and ill-considered allegations of misconduct."
He also accuses Greenberg of leaking sealed documents from the Peterson case to a Tribune reporter.
Brodsky does not explain in the motion the legal relevance those claims have to his request to withdraw from the civil case. But he argues later in the motion that, because of what he calls an "unfathomable error" by Greenberg, he expects to be called before a grand jury investigating Peterson.
Greenberg's alleged error is quoting from a letter Brodsky sent Peterson in November in which Brodsky allegedly threatened to reveal damaging information about Peterson if he were removed from the case.
The grand jury reference is presumably to a possible grand jury investigating Peterson for the murder of his missing fourth wife Stacy. Prosecutors have said Peterson murdered her, though he has not been charged.
Greenberg on Tuesday dismissed Brodsky's motion.
"It’s nonsensical -- he doesn’t understand thelaw," Greenberg said of the motion, which he compared to "a letter to the editor."
"We, unlike him, aren't filing anything or doing anything to make the situation worse," Greenberg said.
"My psychiatrist says I'm OK," he joked.
Peterson's defense team has said they believe their client will be charged in connection with Stacy's 2007 disappearance. Will County's top prosecutor has said he will have attorneys in his office review her case again with an eye towards possibly bringing charges.
A hearing on Peterson's motion for a new trial based on Brodsky’s alleged ineffective assistance of counsel is scheduled for Jan. 10.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times