Former Peterson attorney sues co-counsel, media for defamation - New York News

Former Peterson attorney sues co-counsel, media outlets for defamation

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The rift between members of convicted wife killer Drew Peterson's defense team deepened Wednesday with attorney Joel Brodsky filing a defamation lawsuit not only against his one-time co-counsel in the case but also two news outlets, including the Chicago Tribune.

Brodsky filed the suit in Cook County Circuit Court against Steven A. Greenberg for writing and circulating a letter alleging, among other things, that Brodsky "single-handedly" lost Peterson's murder trial.

Brodsky's lawsuit accuses Greenberg of distributing the 15-page "substantially false" letter, as well as a memo that Greenberg filed after Peterson's conviction that questioned Brodsky's effectiveness as counsel in Peterson's trial for the murder of third wife Kathleen Savio.

The lawsuit alleges that Greenberg filed the post-trial memo "to cover up his poor performance during the Savio Murder Trial," as an attempt to position himself as a media commentator on legal issues.

"We haven't seen the lawsuit, but thinking back to my law school days I believe truth is a defense," Greenberg said when reached Wednesday afternoon.

"You can add that he's starting to annoy me," the attorney said.

The lawsuit also takes aim at the Chicago Tribune and reporter Stacy St. Clair for publishing portions of the allegedly "false and defamatory" letter and memo in two articles published last year.

Brodsky also alleges that AOL's Patch and reporter Joseph Hosey carried out a "defamatory smear campaign" against him in a series of articles published on suburban outlets of the hyperlocal news website.

"We stand behind our reporting and our reporters, and we intend to defend this suit vigorously," Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould W. Kern said in a statement.

No other defendants listed in the lawsuit responded to messages seeking comment Wednesday evening.

In his lawsuit, Brodsky, who is represented by attorney Walter P. Maksym, claims false light and violations of the Illinois Deceptive Trade Practices Act against Greenberg, his law practice, the Tribune, AOL's Patch and both reporters.

It further claims defamation by Greenberg and the Tribune defendants. The suit seeks at least $50,000 in damages.

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