Legal Pub is a firm believer in our Constitution and our system of justice's fundamental principle that all suspects are innocent until proven guilty. Legal Pub has been granted an exclusive interview with Attorney, Joel A. Brodsky, a creative criminal defense attorney. Joel is a partner with Brodsky & Odeh located at 8 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 3200 in Chicago, Illinois. Joel's recent publicity has come as being the lead defense attorney for Drew Peterson. Joel has, in our observation, been treated unfairly by the Nancy Grace Show by interrupting him without allowing him to fully answer questions. Joel took the time on 4-30-08 to answer the following exclusive Legal Pub Questions:
Legal Pub: Joel, we welcome your contribution to a balanced presentation of the facts. I think this forum provides an opportunity for the balance our system of justice contemplates. How about answering a few questions for our readers. First, How is Drew holding up under all the intense scrutiny?
Joel: It’s getting better over time. Initially the stress caused him to loose 30 pounds. Now that he knows that his children are safe and secure and are doing well, and the media trucks are no longer in front of his house from 4am to 10pm, he is pretty much back to a tolerable state of mind. Of course he is still concerned about possible charges and the threat of a civil suit adds to that stress, but the knowledge that he didn’t do anything wrong is comforting.
Legal Pub: Does the prosecution have any record that Drew ever purchased one or more containers?
Joel: No. The whole blue barrel / blue container is a fiction. It never existed.
Legal Pub: Has their been any communication from Stacy, telephone calls, post cards etc? Joel: None.Legal Pub: Have their been any claimed sightings of Stacy?
Joel: Many. I am attaching the Thailand sighting which has pictures. Your readers can make up their own mind on that sighting. (Editor's notes photos are above.)
Legal Pub: How are the children doing?
Joel: Great. The high school freshman is 1st in his class of 2000, he is in senior level band and also is involved in sport. His 8th grader brother is also #1 in his class. They are bright and well adjusted. The younger kids, 2 and 4, and very happy and well adjusted. Drew is a great dad. Nobody can legitimately say he is not.
Legal Pub: What was the basis for the judge not returning Drew's guns?
Joel: The judge did order the guns returned to Drew, but the State Police then revoked his Illinois gun permit, so the return was put on hold.
Legal Pub: John Darwin was missing for several years and presumed dead. He turned up alive having assumed another identity. Is Drew still confident that she ran off with another man?Joel: Yes he is. That’s what Stacy told him.
Legal Pub: Did Drew know the man whom she thinks Stacy ran off with?
Joel: He doesn’t know who she ran off with, so he doesn’t know if he ever met the person or not.
Legal Pub: What made Drew suspect that Stacy was seeing someone else?
Joel: After she ran off we discovered racy (very sexual) text messages on Stacy’s old cell phone. Also, the State Police also disclosed that they discovered a sexual e-mail on another cell phone which Stacy had from yet another man. However, prior to Stacy leaving Drew did not suspect that there was another man. The text messages discovered after she left came as a shock to him.
Legal Pub: Is there any background of Stacy having a head injury, amnesia or stroke? Anything like that run in the family.
Joel: No. But Stacy’s mother also ran off and disappeared while Stacy was a child. She has never been found.
Legal Pub: While many of us assume that Kathy S. died accidentally as the original coroner concluded, what physical evidence does the prosecution think is contrary to the opinion of an accidental death.
Joel: We know of no new or additional physical evidence. We believe the coroner changes his finding based on the same evidence that earlier warranted an accidental finding because of politics. The coroner is an elected county position and there is an election coming up in a few months.
Legal Pub: Has Drew received death threats? How many?
Joel: Yes. Dozens.
Legal Pub: Did the grand jury finally reach a conclusion as to whether to indict? If not, when might they make a final decision?
Joel: The grand jury lasts 18 months and then a new one can be convened for another 18 months. The investigation can go on for years. So far there has not been a vote by the grand jury either way.
Legal Pub: Has Drew received unfair publicity?
Joel: Yes. Just watch Nancy Grace as an example.
Legal Pub: Thanks for your time.
Joel: Thanks again for a balanced coverage.
5-3-08 In response to readers questioning Joel Brodsky's handling of the case, Joel provides an exclusive Legal Pub Update.
Joel: I wish to address the person who says my peers are questioning my handling of the case. So far, in court, I have been successful, getting my client the property taken by the state back (police had to resort to illegally revoking the gun permit to keep Drew from getting the guns). The only criticism I get, and the criminal defense bar is split on this issue, is that I let my client give a total of four (4) controlled interviews, and make a number of sound bite comments on certain issues. The “rule book” in criminal cases is for the client to say nothing. This is what I call the “standard model”. I have given this a great deal of thought, and talked to many other lawyers about this, (including my excellent co-counsel, Andrew Abood of the Abood Law Firm of East Lansing Michigan, and my partner the very sharp Reem Odeh). My conclusion is (and its my decision), that the standard model does not apply in extremely high profile cases in the post O.J. world. The O.J. Simpson trial changed everything. It made and broke big time media careers, and consequentially made the media, and by extension public perception, an additional party in extreme high profile cases. Now, in these rare cases, the media and its influence is in the courtroom and jury room. Therefore, the media must be addressed and engaged in these extreme cases. Examples: (1) Scott Peterson did 3 short tv appearances (I wouldn’t call them interviews) before he was named a suspect and then he remained totally silent. He was convicted. (2) Robert Blake and Michael Jackson both did media interviews. Michael Jackson even produced a TV special on his case to counter some bad publicity, and Blake did an interview from his jail cell without his lawyer present as well as other interviews. Both these men were acquitted. I could go on for a long time on this issue, as well as spell out the problems that my clients media appearances before I came into the case created, and how our media strategy addressed these issues, (one for example which I call the white noise effect), but suffice it to say nothing we do is hap hazzard, or done for publicity or to satisfy some psychological need of my client. A good lawyer thinks like a chess player, looking 5 to 10 moves into the future for each move he does now. I am a good lawyer.