Drew Peterson is letting attorney Joel Brodsky stay on his case but may still claim the lawyer did such a bad job defending him against murder charges that he needs a new trial.
Peterson asked Judge Edward Burmila during a Friday morning hearing for more time to decide whether he will proceed on a request for a new trial based on Brodsky's ineffective counsel.
Peterson's hesitation sprang from a reluctance to tarnish Brodsky's image, said Michelle Gonzalez, an attorney who on Friday tried to file both an appearance on the case and the request for a new trial.
"He was concerned about Mr. Brodsky's reputation if this motion goes forward," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and Brodsky, along with attorneys Steve Greenberg, Joseph "Shark" Lopez and Lisa Lopez, all met privately with Peterson in a back room, either alone or in groups, throughout Friday morning.
Gonzalez said Peterson told her he wanted her and co-counsel John Paul Carroll to take his case, but Peterson backed out when he got in front of the judge.
"I believe he was influenced by Mr. Brodsky," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez and Carroll's motion for ineffective counsel squarely blames Brodsky—and only Brodsky—for blowing Peterson's case and getting him found guilty of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Brodsky called Gonzalez and Carroll "bottom-feeders" who "are going to get a disciplinary committee complaint today."
A short time later, Brodsky said he could not talk about the disciplinary committee complaint he threatened to file, but stuck by his criticism of Gonzalez and Carroll.
"People like that shouldn't be practicing law," he said. "The sooner they're disbarred, the better."
He also said the motion blaming him for losing Peterson's murder trial is "absolutely fantasy."
"These (are) nonsensical, fantasy allegations Carroll cobbled together from his deluded mind," Brodsky said.
Brodsky then tried—but failed—to quip: "Delusion's not just a river in Egypt."
Brodsky may have been rattled from earlier in the day when Judge Burmila severely chastised him in court.
Brodsky had asked in a court paper for Burmila to rule on an issue "quietly and with as little fanfare and publicity as possible." That set off the judge.
"It's so offensive to me, it's not even funny," Burmila snapped. "For you of all people to say the court should do something to avoid fanfare is ridiculous beyond the nth degree.
"It's unconscionable," Burmila added, ordering Brodsky not to do it again.
Also Friday, Greenberg, who has been feuding with Brodsky over the past few weeks, and who supposedly had been fired from the case, remained on the defense team.
After the hearing, Brodsky blamed Greenberg for the recent "public nastiness."
"I know he regrets it," Brodsky said. "He apologized to me."
Judge Burmila scheduled an Oct. 30 hearing to address whether Peterson will pursue a new trial based on Brodsky's allegedly ineffective counsel.
During Friday's hearing, Peterson asked to speak alone with Lopez about the issue. Before they went off to the side to talk, Brodsky hissed at Lopez that Peterson "cannot adopt the allegation."
"Brodsky doesn't seemed concerned about anyone but himself," Gonzalez said.