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Entries in Lawyers (4)

Monday
Nov122012

Broadwell, Lewinsky Lawyers Partners at Same Firm

ISAF via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The lawyer representing the woman who was the mistress of former CIA-director David Petraeus works for the same firm as the lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky.

An assistant to Washington Lawyer Robert F. Muse told ABC News that Muse is representing Paula Broadwell, the biographer-turned-mistress of the former Afghanistan general who resigned last week after admitting their affair.

Muse works at Stein, Mitchell, Muse & Cipollone, a Washington-based law firm that covers several practices, including white collar criminal defense, congressional investigations and whistleblower law.

The firm boasts such high-profile clients as Lewinsky, former Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., AFL-CIO officials and Ambassador Lewis Tambs in the Iran-Contra Investigation.

The Stein in the firm’s title refers to Jacob A. Stein, the man who was one-half of the 2003 team for President Clinton’s famed mistress. Stein’s bio on the website does not list Lewinsky as one of his clients, but he’s a well-known personality in Washington. The bio does refer to Edwin “Ed” Meese, the adviser to President Reagan who Stein, as independent counsel, investigated and exonerated in the mid 1980s. Profiles of Stein written when he joined the Lewinsky team the New York Times called “Plato and Jake” also refer to the Meese case.

Stein also represented Packwood when the senator faced allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances toward more than two dozen women. The letter stating that prosecutors were dropping charges against Packwood was sent to both Stein and Muse in 1995.

Packwood eventually resigned after the Senate Ethics Committee voted 6-0 to recommend he be expelled for his misconduct.

Muse has some interesting cases under his belt as well. He served as a staff attorney with the Senate Watergate Committee from 1973-74. His bio also claims he served as counsel in “various espionage cases and litigation involving classified information.”

He has not yet spoken publicly about representing Broadwell.

So far no charges have been brought against Broadwell, but there could be some to come. ABC News’ Pierre Thomas reported earlier Monday that Broadwell’s personal computer was found to be the source of emails Jill Kelley, a friend of Petraeus and his wife, received that she said were harassing and contained classified information, an offense that could be tried in criminal court -- but likely won’t.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr102012

George Zimmerman's Legal Team Calls It Quits

Orange County Jail(SANFORD, Fla.) -- In a hastily convened news conference, George Zimmerman's legal team said Tuesday they would no longer represent the man who fatally shot unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.

Zimmerman's lawyers said they are withdrawing from the case because they have lost contact with Zimmerman, who is refusing to answer their calls, texts and emails.

Zimmerman, 28, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed the unarmed teenager Feb. 26 after following him for several minutes.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar292012

George Zimmerman's Lawyers Won't Comment on Police Video

ABC News; Orange County Jail(SANFORD, Fla.) -- The surveillance tape of George Zimmerman made barely half an hour after the shooting, obtained exclusively by ABC News from the Sanford Police Department, could be used as evidence if Zimmerman is brought up on charges, sources tell ABC News.

Zimmerman's attorney would not comment on the tapes, which show his client walking into a police station with no visible signs of blood minutes after he shot and killed Trayvon Martin following what Zimmerman claims was a life-or-death struggle with the teen.

"I'm not going to litigate this case in the media," said attorney Craig Sonner. "It looks like it's a standard booking video of when they brought him in. I can't tell anything from this video."

But the tapes are relatively clear, coming as they do from recently installed state-of-the-art cameras. In the tapes an officer examines the back of Zimmerman's head. The 28-year-old Zimmerman claims the teen, who was walking back to his father's fiancé's home after picking up Skittles and an iced tea on Feb. 26, attacked him. Zimmerman told police that Martin punched him and bashed his head on the concrete. The police report notes there was blood on his head and that he was treated on the scene.

But on the surveillance video you can see Zimmerman walking steadily through the police station and his face appears blood-free. His light gray shirt shows no visible signs of blood.

While Zimmerman's attorney would not comment on the tape, he also seemed unsure whether his client had actually received medical attention for his wounds.

"The facts will come out in this case. I'm not the source of facts," responded Sonner. "I'm not the witness. I don't have access to police files."

On Tuesday the Sanford Police released a statement saying that journalists who try to contact city employees "when they are in their roles as private citizens," calling it "stalking," would be arrested. Thursday, State Attorney Angela Corey's office released a statement saying that it would not comment any further, and, "If anything needs to be disseminated, you will receive an alert via email."

In Fort Lauderdale, the funeral home operator who worked on Trayvon Martin's body following his death called the teen's body -- minus the gunshot wound to the chest -- "pristine," and said he did not find evidence of any particularly serious altercation.

"If he had been in a struggle, we should have seen signs of that," said Richard Burke, the funeral home operator. "We look for things on the body that we need to cover up and make sure is not viewable for the public. If there were cuts and bruises, we would have covered it up."

This revelation contradicts the account by Zimmerman's father to an Orlando Fox affiliate in which he said his son was fighting for his life that night.

"Trayvon Martin said something to the effect of, you're going to die now or you're going to die tonight, " said the elder Zimmerman.

The shooting death and the investigation continues to put a strain on Sanford, particularly in the middle-class Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision where the shooting occurred. After a bombardment of media attention as reporters scoured the subdivision's streets, there is now added security aimed at throwing any and every trespasser out.

"Some days I just look out of my blinds and look down at what happened and it's like I can't even accept it," said resident Cheryl Brown. "I almost would feel better if it were an issue of this was a crime-ridden area, and the solution would be to just move away. But it's not that at all. It's life."

Brown's 13-year-old son was one of the final people to see Martin alive. He watched the initial exchange between Martin and Zimmerman and ran inside his house, telling his sister to call 911 before hearing a gunshot go off.

"We can't even move away from this," said Brown. "Anywhere in America it could possible happen…that is the scariest part."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar152012

Judge Allows John Edwards to Hire Rielle Hunter’s Ex-Lawyers

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday afternoon that John Edwards could hire two lawyers who recently represented Rielle Hunter in a civil case over a videotape featuring the former candidate in a sexual encounter with his mistress.

U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles determined that Alan Duncan and Allison Van Laningham, who represented Rielle Hunter in the now-settled civil dispute, would be permitted to defend Edwards in his criminal trial, but they would be prohibited from participating in any questioning or cross-examination of Hunter. Eagles indicated in her ruling that “without a doubt” a conflict exists for Duncan and Van Laningham if Hunter testifies.

Edwards’ legal team is led by high-profile Washington attorney Abbe Lowell, who will most likely handle the questioning of Hunter should she be called to the stand.

In court filings the prosecutors submitted prior to the hearing, the government revealed that Hunter had entered into a limited immunity agreement prior to her grand jury testimony and had provided “testimonial, documentary and physical evidence.” The government also outlined a revealing preview of Hunter’s anticipated testimony at the trial.

“The [g]overnment expects…Ms. Hunter would testify that she was, of course, a participant in the ongoing affair, which spanned the duration of Edwards’ official campaign for President,” the motion states. “She acknowledges cash spent and benefits conferred (to include medical care, living expenses, furniture, clothing, vacations, luxury travel and accommodations and cash payments) as the result of Edwards’ and others’ efforts to support and conceal her, the affair and the pregnancy from the media.”

In the hearing Thursday afternoon, the lead prosecutor -- Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon -- shed some additional light on the immunity deal. Higdon told the court that the government had promised not to use Hunter’s grand jury testimony or information she provided to investigators against her, but stopped short of promising not to prosecute her. At this point, however, Higdon said the government did not anticipate pursuing any charges against Hunter.

Edwards, a two-time Democratic candidate for president, was charged last June in a six-count felony indictment alleging he illegally solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from two wealthy donors to support and seclude Hunter during her pregnancy. Edwards has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and the trial is expected to begin next month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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