Disagreements among the counsel during trial are not uncommon, said Chicago-area defense attorney Gal Pissetzky, but such spats spilling into public view are.
"A new team of lawyers might accuse an old team of lawyers of making mistakes at the trial — but lawyers on the same trial team blaming each other? I've never heard of anything like this," he said. Pissetzky is not connected to the Peterson case.
The feud escalated earlier this month when Brodsky filed a defamation lawsuit against Greenberg, which claims Greenberg became "irrationally fixated and obsessed with destroying Brodsky" and held Brodsky up to "great public scorn, hatred, contempt (and) ridicule."
In an open letter to Brodsky in September, Greenberg accused him of "single-handedly" losing the trial, adding he "wafted the greatest case by ignorance, obduracy and ineptitude."
As Tuesday's hearing began, Burmila said he was obliged to ask Peterson directly if he had full confidence in the current attorneys sitting next him, including Greenberg.
"Yes, your honor," Peterson promptly replied.
Apparently satisfied with that answer, Burmila said proceedings could continue with Greenberg acting Peterson's lead attorney.
The current acrimony is in stark contrast with the beginning of the trial, when the limelight-seeking defense team faced the media horde together. Several times, they joked that Stacy Peterson — who authorities presume is dead but whose body was never found — could show up any day to take the stand.
It seemed likely Brodsky would take the stand himself at some point during the hearing that began Tuesday. If he does, he could face aggressive cross-examination by Greenberg or other erstwhile colleagues. There's even an outside chance Peterson could be asked testify.
Among the accusations against Brodsky, chief is that he was so bent on publicizing himself that he pressed Peterson into a damaging pretrial media blitz.