Sunday, August 10, 2008
AN OPEN LETTER TO STEPHEN FRIEDMAN
Why did you lie? That’s really the primary question in the Elsa Newman case. It’s not so much whether you had the right or privilege to testify; you clearly did not. But when you testified, why in the world did you lie?
Why did you show up in court with all those notes? You never took notes when you were conferring with Elsa Newman. Documentation from her computer shows that she filed complaints about that. No notes. Exhorbitant fees. Breaks to go “get a Coke,” and then billing her for the breaks. Sleeping while she was in your office and you were recording billable time. Or else pretending to sleep—either way, she was billed and there were no notes.
And for God’s sake, why did you tell the court that Elsa Newman and Margery Landry sat in front of you and planned a homicide? Elsa Newman may have been naïve in trusting you and the rest of Maryland’s legal system. Naïve, but not stupid.
This is one intelligent woman. She was a graduate with highest honors of Goucher College and the University of Maryland School of Law. Her curriculum vitae is most impressive and includes a listing in Who’s Who in American Law.
And you proposed to the court, to Maryland, to the United States and to the world that this intelligent woman sat in your office with a family friend and was so unbelievably, incredibly, doggone stupid that she sat there in front of you and conspired to commit murder?
No-no-no. I rather suspect that you were ticked off because of her complaints about you. Got tired of them, did you? Figured out a way to get even, did you?
My God, man…you even admitted on the stand that you believe Arlen Slobodow is sexually abusing at least one of Elsa’s children! And then you lied to help put her in prison? You lied to leave those children in the hands of the man they had said is their abuser—sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Just so you know I’m not the only one who would think and say this of you, I’m reproducing here an entry from the blog of the wizardofoz in Australia.
Oh, your reputation as a liar is spreading around the world. Isn’t that a good thing? If we expose the liars of the U.S., then perhaps we will help the truth to come out. And as Shakespeare and I have been saying, “The truth will out.” Yes, it will, Stephen Friedman. In the US…in Australia, thanks to the wizard…and in the UK, too, for I also have a blog there.
Here is just a portion of the wizard’s most recent blog. He actually called it “A Cacophony of Lies.” Interesting title, wot?
You lied, Stephen Friedman. Yes. You did. You said that Elsa Newman sat in your office and told you of how she wanted to kill her estranged husband. And you also said she talked of killing one of her sons, so she could save the other and so her estranged husband would “get what he deserved, because he’s a criminal.” You said she talked of this with Margery Landry. You said she talked of it to you.
But you were not quite careful enough about your lie, Stephen Friedman. You gave yourself away. You gave away the lie, Mr. Friedman.
There are so many holes in that lie that I could walk through it, and I’m not a small man.
First, you gave away the lie when you said Elsa talked about killing one of her sons. You never took time to know Elsa Newman, or you would know she would never have said such a thing. According to what I have learned about Elsa Newman, everything she did, she did for her children.
Second, you gave away the lie when you said Elsa Newman spoke, in front of you and in your office, about killing Arlen Slobodow. Whatever Elsa Newman may be, loving mother, protective mother, besieged mother (and by that I mean besieged by the so-called “justice” system in the United States) she is not stupid. She is an attorney, and she knows full well that one does not speak, in the presence of any attorney or, in fact, in the presence of any credible witness of any sort, about murdering one’s spouse or murdering one’s children or any other murder.
Further, it requires an incredible amount of stupidity or gullibility or credulity or whatever you want to call it to believe that this highly intelligent mother would act in such an incredibly stupid fashion as to discuss murder in front of any person, including her own attorney.
Third, you gave away the lie when you stated that Elsa Newman spoke to you of two diametrically opposed plans. One, you said, was that she was going to murder her estranged husband. The other was that she was going to murder one of her children and place the blame on Arlen Slobodow. It takes only a small amount of common sense and intelligence to realize that the so-called “plots” were mutually exclusive. You can’t have it both ways, Mr. Friedman. It would require a complete fool to believe you.
Fourth, you gave away your lies when you supposed that Margery Landry and Elsa Newman plotted to have Landry break into Slobodow’s house when the children were visiting, and that Landry would carry a gun. Barry Helfand, Elsa’s attorney at the criminal trial, addressed this issue, saying, “[It is ridiculous] that anyone would believe that Elsa Newman…whatever her misgivings are, or were, would ever have allowed Marge Landry to go into this house and to shoot this man and then kill this man and to then have her two children wake up in the morning, either hearing gunshots, be in danger of these gunshots or even worse, even if not in danger, to walk in and find their father lying dead in a bed and having to call the police…[line missing from trial transcript].”
Nor are you the only one, Stephen Friedman, to brand Stephen Friedman a liar.
Margery Landry testified that you lied. Landry said to the judge in a pre-sentence letter that she had been given chances to turn on Elsa Newman and testify against her. Landry didn’t do it. She didn’t do it, because she alone was responsible for breaking into the house and for the accidental shooting of Arlen Slobodow during a scuffle over the gun. Elsa had nothing to do with that misguided plot (and I must remind you that the supposed plot never even existed; there was no conspiracy) which you tried to lay at the door of both women together.
Finally, Elsa Newman herself stated that your words fell far short of truth. She stated, in fact, that you “were either asleep or pretending to sleep” during many of her sessions in your office. She stated that when she asked you to remain awake and listen to her, you were highly offended. She stated that you never took notes when in conference with her, preparing for trial. Again, this was a situation to which she strenuously objected, and about which you became quite incensed, as though a mere woman and a mother agonizing over the continuing sexual assault of her children had no right to challenge you.
And yet, when you arrived in court to testify against her, you had many pages of “notes,” supposedly taken during these same conferences. I believe you referred to those notes frequently, as if reminding yourself of something that happened or was said, or of precisely how it happened or was said. How long did it take you to walk back through your memory and write down those notes, Stephen Friedman? How did you do it? Perhaps your secretary had an appointment book so you could get the dates right, at least.
Beyond that, you lied, Stephen Friedman. Yes, Stephen Friedman, you certainly did!
In fact, even Maryland’s highest court deemed your testimony improper. You had no right or reason to testify against Elsa Newman, who had been your client. You had no right or reason, and yet you insisted on propagating a story that you carefully fabricated from the whole cloth of feral untruth.
Thus ends the blog of the wizardofoz--from Australia, of course.