It’s easy to understand why Arlen Slobodow would lie. He had been accused by his sons of molesting them sexually as well as savaging them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The accusations never reached a courtroom in Maryland because Margery Landry's crime intervened. If Slobodow lied and his estranged wife went to prison, he was free and clear.
It’s easy to understand why Doug Gansler, then State’s Attorney for Montgomery Country and now Maryland’s Attorney General, might not care much about the truth of the matter. He was planning a run for state office. The Newman case was high profile. The media coverage was doubtless helpful. And all the more helpful if he could put the defendant away.
But Newman’s own divorce attorney?
It’s easy to understand why Slobodow’s attorney might not be interested in truth. She was being paid to defend him, not find out the truth.
But why would Stephen Friedman, Newman’s own attorney, perjure himself on the witness stand?
It’s easy to understand why the prosecuting attorney, Katherine Winfree, would not seek truth. Her emails show her disdain for Newman. In addition, she had a reputation to uphold; her boss, Doug Gansler, has said she is a better prosecutor than even he is.
And now? I’ve figured it out. At last.
Perhaps, after reading this brief account, you can draw your own conclusion as to why Stephen Friedman would have been motivated to bear false witness.
Friedman, you see, was not Newman’s attorney in any way that had anything to do with the criminal trial. Nope. He was her divorce attorney. And Newman was becoming sick and tired of his behavior as her divorce attorney. She began putting together a list of his misdeeds.
· He made appointments and then kept her waiting interminably with no apparent reason, once when she waited with her elderly mother, now 96 years old.
· He would talk to other clients on the phone while Newman sat in his office—and then he would bill her for the time he was using the phone.
· He would take a “break,” be gone for as much as half an hour or forty-five minutes, leaving her alone in his office—and then bill her for that time.
· He would often seem to fall asleep during time that should have been used for preparing the divorce case. Whether he was really asleep or not, he billed her for the time.
· He left to use the restroom—and billed her for the time.
· Friedman double billed—meaning he would go back and bill again for something he had already included in a bill. One month he billed Newman $40,000. Nor was this a month when he went to trial for her. There was nothing going on but office visits.
· Friedman billed Newman some $300,000 for a year’s work—although he stretched the work out for well over a year.
· According to Newman, Friedman wrote three- and four-page threatening letters.
As a result of these and other equally “obscene practices," Newman was preparing to accuse Friedman of malpractice. This she did not want to do during the divorce hearing. She intended to wait until divorce issues were settled.
Now you need to know that Newman has a habit of planning everything out on paper, and even before the divorce hearing, she made a list, some two or three pages long. At the time of Margery Landry’s crime, officials removed a computer and personal papers from Newman’s home, in search of evidence. Included in the papers was Newman’s list of complaints against Friedman.
Ah-oh! Guess who saw them!
Somehow, it seems, possibly with the assistance of Katherine Winfree in the State’s Attorney’s office, Friedman became aware of the paper and the charges Newman was planning to bring against him.
Two days after he saw the papers, he suddenly remembered that he had heard Elsa Newman sit in his office and plot to kill Arlen Slobodow, and rushed to two different judges to ask advice about what he should do with this horrible knowledge. Two days. And then he testified against her at trial.
Ladies and gentlemen…readers of this blog…I rest my case.