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Lawyers Face Decision on Stewart Defense


— February 16, 2004

With the government close to resting its case against Martha Stewart, lawyers planning her defense are faced with an excruciating decision: Should they put her on the witness stand?

Attorneys not involved in the stock-fraud trial say having Stewart testify and opening her to cross-examination would be an enormous gamble, and her chief lawyer says he won’t decide until he sees the government’s full case. Prosecutors expect to rest Thursday.

But prosecution witnesses have exposed inconsistencies in the accounts of Stewart and her ex-stockbroker and have testified to behavior that only Stewart may be able to explain by testifying herself.

“They have put Martha and her lawyer in a position where there’s danger whichever way she goes,” said Greg Markel, chairman of litigation at the New York law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Details here from the AP via Findlaw.com.


With the government close to resting its case against Martha Stewart, lawyers planning her defense are faced with an excruciating decision: Should they put her on the witness stand?

Attorneys not involved in the stock-fraud trial say having Stewart testify and opening her to cross-examination would be an enormous gamble, and her chief lawyer says he won’t decide until he sees the government’s full case. Prosecutors expect to rest Thursday.

But prosecution witnesses have exposed inconsistencies in the accounts of Stewart and her ex-stockbroker and have testified to behavior that only Stewart may be able to explain by testifying herself.

“They have put Martha and her lawyer in a position where there’s danger whichever way she goes,” said Greg Markel, chairman of litigation at the New York law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Details here from the AP via Findlaw.com.

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