Women Criminal Defense Attorneys: Marjorie Peerce Representing Accountant Recently Indicted in Madoff Fraud
by Susan Bozorgi on October 16, 2013
At the end of last month, after several years, an outside accountant for Bernie Madoff, Paul J. Konigsberg, was Indicted on Fraud charges. Why now? The statute of limitation is about to expire in December. This Superseding Indictment was filed on the eve of the trial starting for five employees and insiders of Madoff who were indicted in 2010. Konigsberg will of course be tried separately. There are suspicions that the Government intends to add even more defendants before the deadline expires.
One of the attorneys that has been representing Konigsberg since 2009 is Marjorie Peerce. Peerce has extensive experience in white-collar defense and has been practicing for over thirty years. She is a partner at Ballard Spahr, LLP in New York City. She is a past president of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers and been named in both Best Lawyer of America and Super Lawyers for many years.
What shocked me about this story was that the Government actually asked the lawyers to agree to extend the legal deadline by which charges must be brought. Marjorie Peerce and co-counsel Reed Brodsky refused to extend the statute of limitations. They absolutely did the right thing. Of course, this decision virtually guaranteed their client the Indictment that immediately followed… but in reality it was inevitable anyway.
I highlight this issue because I can’t seem to understand why the Government feels so free to make such a request. I certainly hope it is not because the Government is used to having requests of this nature agreed to by defense counsel.
Are there criminal lawyers out there who believe that agreeing to extend a deadline of this nature and significance demonstrates their or their client’s goodwill? Or do they believe that they are helping a client avoid an Indictment that will be sure to follow if they don’t agree?
Both of these are flawed approaches to advocacy. I suppose I will accept that there would be that once-in-a-lifetime exception where this rule might need to be broken, but thankfully it seems that lawyers Marjorie Peerce and her co-counsel absolutely understand the seriousness of a request of that nature and know exactly what they are doing.
I will be watching this case and will keep you posted!