Illinois Supreme Court Enters Interim Suspension Against Drew Peterson’s Former Attorney Joel Brodsky — Brodsky’s Own Lawyer Joe “The Shark” Admitted at the Sanctions Hearing that Plaintiff’s Counsel Was Correct and that Brodsky Engaged in “Rambo-Like Tactics”

The Illinois Supreme Court entered an interim suspension order against attorney Joel Brodsky prohibiting him for practicing law in Illinois until further order of the Court.  You can view the order here.

You can view the brief of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission filed in support of the order here.

In opposing his possible suspension in a brief to the Supreme Court, Brodsky continued to attempt to advance his “blame his victims” defense. Those victims are the Plaintiff’s counsel and Plaintiff’s expert witness in the Twyman case. Brodsky claimed he was justified in his attack on Plaintiff’s counsel and Plaintiff’s expert in direct contradiction of the findings made by Judge Kendall at the evidentiary hearing on sanctions rejecting those claims, and despite the 7th Court of Appeals and the Executive Committee of the Northern District of Illinois affirming Judge Kendall’s decision. The Executive Committee suspended Brodsky from federal court for a year (which it later reduced to 6 months) finding that the evidence presented at the sanctions hearing in Twyman in support of suspension was “clear and convincing”.  You can view that order here.

Brodsky recently sued one of his three former attorneys in the sanctions hearing claiming the attorney should have advanced more vigorously Brodsky’s discredited “blame the victims” defense. The ARDC complaint against Brodsky takes issue with this discredited defense stating: “Respondent’s (Brodsky’s) actions in accusing [opposing counsel in Twyman] of extortion and manufacturing a case were unsubstantiated, false, and frivolous, and had no other purpose than to harass and intimidate [opposing counsel].” Here is a link to that complaint.

Even Brodsky’s own lawyer, Joe “The Shark” Lopez (not the attorney Brodsky later sued for malpractice for failing to assert the “blame the victims” defense) admitted in his opening statement in purported defense of sanctions entering at the sanctions hearing before Judge Kendall at p. 37, “I think [Brodsky] was overzealous, and I think that [Plaintiff’s counsel’s sanctions] pleading is correct, that he [Brodsky] engaged in Rambo-like tactics”.  You can view the transcript where Brodsky’s own lawyer Joe “The Shark” made this admission of misconduct at p. 37 here.  The sanctions pleadings referred to by Joe “the Shark” which outline all of Brodsky’s “Rambo-like tactics” can be viewed here, here, here, here, here, and here.

You can view the main pleading in Twyman supporting sanctions here. Brodsky’s claims that opposing counsel manufactured a fee-shifting consumer fraud case based on a false expert report were contrary to the evidence according to Judge Kendall as found in the Court’s sanctions decision. 

The car dealer in Twyman who allegedly knowingly sold a rebuilt wreck to Twyman had purchased the accident damaged luxury Infiniti at issue in the lawsuit from the Manheim automobile auction. The auction had given the car a 1.9 rating (out of a possible rating of 5) meaning, according to the auction, it was in “rough” condition and had been abused or in an accident and was likely to have structural damage. A detailed report provided with the auction rating (which was available to the car dealer that sold Twyman the car before the dealer purchased the car at the auction) contained a list of the actual unrepaired accident damage and photographs of the damage.  You can view that report which is attached as an exhibit to a pleading filed by Plaintiff here. Plaintiff also had obtained the insurance records showing that the car had been in a major front and backside collision and had submitted that evidence into the record before Judge Kendall.  You can view the insurance records and the photographs of the accident damage which were attached as an exhibit to a motion filed by the Plaintiff here.

Before Plaintiff had even filed suit or had spoken with the lawyer who later became his counsel, or with the expert, an Indiana autobody shop and Infinity dealer had inspected the car and provided Plaintiff with written reports that it had substantial unrepaired accident damage. Plaintiff’s preliminary expert declaration submitted to Judge Kendall attached those documents as exhibits. Judge Kendall cited the expert report in an opinion in denying Defendants’ motion to dismiss which you can view here. After that opinion, Brodsky continued to assert that the expert report was unfounded and that Plaintiff’s counsel had manufactured the case.

According to the ARDC complaint, Brodsky had no basis for his claim (which he continued to assert before the Supreme Court) that Plaintiff’s counsel did not have a basis for filing the claims that the car sold to Twyman was a rebuilt wreck and that Plaintiff’s expert had invented those claims. In fact, as stated, even as Brodsky continued to advance those claims in the Twyman case, Judge Kendall had already reviewed the expert’s preliminary report (provided in a sworn declaration) and had rejected Brodsky’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, finding that Plaintiff had properly pled federal diversity claims based on the potential for punitive damages and the potential for actual damages exceeding $30,000.  The opinion states:

In their reply brief, Defendants contest the amount of potential damages for the first time. Because they did not raise this argument until their reply brief, it is deemed waived. Griffin v.
Bell, 694 F.3d 817, 822 (7th Cir. 2012). Even if the Court were to consider Defendants’ argument regarding the validity of Plaintiff’s claimed compensatory damages, Plaintiff, using competent proof—including a declaration from a proposed expert—has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that he may be entitled to actual damages approximating $30,000.

You can view that decision by Judge Kendall here.

You can view Plaintiff’s sanction pleadings in Twyman here, here, here, here, here, and here. You can view a motion regarding Brodsky’s conduct at a deposition, which is referenced in Judge Kendall’s sanctions decision, here.  You can view the transcript of proceedings for the sanctions hearing in Twyman here.

Brodsky was represented by three attorneys at the sanctions hearing including the managing partner and founder of the Chicago office of a large New York law firm and by prominent criminal attorney, Joe “The Shark” Lopez.  Judge Lefkow called Brodsky’s “blame his lawyer’s defense” (where Brodsky tried to place the blame for his sanctions on his insurance defense counsel from the Chicago office of the New York firm), “a dubious proposition”.  Brodsky only blamed his mal-practice insurance defense lawyer even though his personal defense attorney Joe “The Shark” admitted that Plaintiff’s counsel was correct and that Brodsky had engaged in Rambo-like tactics.  You can view the decision rejecting the “blame the lawyer’s” defense here.

Brodsky’s latest claim (which is contrary to the evidence) advanced to the Illinois Supreme Court to try to save his law license from temporary suspension is that his investigation had revealed that the Plaintiff’s expert in Twyman was not a “bona fide expert witness” and that the expert had purportedly never testified in any case as an expert. This claim appears to have been advanced without any proper investigation of the legitimacy of Brodsky’s purported claim before taking the step of submitting the unfounded allegations (harming the expert’s reputation) to the Illinois Supreme Court; despite Supreme Court Rule 137 which prohibits the filing of untrue statements.  In fact, Plaintiff’s expert in Twyman has been qualified as an expert by a number of courts as well as in arbitration proceedings.  If Brodsky’s current lawyer, who signed the brief filed with the Illinois Supreme Court, had read the sanctions transcript of proceedings before Judge Kendall, he would have learned that Plaintiff’s expert had been recommended to the Plaintiff’s counsel by one of the top auto fraud attorneys in Illinois (Norm Lehrer), and been retained as an expert many times by many attorneys. He would have also learned that Plaintiff’s expert testified in two prior arbitration hearings as an expert submitted by Plaintiff’s counsel where the arbitrator accepted the expert’s findings and awarded damages following the expert’s testimony based on those findings.  (See transcript of proceedings in the sanctions hearing before Judge Kendall).

As stated in the sanctions hearing transcript and in Plaintiff’s expert’s resume, he is a mechanical engineer who graduated from the General Motors Institute, which is now called Kettering University.  He studied how to manufacture and build cars.

Kettering is and has been one of the premier engineering schools in the country and is perhaps the top school for training engineers on how to build cars and trucks. The current CEO of General Motors is a Kettering graduate as are many other major figures in the automobile industry. In addition, to working for General Motors, while at Kettering and following graduation, Plaintiff’s expert owned a used car dealership and has purchased thousands of used cars at automobile auctions including at the Manheim auction.

Kettering’s website describes its mission and history as follows:

The institution was founded in 1919 as The School of Automobile Trades and opened under the direction of Albert Sobey to train engineering and management personnel. In 1923, the school became the Flint Institute of Technology offering a four-year cooperative education program, and enrolling more than 600 students. Recognizing the potential of cooperative education, the General Motors Corporation took over financial support of the school in 1926, renamed it General Motors Institute, and started utilizing the facility to develop engineers and managers. In 1945, the Institute added a fifth-year thesis requirement and became a degree-granting college with a continuing commitment to cooperative education.

GM divested itself of ownership of the school in 1982 and the schools was renamed GMI Engineering & Management Institute. Also in 1982, the institution began offering graduate programs to on- and off-campus students.

Contact Information