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Lawyer Punched by Client Is Allowed Out of Murder Trial A public defender who was punched in the face by his client in a death penalty murder trial on Monday was allowed to withdraw from the case yesterday, but his co-counsel was ordered to continue the trial and was jailed for civil contempt when she refused to do so.A Superior Court judge later stayed the contempt order and released the lawyer, but the stay was scheduled to expire this morning, when she must report back to the trial, potentially to be jailed once again. In a hearing yesterday morning, the lawyer who was punched, Fred R. Goodman of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, asked to withdraw because he is too angry with the defendant, Malik el-Shabazz, 20, who is on trial in the rape and slaying of a 6-year-old girl. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan granted Goodman’s motion but ordered that his co-counsel, Andrea Konow, continue to defend el-Shabazz. But Konow told the judge that she, too, was unable to continue to represent el-Shabazz because she is now afraid of him. Greenspan said el-Shabazz would remain handcuffed and shackled throughout the trial and ordered Konow to continue, but Konow refused and insisted that the judge should declare a mistrial. Greenspan then declared Konow in contempt of court. The trial was recessed, and the judge held a contempt hearing in which Konow was represented by attorney Bradley S. Bridge, also of the Defender Association. Shortly before noon yesterday, Konow was jailed for civil contempt but was told by Greenspan that she held the keys to her cell in her own hand and would be released as soon as she agreed to continue the trial. The el-Shabazz murder trial was temporarily halted Monday after el-Shabazz punched Goodman in open court. Goodman was not seriously injured. Court officers tackled el-Shabazz and then led him quickly from the courtroom at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center. Greenspan immediately declared a recess and sent jurors home. Chief Defender Ellen Greenlee said she attended the contempt hearing and believes that Greenspan should have granted the defense motion for a mistrial. Greenlee said that Goodman was the lead lawyer handling the guilt phase of the trial and that Konow had prepared to take the lead in the penalty phase if el-Shabazz is convicted of first-degree murder. As a result, Greenlee said, Konow was not prepared to take over the case. El-Shabazz is accused of murdering Destiny Wright during a girls’ slumber party at his sister’s home in Philadelphia in 2002. During the trial, jurors were shown a police videotape in which el-Shabazz described in great detail how he smothered the girl and then lugged her body more than a mile to a vacant lot. Jurors on Monday also saw autopsy photographs of the girl’s body. Assistant District Attorney Jodi Lobel had just rested her case Monday afternoon, and both teams of lawyers were returning to their seats after a brief, private conference with the judge, when el-Shabazz swung at Goodman, authorities said. It was el-Shabazz’s second outburst of the trial. On the day of opening statements, el-Shabazz began yelling when Goodman told jurors that his client had, in fact, committed the assault. “There is no question who did this,” Goodman said. “The only thing that is at issue is the difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder.” “And my innocence! I’m innocent!” el-Shabazz said. “That’s what the DA and my lawyers won’t tell you.” A finding of second-degree murder would spare el-Shabazz the death penalty. Greenlee said late yesterday that Bridge had succeeded in securing Konow’s release from jail by appealing to the Superior Court. But the release was only temporary, Greenlee said, because Superior Court Judge Richard Klein’s order simply stayed Greenspan’s contempt order until 10 a.m. today. Greenlee said that her office is also pursuing an emergency appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court but that the two defense lawyers – Goodman and Konow – are also considering whether to get back into the case. The Associated Press contributed to this report. – Shannon P. Duffy Strober Named Saul Ewing Phila. Office Managing Partner Saul Ewing real estate partner Frederick D. Strober has been named to the new position of Philadelphia office managing partner. Each of Saul Ewing’s six other offices is managed by a resident partner who provides leadership in community and business affairs. Saul Ewing firmwide managing partner Stephen S. Aichele said Philadelphia was the firm’s only site without an office managing partner, even though it is the firm’s largest site. Because the office managing partner concept worked well at other offices, Aichele said he thought it would be a good idea to have one in Philadelphia. Aichele said Strober, who has spent all 23 years of his legal career at Saul Ewing, was a logical choice because of his past involvement in firm management and his connections to Philadelphia community activities. Strober was the firm’s executive partner from 1994 to 1998 and a member of its executive committee from 1999 to 2003. For the past three years, he has served as counsel to the School District of Philadelphia and the School Reform Commission, where he structured and negotiated contracts with seven private entities, including two Philadelphia-area universities, for the management of 45 Philadelphia schools. Since 1997, Strober has served as counsel to the nonprofit corporation involved in the revitalization of the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. In addition, Strober is president of the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a member of the board of trustees of the Green Tree School, a member of the board of directors of the Central Philadelphia Development Corp., and a supporter of The Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia. “The firm drew up a [new] strategic plan in 2003 that had the goal of being the predominant firm in [the mid-Atlantic] region,” Strober said. “So my job is to implement that plan in Philadelphia.” Strober will focus on elevating Saul Ewing’s visibility in the community by involving all Philadelphia attorneys in community and civic life and expanding opportunities to serve the firm’s Philadelphia clients. He will help coordinate the firm’s practice groups, industry groups and departments in the Philadelphia area, as well as spearhead the expansion of Philadelphia-based practice areas through the recruitment of individual laterals and groups of lateral attorneys. Strober is a 1981 graduate of Temple University’s law school. He has spent his entire career in Saul Ewing’s real estate department, where he is chairman of the construction practice. – Jeff Blumenthal Man to Get $1.6 Mil. After DNA Clears Him of Rapes A landscaper who served 15 years in prison before DNA testing cleared him of two rapes will get a $1.6 million settlement from a township whose detectives elicited a false confession. Bruce Godschalk, 44, had previously agreed to accept $740,000 from Montgomery County to settle the same damage claims, making his total settlement more than $2.3 million. “We still don’t think we did anything wrong,” said Joseph J. Pizonka, the Upper Merion Township solicitor. “But we got to thinking, He spent 15 years of his life in prison. What is that worth?” Godschalk, who now lives in South Carolina, declined comment on the township settlement, which supervisors approved in a vote last week. “We are satisfied with the results,” said his lawyer, David Rudovsky of Philadelphia. The township earlier executed a $1 million insurance policy to put toward the Godschalk case and Thursday agreed to award an additional $600,000 to end the suit. The money, which is also expected to come from insurance policies, will be in the form of regular payments of $60,000 over the next decade. Godschalk filed his lawsuit in September 2002, seven months after he left prison, alleging in part that Dets. Bruce Saville and Michael Karcewski tricked him into confessing. Then a landscaper, Godschalk was arrested after two women were raped at an apartment complex in 1986. He confessed, was convicted of the rapes and burglary in May 1987 and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison. But he recanted and spent years trying to clear his name. Godschalk was freed in February 2002 after the DNA tests exonerated him and prosecutors said they would not seek to retry the case. Neither detective still works for the township. One retired and one works elsewhere in the county, Pizonka said. – The Associated Press

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