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The civil attorney for accused D.C. madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey has already caused something of a headache for federal prosecutors. But it’s her court-appointed criminal lawyer that Palfrey says is the problem. She’s told the court she wants a new one of her choosing — and she’s asked the court to give her money to foot the bill. Palfrey wrote in a March 29 filing “there have been a series of conflicts between myself and A.J. Kramer which have resulted in a state of irreconcilable personal and professional differences which make further representation by the Federal Public Defender’s office impossible.” Palfrey did not elaborate, but said she’s consulted several outside attorneys. The problem: She has no money to hire someone, because the government has seized her assets. So she’s asked Judge Gladys Kessler to cover an estimated $500,000 legal bill. Kramer, who runs the Federal Public Defender’s Office, declined to comment. The move isn’t entirely surprising. Last month, Kessler let Palfrey travel to New York to consult with an outside attorney she wanted to handle her case. But the government isn’t so sanguine. In an April 3 response, prosecutors suggest Palfrey ask for the appointment of another court-chosen attorney but say she “has stated no legal basis for her claim to a half-a-million dollar defense budget.”
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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