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Adam Attorneys Excused From Blagojevich Defense

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Adam Attorneys Excused From Blagojevich Defense
Jack Higgins
Adam Attorneys Excused From Blagojevich Defense

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Sam Adam (R) and his son Sam Adam Jr., attorneys for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, leave the courthouse after attending a hearing to hear a question from the jury August 17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.

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U.S. District Judge James Zagel on Friday excused former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's lead attorney from participation in a January retrial.

Sam Adam Jr. will technically remain a member of Blagojevich's defense team on the chance he'd have to be called in at some point.  But Zagel let Adam and his father, Sam Adam Sr., effectively withdraw.

Their motion was filed Thursday.

The pair had cited financial reasons for bowing out, but Sam Adam Jr. on Friday offered another reason for their departure.

"They know my style now.  The prosecution knows my style.  The prosecution knows my father's style.  This case needs to have a new, forward-looking direction," he said.

A legal fund Blagojevich drew on to pay a large legal defense team at the first trial is empty. Now that taxpayers must pay his legal bill, he's only allowed to have two attorneys and a paralegal.

Blagojevich's lead attorneys will now be Aaron Goldstein and Sheldon Sorosky, both veterans of the first trial. Lauren Kaeseberg is an attorney, but will be named as Blagojevich's paralegal.

"It is a tremendous burden because two lawyers now have to do the work of what five previously did," Sorosky said Friday.

Without Sam Adam and his bombastic style, Rod Blagojevich's next trial will undoubtedly be far less colorful.

"I'm not Sam Adam and Sam Adam's not Aaron Goldstein," said Goldstein in a third-person remark.  "I'm going to be myself and that's trying as hard as I can to win an acquittal for Rod Blagojevich.

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