Blagojevich Loses an Attorney

As his surrender date approaches, Rod Blagojevich has one fewer attorney.

Elliott Riebman, one of four attorneys who represented Blagojevich at trial, has asked the court’s permission to withdraw from the former governor’s case. 

In his motion asking for leave from the legal team, Riebman notes that current attorney Lauren Kaeseberg will soon be joined by appellate attorney Leonard Goodman in representing Blagojevich on appeal.

Riebman, who was admitted to the bar in 2008, had a previous brush with fame when he starred in a commercial for the Apple iPhone.

The former governor's attorneys on Monday asked Judge James Zagel in court whether jury forewoman Connie Wilson violated court rules by retaining a copy of her jury questionnaire and showing it to high school students. They said if Wilson did break Zagel's rules on confidentiality, Blagojevich deserves a new trial.

Zagel quickly denied a request to consider a new trial, calling the idea "harebrained" and telling the attorneys they drew "entirely inappropriate analogies."

"How you could have lawfully concluded that a juror is restrained from revealing these things is just beyond my imagination," Zagel said during the hearing, even recommending attorney Kaeseberg submit a written apology to Wilson.

Blagojevich is due to surrender on March 15 to the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colo.

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