The retainer letters, signed by Edward Marcus, said the Blumenthal investigation might proceed on "dual tracks" and involve civil prosecution and possible injunctive relief, or be turned over to the State's Attorney for criminal prosecution. In the latter case, the $5,000 retainer would have to be "renegotiated."
Bethany defense lawyer Norman Pattis, representing Bello, was fiercely critical of Shelley Marcus for not advising her clients that they faced potential criminal liability.
He painstakingly questioned her about the minimum "issue spotting" skills of a lawyer who has just passed the bar, and after a struggle, got her to concede that she had not warned her clients to protect themselves from criminal exposure.
Marcus said she was told by the clients that they had lawyers and judges participating in the gifting tables themselves, but when she asked for names, wasn't told specifics. "Is it the practice of your office to engage in don't ask, don't tell?" He said he couldn't believe she didn't confer with other lawyers, even the ones who participated or approved the "gifting tables" as legal. "The legal profession is a fairly collegial one," Pattis said, when we're not engaged in cross examination.
He later asked, "If you really thought a client was doing something against the law, you would have to ask them to stop, isn't that right? Yes or no?"
Marcus began answering with a different explanation, as she frequently did. Pattis stopped her. "You've been where I am before [examining a witness] and you know I am entitled to a yes or no."
Pattis tried again, "If your client is engaging in unlawful conduct, you could be charged as well, right?"
"I don't think so," said Marcus.
"No further questions," said Pattis. Shelley Marcus stepped down.