The [Tuesday] Papers
"U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel, who is presiding over the landmark trial, limited [testimony by former FBI agent Jim] Wagner to talking about the Outfit in general terms without providing any details he might know about the defendants," the Tribune reports.
"That changed, however, when Lombardo's lawyer, Rick Halprin, made the strategic decision to question Wagner about his knowledge of a case involving labor racketeer Allen Dorfman and an attempt to bribe the late U.S. Sen. Howard Cannon of Nevada.
"Zagel then allowed prosecutors in a later round of questioning to ask who else had been convicted in the 1982 case.
"'It was Joseph Lombardo,' Wagner said."
Why in the world would Halprin open the door like that?
In the Conrad Black trial, I think the defendants are guilty, but particularly due to the testimony of former Gov. Jim Thompson, there may be enough haze and gray to the prosecution to hang a jury on the facts.
The early-going in the Family Secrets trial, however, already bodes ill for the defendants - or at least for Lombardo.
Aside from the seeming error noted above (and if there is a strategy to it I haven't thought of, please enlighten me), Halprin made what seems like another bonehead move when it came to the jury seeing a rare photo of Lombardo with other reputed top mobsters at the Sicily Restaurant in Chicago, in a 1976 photo known to mob junkies as The Last Supper.
"Halprin noted that Lombardo was the only [attendee in the photo] wearing a suit," the Tribune reported. "The lawyer sought to portray his client as a non-violent businessman who is only associated with the mob, not a key member of the conspiracy."
The suit defense is not a winning one. Halprin could have said, "So what? The man can't have dinner with the folks he grew up with? Doesn't make him guilty of anything."
And the revelation to jurors that Lombardo was convicted in the Dorfman case puts him in a conspiracy. The combination made for a bad day for the defense.
Daley's Street Tax
Like a Movie
We track the highlights at Minor League Report.
"Dillard said in an interview that he is officially backing the presidential bid of Sen. John McCain and told the McCain campaign he still intends to run as a convention-delegate candidate pledged to the Arizona senator in Illinois' Feb. 5 primary," the Tribune reports. "Dillard agreed to appear in Obama's ad more than a month ago as a favor to his former state Senate colleague.
"His praise for Obama, which he said stops short of an endorsement, runs counter to some things Dillard said when Obama was campaigning for the U.S. Senate in 2004," the Trib notes.
"'He's shown a tendency to work on non-philosophical issues, but has been nowhere near the middle of the road, despite how he is trying to portray himself now,' Dillard said then. 'Even though I have sponsored major legislation with Barack and I like him personally, clearly he is soft on crime and borderline socialist on health care.'
"These days, Dillard said he doesn't believe the 'soft-on-crime' tag is appropriate. Obama, he said, now represents the entire state and has to be 'more moderate,' rather than only reflecting the liberal Hyde Park area he represented in the state Senate."
Among the top industries giving to Rush, pharmaceuticals rank 17th. If only the movie was about lawyers and utilities.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Set a record.
Posted on June 26, 2007
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