Attorneys representing Andrea Sneiderman in the wrongful death suit filed by her brother-in-law on Wednesday blasted opposing counsel, saying the case is “rife with false allegations designed to embarrass and harass” the Dunwoody widow and her alleged paramour.
The accusations were lodged within the defense’s response to a motion filed by Esther Panitch seeking to compel Sneiderman to answer questions about her relationship with Joseph Dell, who has emerged as a pivotal figure in both the civil action and Sneiderman’s pending criminal trial.
Earlier this week DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams ordered Sneiderman to cease having any contact with Dell — who prosecutors say is her live-in boyfriend — now that he’s been added to the state’s witness list.
Sneiderman is charged with conspiring with former boss, Hemy Neuman, to kill her husband in November 2010.
Neuman was sentenced to life in prison in March for his role in the shooting.
DeKalb Chief Assistant District Attorney Don Geary said in court recently there is evidence that Sneiderman had her husband, Rusty, shot to death “not for Mr. Neuman to be with the defendant, but someone else.”
“(T)he motion is a fishing expedition in search of support for a new fantastical theory of liability,” Sneiderman attorney Mark Trigg wrote in his response. He went on to accuse Panitch of filing the motion to satisfy “her media audience with the preposterous idea that Mrs. Sneiderman not only manipulated Hemy Neuman to have her husband killed, but did so for the purpose of facilitating a relationship with Mr. Dell.”
Trigg asked the court to sanction Panitch for allegedly falsely claiming that she “engaged in a good faith effort to resolve the issues raised in the motion.”
In her response, filed Thursday, Panitch accused opposing counsel of “engaging in ad hominem attacks … emblematic of tactics resorted to by parties whose logical arguments have failed them.” She denied their claims that she failed to act in good faith regarding the motion to compel.
The Dunwoody attorney has been a persistent thorn in Sneiderman’s side since before Neuman’s trial, when Panitch — acting as counsel for the convicted killer’s ex-wife, Ariela — accused the widow of engaging in an affair with Neuman, her former supervisor at GE Energy. Panitch supplied evidence to prosecutors that surfaced in Neuman’s trial and was one of the first to accuse Sneiderman of being culpable in her husband’s death.
In her response, Panitch accused Sneiderman’s lawyers of mounting “a coordinated attack not only on the plaintiff, but also on plaintiff’s counsel’s professional and personal reputation, as well as the prosecution in the criminal case.”
Sneiderman, who is under house arrest, has denied any involvement in her husband’s killing. Trial dates have yet to be set in either the civil or criminal cases.