Powerful lawyer threatens Rebecca Zahau’s pro bono lawyer
8 November, 2011
meanwhile, across the water, The News of the World hired a specialist private investigator to run covert surveillance on two of the lawyers representing phone-hacking victims as part of an operation to put pressure on them to stop their work. A News International spokesperson said : “News International’s enquiries have led the company to believe that Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris were subject to surveillance. While surveillance is not illegal, it was clearly deeply inappropriate in these circumstances. This action was not condoned by any current executive at the company.” here
Dan K. Webb of the law firm Winston & Strawn LLP sent to Anne Bremner, a lawyer working for the Rebecca Zahau family without fee, warning that “your false public statements constitute defamation, per se, and under law, entitle Mr. Shacknai to recover from you, and your law firm, substantial damages.”Dan K. Webb is the chairman of the Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn, and is widely considered one of the top trial attorneys in the United States. Effective immediately, the advocacy program at Loyola’s School of Law will be called the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy to honor his distinguished career, and to recognize his significant contributions to the School of Law, including a recent major financial commitment.”
Simultaneously, an unnamed source claimed Anne was working with a literary agent and “may commission” a true crime author to write a book about the case. “We’re not representing the book effort,” said Martin. “[Anne Bremner] asked me since she’s working pro bono if I would help her get the website up for family which I’ve done, and I’m helping to coordinate media requests.”
“What is most concerning are recent false public statements you have made that Mr. Shacknai, because of his business success, has somehow improperly influenced the investigations… You have further made public comments that these agencies have applied a different standard in conducting their investigations because of Mr. Shacknai’s wealth,” the letter said.
Webb called Bremner’s statements “highly insensitive on a human level. Mr. Shacknai and his family have suffered two tragic losses under the harsh and unkind glare of a national media frenzy you have now helped sustain.”
“I haven’t said anything about his wealth nor have I said anything that could be considered false or defamatory … We are simply seeking the truth and justice.” A police investigation determined Zahau’s death was a suicide, but her family has hired lawyer Anne Bremner who has raised questions about the death and has pressed police to reopen the case.