The Pulp and Miami lawyer Ed Shohat have a lot in common these days. I've been writing about con artist Joel Steinger and former Anna Nicole Smith judge Larry Seidlin, and Shohat... well, he's been defending them.
I caught up with the lawyer on the phone on Friday and we had a brief discussion. The reason for the call remains top secret, but you'll know soon enough. We also spoke about Steinger and Seidlin in general terms, and I figure he deserves the floor. So here are some tidbits about what he said.
On Steinger, Shohat said there were a lot of untruths in the first part of my series that is out this week. Specifically he denied that famed lawyer Richard Ben-Veniste was best man at Steinger's wedding and vice versa. My sources remain steadfast on this matter. I asked Shohat if he would concede the allegations about Steinger showing his former young stepson and current 7-year-old son pornography and other lewd matters (including hiring a prostitute for the stepson's bar mitzvah). "No, none of that is true," said Shohat. "He would no more do that kind of thing than the man on the moon. This is a man who doesn't even use curse words in front of me."
Shohat said Steinger would be vindicated in court and said there is good reason the federal money-laundering and fraud trial has been continued until February 2011. "There are millions of documents in discovery," he said. "It's going to take a year and a half to go through the discovery. We're talking about five years of investigation. The trial judge also has to block off a six-month period for this trial, so these trials have to be put off quite a bit."
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On Seidlin, he said the judge is being attacked for being kind to an elderly woman in his building. He said the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office investigation was not only thorough but brutal on Seidlin. So why did Seidlin and family members receive more than a half million dollars worth of cash and assets from widow Barbara Kasler? "This is a woman who fell in love with the Seidlins and she has no other means of showing her appreciation for their keeping her alive than with her money," he said. "She knew exactly what she's doing. She's being exploited right now [by family members and caregivers]."