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Vet to testify in Brooks trial

April 30, 2010
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Dr. Seth Fishman will be allowed to testify for the prosecution in David Brooks’s federal criminal trial, according to Newsday.com. Dr. Seth Fishman is expected to testify that defendant David Brooks asked him if there was a pill he (Brooks) could give to Dawn Schlegel (the government’s key witness) to erase her memory.
 
Defense lawyers have argued, in the last few days, that Dr. Fishman had an agreement (called a Kovel agreement) whereby he was acting as an agent of David Brooks’s prior attorney and therefore was barred from testifying against Brooks.
 
Veteran criminal defense attorneys told harnessracing.com earlier this week that it would be virtually impossible to have a Kovel agreement with a vet relating to anything other than something that a vet would do in his normal practice as opposed to giving a pill to a human being or having such a pill which would erase human memory. These same defense attorneys stated that they had never heard of a verbal (as opposed to a written) Kovel agreement.
 
According to veteran reporter Robert Kessler of Newsday, defense attorneys could not find a prior Brooks attorney who would admit to such an agreement.  Nor could they produce a copy of such an agreement.  Without proof of either, the way is paved for Dr. Fishman to testify against David Brooks.
 
When defense attorney Kenneth Ravenell stated to Judge Joanna Seybert that he had information that Dr. Fishman may have used cocaine and was the subject of an FBI investigation in Florida, he was countered on both points by Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) Christopher Caffarone.  AUSA Caffarone stated that, with respect to alleged drug use, Dr. Fishman said that he had not taken drugs in years and, if the issue of drug use were to be raised, Dr. Fishman could testify that defendant Brooks had him (Dr. Fishman) supply marijuana to Brooks’s children and that they had smoked it together (which obviously will make the defense think twice before introducing such evidence of alleged drug use on cross-examination on Dr. Fishman).
 
With respect to the Florida investigation, AUSA Caffarone said it involved Dr. Fishman supplying human growth hormone, or HGH, to horse owners but that it ended with no charges being brought against Dr. Fishman. Dr. Fishman has been seen at South Florida training centers.
 
The trial resumes in federal court in Central Islip, Long Island on Monday, May 3.--By Steve Kallas 

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