Martha Sued for $74,000 in Legal Fees

Martha Sued for $74,000 in Legal Fees
EPA/Landov

updated 11/17/2005 at 08:00 AM EST

originally published 11/17/2005 08:00AM

A jury consultant hired to advise Martha Stewart's lawyer as the domestic diva prepared for her obstruction-of-justice and perjury trial claims in a lawsuit that Stewart stiffed her for $74,047.

Julie Blackman's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, says that Stewart's lawyer Robert G. Morvillo hired her in 2003 to help plan Stewart's defense in a case in which the homemaking expert was accused of lying to federal investigators about a 2001 stock sale. (Stewart, now 64, was subsequently convicted and served five months in prison and more than five months under house arrest.).

Blackman says her services included telephone surveys, focus groups, jury questionnaire design and jury selection, reports the Associated Press. Her bill, dated Feb. 10, 2004, reportedly is still due.

Stewart spokeswoman Allyn Magrino said that Stewart had not been served with any papers regarding Blackman's lawsuit and, therefore, could not comment.

Blackman's lawyer, Michael Dowd, said Stewart never returned his phone calls before he filed the suit, nor did she voice any complaints about the bill.

According to AP, Blackman also consulted with the defenses for former Tyco International Ltd. CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski (who has since been convicted of grand larceny) and former Credit Suisse First Boston investment banker Frank Quattrone (who stands convicted of obstruction of justice).

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