Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Who is the lead defense attorney?

The much-awaited trial of the British socialite will begin on November 29


                            Ghislaine Maxwell trial: Who is the lead defense attorney?
Ghislaine Maxwell will be represented by Bobbi Sternheim during her trial starting on November 29 (Andrew H Walker/Getty Images and Fasulo Braverman & Di Maggio, LLP)

The wait for justice for Jeffrey Epstein as well as Ghislaine Maxwell’s accusers and victims will hopefully end soon as the latter is going on trial on Monday, November 29. However, it is expected to last several weeks before the verdict will come. The 59-year-old was behind bars at Brooklyn's Metropolitan Detention Center for more than a year after being arrested in New Hampshire in July 2020.

Maxwell has been pressed with eight criminal counts. One of which is helping Epstein — who killed himself in August 2019 while awaiting trial inside Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York — run a sex trafficking ring involving girls as young as 14. If found guilty of all charges, she could face years behind bars.

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After her July 2, 2020 arrest, an indictment opened in Manhattan federal court read, “From at least 1994 through at least 1997, Ghislaine Maxwell assisted, facilitated, and participated in Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Jeffrey Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse victims known to Maxwell and Epstein to be under the age of 18.”

It added: “The victims were as young as 14 years old when they were groomed and abused by Maxwell and Epstein, both of whom knew that their victims were in fact minors.  As a part and in furtherance of their scheme to abuse minor victims, Maxwell and Epstein enticed and caused minor victims to travel to Epstein’s residences in different states, which Maxwell knew and intended would result in their grooming for and subjection to sexual abuse.”

Who is the lead defense attorney in Ghislaine Maxwell's trial?

Maxwell has a team of lawyers and when on November 1, she appeared for a pre-trial hearing, Attorney Bobbi Sternheim took the lead. Also, in the court documents filed in October last year, Sternheim has said that she’ll represent Maxwell in her sex-trafficking case. Reportedly, others in the team are — Laura Menninger and Jeff Pagliuca from Haddon Morgan & Foreman in Denver, Christian Everdell from Cohen and Gresser, a partner in New York; and Renato Stabile, Esq., attorney and managing director of a trial attorney consulting firm, Dubin Consulting.

Sternheim works at Fasulo Braverman & Di Maggio, LLP and the bio of her on the company’s website reads, “A recognized leader in the local and national criminal defense bar for litigating difficult and complex cases, she uses her courtroom and advocacy skills in New York and beyond.”

It also notes that the counsel’s “case portfolio is extensive, covering a wide range of criminal and civil matters. She holds Top Secret/SCI Clearance and has represented individuals extradited internationally. Notable civil cases include a gender discrimination suit against the Mission of Saudi Arabia, a financial interpleader action against Imelda Marcos, and a medical malpractice suit against the United States Bureau of Prisons.”

Meanwhile, besides the defense team, there are lawyers who are working on behalf of Maxwell’s siblings. A few days ago, the Paris-based lawyers Francois Zimeray and Jessica Finelle filed a complaint with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention alleging that the British socialite “is subject to “inhumane and degrading” inside the jail.

In a press release, the pair, who are independent of Maxwell’s defense counsel in the US, said: “This is unprecedented discrimination, the like of which has never been seen before: All her applications for bail have been rejected, with no regard for the security offered,” the Paris-based lawyers said in a press release. “It is as if Ghislaine Maxwell is suffering the consequences of the failure of the US Administration to preserve the life of Jeffrey Epstein and secure his appearance at trial.”