DC Madam draws a crowd


The courtroom was packed yesterday for a routine status hearing in the prostitution case against Deborah Jeane Palfrey, AKA the DC Madam, after the resignation Friday of a former client who happened to be the State Department’s director of foreign assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ms Palfrey was there to fire her highly regarded public defender, and ask the judge for $150,000 to hire a new lawyer. Judge Gladys Kessler agreed to appoint a new lawyer, but not of Palfrey’s choosing. “You are operating under the Criminal Justice Act because of indigent
issues,” the judge explained. “It does not give you the right to select


At the conclusion of the hearing the defendant had one more request. She told the judge that she holds 5000 shares of Dolby Laboratories. “The stock has increased in value approximately $13 a share” — to $37 — “since this particular asset was seized, “I really do believe it’s at its peak. I’d like the court to order this stock be sold as soon as possible.” The judge said she could not do that.

Washingto Post story here.

Art Lien

Courtartist is me, Art Lien. I've been sketching the courts since 1976, and for most of that time the U.S. Supreme Court has been my regular beat. I've been working almost exclusively for NBC News since 1980. Courtroom sketching is a form of visual journalism or reportage drawing that is slowly dying out. Where once upon a time news organization each had their own artist covering a story, today a "pool" artist often sketches for all. It is a demanding and stressful discipline where the drawing is often done directly and under tight deadline.

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