Stamford attorney Emmanuel Margolis, who has represented murder suspect Thomas Skakel since 1976, had maintained that the subpoena ordering him to appear before the grand jury was not valid because it had not been properly served when a court officer dropped the document on a courthouse bench after Margolis refused to physically accept it.
Yet Margolis appeared at the Fairfield County Courthouse yesterday morning, as the subpoena had ordered, and spent 35 minutes in the closed grand jury. room with his own lawyer, prosecutors, and one-man grand juror Superior Court Judge George N. Thim.
After emerging from the grand jury room, when Margolis was asked whether his appearance meant he had complied with the subpoena he replied, "No. not really." He refused further comment.
His attorney, Ralph Elliot, said, "A subpoena was issued. and Mr. Margolis is here today. That's all I can say.
State's Attorney, Jonathan Benedict. who is assisting Thim with the grand jury and who requested that Margolis be subpoenaed, refused comment.
On Thursday, Elliot filed a motion to squash his client's subpoena on the basis it had not been properly served. A hearing on the matter had not been granted as of yesterday. It is doubtful that Margolis answered any of the grand jury's questions yesterday. On Thursday, Elliot said if his client were to appear as a witness, he would refuse to testify due to the attorney-client privilege.
When the attempt was made to serve Margolis with the subpoena on Oct. 19, Margolis was in the Fairfield County Courthouse to observe a hearing to compel grand jury testimony from another reluctant witness against the other suspect in the Moxley case, Thomas Skakel's brother Michael.
Since convening in July, the grand jury has heard from nearly 40 witnesses, but has not had additional testimony since the boyhood best friend of Michael Skakel appeared Sept. 23. The proceeding has been on hold indefinitely as lawyers for the suspects seek to block testimony of witnesses on several fronts.
Lawyers have claimed one subpoenaed witness who allegedly heard Michael Skakel confess to Murdering Moxley cannot testify because any such statement would have been made while the suspect was at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, making anything Skakel said there confidential information under the dotcor-patient privilege.
Defense lawyers also are attempting to block the grand jury appearance of investigators from a private detective agency the prosecutors claim participated in interviews with the Skakel brothers.
During the interviews both suspects allegedly significantly changed the alibis they gave police in 1975.