Legal Briefs

Unexpected Discovery and Disclosure in the Stidham Murder


So, Lourdes, what do you think of your clients?

Lourdes Lopez--former lover of Dr. Brad Schwartz, the man accused of arranging the Oct. 5 murder of ex-associate Dr. David Brian Stidham--is in her eighth year as a lawyer. A former deputy county attorney, her practice is now subsidized by Pima County contracts to represent those who are too broke to hire legal counsel.

Schwartz, himself the recipient of a publicly provided lawyer, begged Lopez to join high-ticket Mike Piccarreta (before Schwartz had to let Piccarreta go due to a lack of funds) for his defense when he was arrested on Oct. 15. Verbatim from transcripts:

Schwartz: Lourdes, please don't, don't, don't say goodbye to me like this. I need your help. I nee- I need your help on this, please. Please. Lourdes, I understand that but I'm, our relationship aside, you're, why? This is, you're the best. ... In addition, in lieu of our relationship or our, it's a long word, but the fact that we've had a relationship, don't you want to see me not go to jail? ... I need your skills as an attorney. ... I'm not asking you to primarily be responsible for my defense, but I want you to be with Mike there. Please, I'm asking you, please. I've seen you work miracles with juries, OK?

(In a second interview with Det. Jill Murphy on Oct. 28, Lopez said she would not take calls from Schwartz.)

Lopez: So, uh, actually, the guy from the sheriff's department called me yesterday to tell me that Brad, I guess had tried to call my house ... and listed my number as his lawyer's number at home and I told the guy, I said I am an attorney, but I am not his attorney and my home number is a phone that I have listed to my clients, so it is not a privileged phone.

(Murphy said Schwartz may get through on Lopez's office phone, noting, "Like today, when I called, you answered the phone. So that can happen.")

Lopez: Well the thing, when our clients call from the county jail it says "you have a collect call from the Pima County Jail" and then it has their name.

Murphy: OK.

Lopez: If they put their names, 'cuz most of them are idiots, and ...

Murphy: Right.

Lopez: They say things like "Speedy." Who the hell is "Speedy," you know, you have to figure that out. So if he had put his name Brad Schwartz, I mean obviously I'll just hang up. He won't, he will not, he will not connect with this office.

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