Ruth Madoff to hire own attorney

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Last week we heard that Ruth Madoff wants to keep her $70 million dollars in assets; now we learn she's planning to hire her own attorney. Usually a couple seeks separate representation when their interests in a case diverge. One defense attorney told Newsday that it's a sign that Bernie Madoff was pleading guilty.

Ira Sorkin, who's been representing Bernie Madoff, has also unofficially watched over Ruth Madoff's interests. But, Sorkin said it's time for her to get her own attorney. "Going forward, if and when the government wants to talk to her [Ruth] ... she will be hiring her own counsel," Sorkin told Newsday.

Even if Ruth Madoff doesn't face criminal charges related to her husband's business activities, she will likely face civil lawsuits. Some have been filed and more are expected to be filed by investors hurt as part of the Ponzi scheme. Madoff's sons already have hired separate attorney's from the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in Manhattan.

Madoff will be in court on Tuesday to waive any possible conflict of interest Sorkin may have. Sorkin's family had invested with Madoff, but the attorney has said he didn't. Madoff must waive any potential conflict before he can waive indictments or plead guilty.

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