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Legal jousting goes on between Corbin and defense teams

The legal jousting continues between former Nassau County Legis. Roger Corbin, his initial defense team and his present one.

Corbin's original defense lawyer and private investigator have filed suit in State Supreme Court in Nassau County, asking that any damages Corbin might incur because of incompetent legal representation be paid by his current attorney, Thomas Liotti, and his Garden City law firm, the Law Offices of Thomas F. Liotti.

The suit filed Wednesday by private detective Jay Salpeter and Mineola attorney David Bythewood also asked that a lawsuit filed against them in August by Liotti on Corbin's behalf be dismissed.

That suit claimed it was Bythewood's and Salpeter's inadequate actions on behalf of Corbin that resulted in his being criminally indicted, instead of having the then-legislator work out some sort of pretrial settlement with government prosecutors. The suit asked for $10 million in damages.

In his court papers at the time, Liotti wrote that Bythewood's representation of Corbin was "so far beneath the standard of effective assistance of counsel as to render Mr. Bythewood a de facto G-Man."

In a separate lawsuit filed last month, Bythewood sued Liotti for $100 million for defamation, saying that he represented Corbin as best he could, but that Corbin had not told the truth to either him or Salpeter about the circumstances of the case.

Corbin is facing trial next month on charges of filing false income-tax returns, income-tax evasion on $226,000 he received from a contractor, and lying to a federal agent.

Salpeter's attorney, Evan Schwartz of Garden City, said that if there was any fault in the representation Corbin received, it was by Liotti.

Liotti said in a telephone interview that he would answer in court the latest suit filed against him. Bythewood could not be reached for comment.

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