Controversial and confrontational Hollywood attorney Patty Glaser and her fellow law partners at Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro have agreed she will be “the spokeswoman, the public face, the disaster control executive” for the firm as it deals with the Pellicano scandal fallout from the February federal indictment of lead partner, Terry Christensen. So reports my pal Garry Abrams, columnist for the Daily Journal legal paper (online sub required). Glaser tells Abrams she didn’t want the job of mouthpiece. “It happened because, good or bad, I deal with a lot of high-profile matters. It just seemed like one of us should do it.”
But what’s unusual about her new assignment is that Glaser herself is the subject of whispers that she, too, is about to be swept up in the Pellicano scandal. Writes Abrams: “Glaser seemed flabbergasted when asked about a rumor that federal prosecutors had informed her they were investigating her possible involvement in the Pellicano mess. ‘Absolutely not,’ she declared over her mobile telephone. ‘Oh, my lord.'”
Abrams writes that, as Christensen’s case moves toward trial, Glaser will be called upon to give the firm’s response to the various hearings and filings that process entails. (I learned last week that also doing PR for Christensen is his good friend, L.A. crisis flack Mike Sitrick.) Christensen’s indictment alleged he used information gained from wiretaps placed by Pellicano to gain an unfair advantage while Christensen represented billionaire Kirk Kerkorian in a nasty child-support dispute. “Clearly, it’s a tall order for Glaser, trying to put the best face on this ugly situation – perhaps akin to arguing over the condition of Humpty Dumpy after that ovoid’s unfortunate contest with gravity. Is the big egg an omelet or merely missing a couple of pieces of shell that can be glued back on?” Abrams analyzes.
Graser is no stranger to the press: her cases involving Spider-Man and actress Kim Basinger proved irresistible to the news media, and, Abrams writes, “So, behind the scenes, she sometimes has taken on another role: acerbic press critic and media spin doctor. Reporters who cover her soon learn Glaser does not hesitate to pick up the telephone in her Century City office to complain about a story she dislikes or thinks contains errors. If she can get a reporter’s ear before he or she writes an article, Glaser will try to put the matter in the light most favorable to her.”
One of Glaser’s goals, perhaps her main one, as the firm’s media consultant, is to counter speculation in the press that Christensen’s indictment could be a mortal blow to the firm. “It’s not going to happen,” she tells Abrams of predictions of collapse.
Speaking of Hollywood law firms dissembling, the rats officially deserted the sinking ship, aka the esteemed Century City law firm of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, Machtinger & Kinsella, on April 17th when they opened their new firm, Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump and Aldisert. Unlike Christensen, no one at Greenberg Glusker has been indicted in the Pellicano case though name partner Bert Fields has been linked by the news media. Yet that firm was torn apart.
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