UPDATE: Sentencing will take place November 17th.
Maybe Terry Christensen should have hired a real criminal attorney and not his entertainment law partner Patty Glaser who clearly got out of testifying against him by becoming his counsel. Being found guilty on one count of wiretapping and one count of criminal conspiracy means that Christensen could be jailed for as long as 10 years. This verdict is sure to shake up the entertainment legal landscape because Christensen was the managing partner at the powerhouse law firm of Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro.
Of course there’ll be an appeal, especially after the federal judge took the rare step yesterday of dismissing a juror who apparently lied about making biased statements. (Like how the defendants should be allowed to wiretap because the U.S. government does, and “this case is a joke case” because “no one died.”) The jury foreman had asked that juror No. 7 be replaced because his mind was made up when deliberations began and he refused to take part in them. The juror himself claimed the others were angry with him because he disagreed with the majority.
Christensen and the Hollywood private eye he hired, Anthony Pellicano, were convicted of hatching a plot to intercept the telephone calls of Lisa Bonder, the ex-wife of billionaire Christensen client Kerk Kerkorian when both were in the midst of a bitter child support dispute. This was Pellicano’s second wiretapping trial: he was convicted of racketeering and other federal crimes related to his illegal information-gathering operation in May.
After six weeks of trial, this jury came back with a verdict remarkably quickly except for the No. 7 contretemps. Pellicano, who again represented himself, and Christensen’s legal team argued against removing the juror and called for a mistrial. “It’s clear that this jury came in hell bent for a quick verdict and they have exerted incredible pressure on this dissenting view by this particular juror,” defense attorney Terree A. Bowers was quoted in the press as saying. “We just think this whole process has totally invalidated and tainted this jury.”
The conspiracy and wiretapping case against Pellicano and Christensen hinged on the contents of their 34 recorded conversations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Saunders argued that the first chat was “the birth of a criminal conspiracy” between two men because of “an insatiable need to win” Kerkorian’s legal case by any means possible — including a secret pact to wiretap Bonder and her attorney in a “shocking display of greed, corruption and arrogance”.
But Glaser, a litigator conducting her first criminal trial, asserted there was no wiretapping plot and claimed that Christensen was a victim of Pellicano’s, not a perpetrator. To bolster her argument, Glaser called Kerkorian to the witness stand where he testified that he knew nothing about any wiretapping.
In the last Pelliano trial, witnesses testified that several Los Angeles attorneys made use of Pellicano’s illegal investigative techniques, but Christensen was the only lawyer indicted in the scandal because Pellicano taped conversations with him. But no actual wiretapping was presented as evidence because of Pelicano’s fail-safe method of computer encryption. instead there were recordings of the two defendants actually discussing crimes in their own words.
- Pellicano/Christensen Trial Goes To Jury
- Closing Arguments Set For Today In Pellicano/Christensen Trial
- Kerkorian Says Nothing Really New At Pellicano/Christensen Trial
- Kirk Kerkorian To Testify Wednesday At Pellicano/Christensen Trial
- Kirk Kerkorian Will Testify For Defense In Pellicano/Christensen Trial
- Pellicano Sequel: ‘The Odd Couple’ Or ‘Incredible Two-Headed Transplant’?
- Tapes Heat Up Pellicano-Christensen Trial
- Kirk Kerkorian And Steve Bing May Testify in Christensen-Pellicano Trial
- Pellicano Trial Starts For Christensen; Patty Glaser Defending Him
- It’s Official: Pellicano To Be Tried Twice
- Could Pellicano Go Through Two Trials?
- Pellicano: Feds Want NYT Source Waivers
- Pellicano Hearing: NYT Covering Itself
- NYT Unveils Pellicano/Christensen Tapes
- Indicted Christensen Still Talking, His Law Firm Still Troubled
- Pellicano Probed? H’wood Attorney Patty Glaser Says “Absolutely Not”