EXCLUSIVE: I can report tonight that Hollywood superlawyer Bert Fields is virtually free and clear of almost every aspect of the Pellicano case, including the wiretapping and conspiracy accusations which federal prosecutors have been pursuing against thug P.I. Anthony Pellicano. “This is done and over,” sources told me today. Big, BIG news, and it comes despite prosecutors calling at least 10 members of his Century City law firm Greenberg Glusker before a federal grand jury in recent weeks, as reported yesterday by The New York Times‘ Pellicano-probing duo of David Halbfinger and Alison Hope Weiner. But I’m told the real facts are that Fields, to show his cooperation and his belief in his own innocence, agreed repeatedly to requests by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles to temporarily waive the statutes of limitations for any conduct being examined by the Pellicano probe. And when these specified periods of time expired, he waived them again. While it’s true that the statutes of limitations have not yet lapsed on all potential charges against Fields, I’m told almost every one has already run out, and all concerning the big issues. Meanwhile, for “months and months” now, the feds have stopped asking Fields for any more extensions. He was even able to take his grand chateau vacation in central France during the summer. As for why prosecutors called those Greenberg Glusker employees in front of the grand jury, my informed speculation is that it’s not with the expectation of making some eleventh-hour case against Fields who himself acknowledged three years ago, that federal prosecutors had informed him he was “a subject” of their widening investigation in the Pellicano wiretap case. (Being a “a subject” meant he was a person whose conduct was within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.) But no charges have ever been forthcoming despite a myriad rumors. Already, the federal prosecutors said months ago that they did not expect to bring charges against Fields’s law firm which has stated publicly it has put this matter behind it. And so has Fields. “Bert has already put this behind him, and is totally focused on his cases. I’ve never seen him so busy,” a source told me. In fact, Fields just successfully finished trying a title arbitration for Dreamworks. And, next month, he goes into L.A. Superior Court for a 2-month jury trial representing best-selling author Clive Cussler against Denver billionaire Phil Anschutz’s Beverly Hills movie company Crusader Entertainment over Cussler’s right of script approval on the film Sahara. In other Pellicano news, every defendant in the Pellicano case, except the P.I. himself, has agreed to postpone their trial from February until September 2007. Only Pellicano is pushing for the trial to begin as scheduled (although he wants extra time to file motions), and his attorney just requested to have the P.I.’s case severed from the other defendants. Today, the government responded to Pellicano in a brief. For those unfamiliar with the Fields-Pellicano connection, the Hollywood litigator frequently employed the Hollywood private investigator on cases, and the two men became close pals. (Fields was one of the very few in showbiz who helped raise $$$ for Pellicano’s kids when the P.I. was first jailed.) It’s probably worth repeating what Pellicano said back in June, during a jailhouse phone interview with the Los Angeles Times, about Fields and the feds’ wiretapping and conspiracy probe: “Of all the people in the world to suspect it of: Bert Fields? Mr. Clean Jeans? Mr. Straight Arrow? My God, I don’t think I’ve even heard him curse in the entire time I’ve known him — let alone say, ‘Hey, Pellicano, I want you to go out and do this or do that.’ I mean, come on … There is no way in the world that any lawyer who has got any brains is going to hire somebody to do something illegal. Why throw away your law license?” Nevertheless, having the feds breathing down the neck of Fields, and Greenberg Glusker, caused the law firm to lose some senior partners. Last April 17th, a group of well-known attorneys led by Howard Weitzman and Dale Kinsella left what was then known as Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, Machtinger & Kinsella, and opened a new firm, Kinsella, Weitzman, Iser, Kump and Aldisert. Yet it was Weitzman who first brought Pellicano to Los Angeles and then worked hand-in-glove on the John De Lorean case in the early 1980s, and for years afterward, until the two men had a falling out.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.