News reports say the bigtime billionaire and two-time owner of MGM/UA will take the witness stand. So announced the defense team for bigtime entertainment attorney Terry Christensen today. Kirk Kerkorian was Christensen’s longtime client whose 2002 child custody and support case got the lawyer in all this legal hot water in the first place. Christensen, who’s on trial with convicted Hollywood P.I. Anthony Pellicano, is the managing partner of Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro, where his defense attorney Patty Glaser is also a partner. The trial is in its 3rd week.
Robert Iafolla of the Los Angeles legal newspaper Daily Journal published this info from the courtroom: after the jury left the courtroom at the close of proceedings today, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Saunders told U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer that he has a $25,000 retainer check from Christensen’s firm to the Pellicano Investigative Agency dated Aug. 15, 2003. Uh-oh. Pellicano was in custody awaiting trial on federal weapons charges at the time and had officially dissolved his agency. Saunders suggested it meant either that Christensen’s firm had no problem doing biz with a federally indicted private eye, or that the firm paid Pellicano for other services — like refusing to cooperate with the wiretapping investigation.
Saunders then asked Fischer for permission to tell the jury that Pellicano was awaiting trial at the time of the payment. Patty Glaser, however, became pissed and called the check “totally irrelevant.” That prompted an admonishment from the judge to her. “Change your tone,” Fischer responded. “You’re not talking to a witness, you’re talking to me.” Glaser apologized.