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LOS ANGELES � Christensen, Glaser, Fink, Jacobs, Weil & Shapiro, a 100-lawyer firm based in Los Angeles, just bagged a new client in one of the most high-profile cases in town: its own managing partner, Terry Christensen. Christensen goes to trial in a couple of months on claims that he allegedly paid celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano more than $100,000 to wiretap the phones of Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, the ex-wife of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, during a paternity dispute in 2002. Last month, he replaced his lead counsel with Patricia Glaser, a name partner at his firm. The trial could be the final test in how the firm has weathered Christensen’s indictment, returned two years ago. In the past year, Christensen Glaser, while losing some of its lawyers, has remained busy in litigation and real estate work. One of its largest and most loyal clients, Kerkorian, majority owner of casino operator MGM Mirage, is embarking on one of the largest real estate projects in Las Vegas. Last month, Christensen Glaser set up shop there to launch its second office. “We have a core group of people who’ve been practicing together for many years,” Glaser said. As a result, she said, “our law firm is doing fabulously. That doesn’t mean we aren’t very cognizant of the pain that Terry is going through.” New challenge The trial in Pellicano’s case, which is scheduled to start this week, is expected to last about two months, with Christensen’s trial beginning soon afterward, Glaser said. Last month, Christensen replaced his original lead counsel, Dan Webb, chairman of Chicago-based Winston & Strawn, because of a scheduling conflict. Glaser, the head of the firm’s litigation department, is best known for winning an $8 million verdict against actress Kim Basinger in 1993. She also represents several studios and producers. But Christensen’s case presents a new challenge. For one thing, Glaser admits, she has no criminal experience. As a result, she anticipates relying on Christensen’s other lawyers, Terree Bowers and Mary Carter Andrues, both white-collar criminal defense partners in the Los Angeles office of Washington’s Howrey. Also joining her on the case will be Christensen partners Kevin J. Leichter and Sean Riley. So far, Christensen’s case has had little impact on the firm’s clients. “It’s irrelevant,” said Stephen J. Cloobeck, chairman and chief executive of Diamond Resorts International, which retained the firm two years ago to handle a myriad of legal work. “It has nothing to do with the work they’re doing for us.” The firm is handling litigation for CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. and MGA Entertainment Inc., maker of the Bratz doll, Glaser said. Glaser said the firm also picked up work from some new clients. In Las Vegas, Christensen Glaser has been focused on high-end real estate construction, most notably MGM Mirage’s CityCenter project. But she denied that the firm opened a Las Vegas office solely for Kerkorian. “We have a number of clients who have said, ‘Please open a Las Vegas office.’ And we’re bowing to that,” she said.

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