Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
LOS ANGELES � As word of attorney Terry Christensen’s indictment spread across Los Angeles Wednesday, lawyers made phone calls, swapped e-mails, and wondered whether the first indictment of a lawyer in the Anthony Pellicano case was a harbinger of more indictments to come. Several sources close to the case said Wednesday that more indictments are expected in the coming weeks. Prosecutors said last week that the investigation is ongoing. Wednesday’s two-count indictment by a federal grand jury alleged that Christensen, 65, had paid Pellicano at least $100,000 to record and report on telephone conversations between Lisa Bonder Kerkorian and her attorney in 2002. At the time, Christensen represented billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, the former head of MGM Studios, in a child support dispute with Bonder Kerkorian. Christensen “would use the information gleaned from the illegal wiretap to secure a tactical advantage in litigation by learning Lisa Bonder Kerkorian’s plans, strategies, perceived strengths and weaknesses, settlement position and other confidential information,” according to the indictment. The indictment alleges that Pellicano and Christensen discussed how long the wiretap should be in place and when it should stop. At one point, Pellicano allegedly told Christensen that he had “another 364 intercepted telephone calls he had to listen to.” Attorney Jan Handzlik, a partner in the commercial trial group in Howrey’s Los Angeles office who is representing Christensen, said Wednesday that “prior to this episode in 2002, Mr. Christensen had never hired Mr. Pellicano or used his services in any way. It was Mr. Pellicano who called Terry in an unsolicited phone call to offer him evidence.” “We believe the government should be interested in who initiated the activities that led to this unsolicited call from Pellicano to Terry Christensen,” Handzlik said. Handzlik said he and Howrey partner Terree Bowers were retained about three and half weeks ago, just after Christensen learned of his involvement in the Pellicano investigation. Patricia Glaser, a partner at Christensen’s firm, said Wednesday that Winston & Strawn partner Dan Webb would take the lead in Christensen’s defense. Webb’s past engagements have included representing Philip Morris in the Justice Department’s $280 billion racketeering suit, and he currently represents former Illinois Gov. George Ryan on corruption charges. Handzlik previously represented actor Steven Seagal when a dead fish and bullet hole were found on a Los Angeles Times‘ reporter’s windshield amid her reporting on alleged connections between Seagal and the mafia. Seagal was exonerated, but the investigation led police to charge Pellicano in the incident, and a search of his home kicked off the ongoing federal investigation into wiretapping. Handzlik said his prior representation of Seagal didn’t present a conflict. The Pellicano indictment has fueled intense speculation in legal circles about the investigator’s relationships with prominent attorneys representing celebrities and other Hollywood figures. “Those of us who have never used the services of Mr. Pellicano are having badges printed that state: I have never retained Anthony Pellicano,” said Marshall Grossman, a partner with Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan in Los Angeles. Grossman said his firm had been approached by Pellicano but hadn’t ever used his services. Grossman, who has worked opposite Terry Christensen, said he received dozens of e-mails from clients and colleagues at other firms when the indictment came down. “I guess nothing surprises me anymore, but it would be a disappointment if it was, in fact, true,” he said. Glaser, a name partner at Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, sent an e-mail Wednesday afternoon explaining to attorneys that “Terry’s only involvement with Pellicano was brief and completely justified. Terry was acting to protect a client and a child from repeated death threats and extortion.” “Everyone is being 150 percent supportive,” she said in an interview with The Recorder Wednesday afternoon. “The firm has plenty of management in place and nothing is going to change.” As associates learned of the charges, they reacted with shock and within minutes were instant-messaging colleagues and sending e-mail links to news articles, said a litigation associate at the firm. “It’s very surreal � our boss has been indicted,” the associate said. “It blindsided everyone. I’ve always thought of Terry as one of the most upstanding members of the legal community � of all the partners, he would be the least I would expect [to be accused of] any alleged wrongdoing.” Christensen was added as the eighth defendant in the superseding indictment returned Wednesday. The seven other previously indicted defendants, including Pellicano, have all pleaded not guilty to the charges, with the exception of Daniel Nicherie, whose arraignment was delayed until Friday. The defendants are currently scheduled to go on trial April 4 before U.S. District Judge Robert Takasugi. Christensen is scheduled to appear in U.S. district court in Los Angeles for an arraignment on Tuesday.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.