The Pellicano Trial: It's On!

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The Pellicano Trial: It's On!

Wed Mar 05, 2008 @ 11:48AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Pellicano It's finally here! Almost six years after LA Times reporter Anita Busch awoke to a neighbor's news that someone had smashed the windshield of her car, jury selection is set to begin today in the federal wiretapping trial of Anthony Pellicano. At one point Hollywood's go-to private investigator, with ties in the entertainment community that included the top tier of lawyers and execs, Pellicano now faces life in prison on racketeering charges.

"The whole story has not been told, so people are waiting for the dirt to come out at trial," former federal prosecutor and Loyola University law professor Laurie Levenson tells the LA Times. "They are waiting to find out: Why was Pellicano hired? What did he find out about these celebrities? And what can he tell us about what goes on in that world?"

We've got plenty of additional questions. Which industry names on the witness list will actually testify? How will the trial circus effect the separate trial of indicted entertainment attorney Terry Christensen? Is Pellicano actually dumb enough to continue to represent himself? 

We'll be posting regular updates on the goings-on in U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer's courtroom, focusing especially on the intersection with the entertainment community.

Meanwhile, other scene-setting roundups after the jump:

NY Times: "Big names might be called to testify, and revelations about the origins of the case may offer additional intrigue. Prosecutors have closely guarded the names of those they plan to call to the stand; they filed a witness list under seal late Tuesday."

Bloomberg: "A list of 244 names is attached to a jury questionnaire for the trial as ``individuals related to this case.'' They include actors Sylvester Stallone and Keith Carradine, former Walt Disney Co. president Michael Ovitz, and Paramount Pictures Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brad Grey."

Huffington Post: "Although he's been represented by counsel over the last two years, Mr. Pellicano recently opted to represent himself at his trial, an interesting and potentially suicidal decision for a guy who, if convicted, could end up spending the rest of his life in prison...Mr. Pellicano hasn't changed his mind or been shy about chatting about his situation. Yesterday he spent his time at the microphone, telling the court that he's having a few problems representing himself which include a) not getting funds for a paralegal, b) not getting relevant documents from the prosecutors; c) being awakened at 4:00 a.m. for an 8:30 a.m. hearing and d) not being allowed to carry his documents to and from court in a cardboard box."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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