The Pellicano Trial: Wait, Did Someone Say 'Mistrial'?

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The Pellicano Trial: Wait, Did Someone Say 'Mistrial'?

Fri Apr 25, 2008 @ 03:16PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Pellicano That disturbing sound you hear in the background are the groans of thousands of Hollywood court reporters at the thought that the Pellicano trial may need to be completely redone. As if the entertainment value didn't diminish significantly with Wednesday's news that the man himself, Anthony Pellicano, will not testify in his own defense, now comes word that there may be a mistrial.

Pellicano observers will recall that ten days ago, Chad Hummel, the lawyer for co-defendant and former LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson, made a motion for mistrial over questionable documents from Arneson's past, including an internal affairs investigation and a bankruptcy filing.

At the time, Arneson claimed ""I didn't file this bankruptcy."

To which U.S. Attorney Daniel Saunders countered, "Is this all just a big misunderstanding, sir? Or is this perjury?"

Flash forward to today when Saunders called Phyllis Miller to testify about Arneson's bankruptcy filing.

On cross, Hummel introduced evidence that showed Miller "fraudulently filed a bankruptcy filing on Mr. Arneson's behalf," according to the HuffPo's Allison Hope Weiner.

The judge called a break, told Miller she needed to talk with a lawyer before proceeding, and now everything seems up in the air.

It's unclear whether a mistrial would apply only to Arneson or whether the whole shebang would have to be retried. But we're sure none of the Hollywood figures who schlepped downtown to testify are exited at the prospect of a return trip.

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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 Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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