John McTiernan Finally Finds Luck In the Hiring Dept.

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John McTiernan Finally Finds Luck In the Hiring Dept.

Fri Oct 24, 2008 @ 12:47AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

MctiernanJohn McTiernan once directed "Die Hard." Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave the director an opportunity to live up to that title.

The appeals court could have accepted McTiernan's guilty plea and sent him to federal prison for four months as penalty for lying to federal investigators about hiring private eye Anthony Pellicano to wiretap "Rollerball" producer Chuck Roven. Instead, the court agreed with McTiernan's new lawyers that the director may have gotten bad legal advice from his old lawyers.

McTiernan pleaded guilty after the government revealed tape recording of discussions made by McTiernan and Pellicano, which contradicted his previous statements. Could McTiernan escape prosecution by motioning for the suppression of this evidence? According to McTiernan's new lawyer, S. Todd Neal, the answer was yes. The Ninth Circuit agrees that such a motion should have been made.

Here's the decision that sends the case back to the U.S. District Court in order to conduct a full evidentiary hearing to consider whether he can withdraw his guilty plea.

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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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