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Pellicano tells lawyers how to do their jobs

March 07, 2007|Charles Proctor | Times staff writer

Former private investigator Anthony Pellicano has a reputation for bravado, which was on full display Tuesday morning as he instructed a judge and a courtroom full of lawyers on legal procedure -- from the downtown Los Angeles jail where he is awaiting trial on illegal wiretapping and racketeering charges.

Pellicano is accused of eavesdropping on opponents of his Hollywood and business clients to gain information that would help his clients in legal battles. Based on similar allegations, he also faces civil lawsuits, which were the subject of a court hearing in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Pellicano officially "appeared" at the hearing via speaker phone, noting how difficult it was to get a line out from his current location.

Saying that he had been served with about only half the suits against him, he instructed lawyers on how to fulfill their duties: Send summonses to the prison, where "the deputies can bring me downstairs and serve me in about five minutes," he said.

"Thank you for that," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman said with a wry smile, to chuckles from the 22 lawyers in the room.

"Does anyone have any questions?" the judge then asked, to more laughter. "He just explained to you how to do it."

Brian Kabateck, who is representing several plaintiffs against Pellicano, said it was likely that the former private eye wanted an excuse to get out of his cell.

"It's probably the highlight of Mr. Pellicano's day when he gets called to go downstairs," Kabateck said.

During the brief hearing, Pellicano also promised to attend as many future court sessions as he could.

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charles.proctor@latimes.com

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