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Spotlight falls on lawyers' ties to PIs

August 25, 2008|Victoria Kim | Times Staff Writer

Pellicano, who was convicted in May of racketeering, wire fraud and other crimes, has little at stake in the current trial because two additional counts to his 76 convictions will have a negligible effect on his sentence, whereas Christensen has his career, reputation and a potential prison sentence at stake, experts said.

Whatever the outcome of the trial, attorneys said the demand for aggressive private eyes would not die down as long as high-stakes litigation exists involving well-heeled clients willing to pay for an edge in bitter court fights where egos and large sums of money are at stake.

"Everybody scurries and becomes much more careful, then eventually with time, people forget," said entertainment attorney Eric Weissman.

Nazarian, the investigator, said he has to bring his clients down to reality, advising them of what he can do for them within legal limits. "Obviously, I don't want to go to jail, and I want to keep my lawyers and clients out of jail. That's always in the back of my mind."

The rich and powerful will always want someone's head on the table, he said.

"They don't care how it gets there."

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victoria.kim@latimes.com

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