Private eye Anthony Pellicano and attorney Terry Christensen were found guilty of conspiring to illegally wiretap the ex-wife of Bev Hills billionaire Kirk Kerkorian. For Christensen, at one time one of L.A.'s most prominent and powerful attorneys, a conviction means a possible prison term and the likely loss of his law license, although there will certainly be a bunch of appeals. The seven-man, five woman panel reviewed recordings that Pellicano secretly made of his conversations with Christensen, in which the two men joked about the plight of the ex-wife and her attorneys. From the LAT:
The conclusion of the trial also gives the green light to a slew of civil lawsuits that have been filed against Pellicano, Christensen, AT&T and the city of Los Angeles that were put on hold during the criminal proceedings. Attorneys representing alleged wiretap victims said their clients could be entitled to at least $5,000 in damages for each incident in which their private conversations were tapped. Prosecutors said Christensen had Bonder Kerkorian's phones tapped to gain an unfair edge in the high-stakes court fight in which Kerkorian's ex-wife was seeking $320,000 in monthly child support for her then-4-year-old daughter, a legal battle that grabbed tabloid headlines at the time.