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Pellicano Trial: Greg Dovel Testifies About Being Tapped

03/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

So finally today, we got a witness on the stand, Gregory Dovel, who actually testified about how his conversations with his client were intercepted by Mr. Pellicano. Mr. Dovel testified that notes obtained from Mr. Pellicano's computers were actually summaries or word for word accounts of conversations he had with his client, Bo Zenga, during the litigation against Brad Grey in 2001. Mr. Dovel told the jury that as far he knew when he talked to Bo Zenga over the phone, "It was just me and Mr. Zenga." Mr. Saunders then asked, referring to the notes and summarizes from Pellicano's office, "Do you now believe that the other side was listening?" Mr. Dovel sighed and then softly replied, "They must have been."

Mr. Saunders then asked Mr. Dovel if there was any information in Mr. Pellicano's notes that he and his client might have used at trial. Mr. Dovel testified under oath that he'd planned to bring up to the court that Mr. Grey had created a sham corporation through which he funneled $100,000 to himself from the proceeds of "Scary Movie." He also said that he'd planned to subpoena bank records important to Mr. Zenga's defense, but that Mr. Grey's lawyers at Greenberg, Glusker had gotten the information first. "If we could get this information, we'd have a leg up. It was all about the information," Mr. Dovel said. "It was critical that they not know."

Mr. Dovel recalled having a conversation with Mr. Zenga about the bank records, saying that they would get them first, because "even a private investigator wouldn't be able to get copies of the bank records." In response, Mr. Saunders replied, "Unless he was listening to this phone call."

On cross-examination, the courtroom actually watched as Mr. Hummel, former Sgt. Arneson's attorney, attempted to use the illegally obtained wiretap information to prove that Mr. Dovel had acted improperly in Mr. Zenga's case against Mr. Grey. In one of the most surreal episodes of the trial, Mr. Hummel referred to Mr. Pellicano's summaries of Mr. Dovel's calls with his client and asked if it wasn't true that in one of the phone calls, according to the summaries, Mr. Dovel improperly told his client to destroy documents. Mr. Dovel seemed a bit stunned by the question as he explained that some of the wiretapped summaries weren't completely correct and that his litigation plans had included first actually obtaining copies of the documents, waiting to see if the other side subpoenaed them and if not, then his client could destroy the copies of those bank records.

Then, Mr. Hummel attempted to establish that under certain conditions the attorney-client privilege between Mr. Dovel and Mr. Zenga could have been waived. Mr. Saunders on redirect, addressed that issue, asking Mr. Dovel to explain wiretapping is an exception to the attorney client privilege. It was a classic moment. One defense attorney trying to use the allegedly wiretapped information to impeach a government witness who'd been wiretapped. It doesn't get more surreal than that. But, Mr. Dovel kept his cool.

And naturally, it was Mr. Pellicano's cross examination that got the most compelling out of Mr. Dovel. After a series of questions, Mr. Pellicano actually got Mr. Dovel to express his feelings about being wiretapped and looking at these summaries and notes that came from those wiretaps. Talking about when he first saw the summaries, Mr. Dovel said, "I remember that it was chilling and extremely disturbing." And then, naturally, Mr. Pellicano wanted to know what was chilling about reading your own words from a wiretapped conversation? Ah well, let's see, what could be chilling about that? Mr. Dovel mulled over the question, dramatically noting, "The thought that someone could have been listening in on an extremely confidential conversation, it's very chilling."

Finally, Mr. Saunders finished off the redirect of Mr. Dovel with a simple question that clearly referred to Mr. Fields repeated use of Mr. Pellicano. "If a P.I. gave you nothing of use in a case, would you continue to use him against and again and again at $25,000 a pop." "No," Mr. Dovel answered simply.

On the stand now is a client of Pellicano's, Susan Maguire, the ex-wife of real estate developer , Robert Maguire. Mr. Maguire is the developer behind many of the Los Angeles' most well known high rise buildings, including The Gas Company Building, The First Interstate Building and ironically, The MGM Plaza, where the Christensen, Glaser lawfirm resides. Ms. Maguire quickly testified that during her divorce she was represented by Dennis Wasser as well as two lawyers from the Greenberg Glusker firm. The lawyers from Greenberg allegedly suggested that she hire Mr. Pellicano to investigate her then husband because there was suspicion that Mr. Maguire was illegally hiding assets from Mrs. Maguire. Mrs. Maguire clearly told the jury that she gave Mr. Pellicano hundreds of thousands of dollars and quickly learned that he was wiretapping her husband as well as her husband's girlfriend at the time, Rosa. She's testified so far to actually listening to those wiretapped conversations in Mr. Pellicano's office and to being told by Mr. Pellicano that although the wiretaps were legal, she was not to tell anyone about the conversations she'd heard. Some of her most compelling testimony came when she testified about hearing her ex-husband talking to his psychiatrist at the time. She said that he was crying and that Mr. Pellicano seemed excited about the tape, telling her at the time that her husband was "a mess."