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Pellicano Trial: On Bert Fields, Brad Grey and Garry Shandling


So, yesterday, while court was not in session, Bert Fields, the attorney for Brad Grey during the Shandling v. Grey lawsuit, made a statement attacking Garry Shandling's testimony at the trial last week. I think it's worth pointing out that although Mr. Shandling was under oath when he made his statements, Mr. Fields was not when he issued his statement about what actually went down between Mr. Shandling and Mr. Grey back in the late 1990's. Perhaps, since Mr. Fields is on the government's witness list, he'll have a chance to make the same statement under oath at a later date and get a chance to explain how he knew nothing about what Mr. Pellicano was doing for him during the years the detective worked for him. The following is part of what Mr. Fields had to say about the Shandling lawsuit. Mr. Fields said [Scroll down for Shandling's attorney's response]:

"To measure the validity of that lawsuit, Shandling sued for $100 million and settled for only $4 million. The actual settlement agreement is available for anyone who wants to check. Although I felt confident about Brad's winning the case, I considered this an excellent settlement."


It's somewhat surprising that Mr. Fields would take this moment to talk about his confidence in winning the Shandling case and also the so-called "excellent" settlement that he achieved against Shandling. Even though Mr. Fields is an attorney and probably addicted to talking about his respective court victories, the timing of this statement seems a bit off. He was after all, named as a subject in the Pellicano case and questioned by the government--although he has denied all knowledge of Mr. Pellicano's illegal activities. The thing is, even though most of the discovery produced by the government involves cases litigated by Mr. Fields or members of his firm in which Mr. Pellicano conducted illegal wiretaps of many of Mr. Fields' opponents, Mr. Fields can't seem to keep quiet about his winning record or great settlements or even about his wonderful, straight shooting, honest clients. I don't know if Mr. Fields is aware of this, but over here at the Pellicano trial, the prosecution just introduced documents sent to Mr. Pellicano during the Shandling litigation that contained confidential information about Mr. Shandling, his accountant, his assistant, his friend, his friend's wife and Mr. Shandling's ex. And over here at the Pellicano trial, Mr. Shandling just testified that he was harassed and targeted by the former detective during his case against Mr. Grey. Given the court proceedings so far and that the evidence that Mr. Pellicano was purportedly working for Mr. Grey and Mr. Fields when he came up with all this confidential information on Mr. Shandling, Mr. Fields' confidence about winning this case doesn't really come as much of a surprise. It seems that Mr. Fields definitely had everything working in his favor when he went up against Mr. Shandling. You'd kind of have put your money on him to win if you'd known everything that Mr. Pellicano was doing on the case....

Frankly, what's really outrageous about Mr. Shandling's under oath testimony is that Mr. Shandling would actually take this all so personally and still be so upset about the fact that Mr. Pellicano, while working for Mr. Grey and Mr. Fields, illegally dug into every detail of his life and harassed the people he worked with as well as his friends. I can see where Mr. Fields would think that Mr. Shandling was bitter. Mr. Shandling did seem a bit overly sensitive that his longtime manager, Mr. Grey had "triple dipped," done deals behind his back and basically breached his trust in every way possible. What's wrong with this guy? He's worked in Hollywood for a long time. He should have known that someone would steal his money and that when someone more powerful than you in Hollywood tells you to drop a dispute, you should drop it. He got a settlement, didn't he? Why is he still so bitter about the fact that he was publicly attacked and his reputation smeared during this litigation? And, so what if Mr. Fields is saying the same things about him now that he said back then? He should have expected that Mr. Fields would play things exactly the same way he did the first time around. I'm just glad that Mr. Fields still has a lot of respect for Mr. Grey's integrity after all of this. Mr. Grey did tell the F.B.I. that Mr. Fields was responsible for having contact with Mr. Pellicano and that Mr. Fields was the one who suggested that he hire Anthony in the Shandling case. So, it's good to know that Mr. Fields didn't take any of that personally and he's not bitter....

As for today at trial, it's really been a battle of the computer nerds--the F.B.I. computer geeks (technically known as guys that work in the F.B.I.'s operational technology division) versus Anthony Pellicano (technically known as an honorary computer geek via his relationship with 100% computer geek and telesleuth developer, Kevin Kachikian.) Today, Mr. Pellicano made some important strides forward. He managed to publish something for the first time--that means he was finally able to get a document shown to the jury. (He's been having a little trouble with that...he must have studied over the weekend.) And, he also managed by completely confuse and befuddle the F.B.I. expert's on cross-examination. He used a Columbo technique--pretending to be stupid and humble while eliciting important testimony. "I'm getting a little confused with what you're saying," he told F.B.I. computer expert Hart. "Maybe it's my fault," he said with false humility. He then pressed on, trying to get the F.B.I. witness to admit that he'd altered all the data in the computers and that Mr. Pellicano was in fact smarter than all of them. And then when the agent finally seemed at his weakest, staring blankly in Mr. Pellicano's direction, the former private eye to the stars went in for the kill. "So, you never actually did that," he said, after asking the agent about a non-existent report. "No, I didn't," the agent answered. "That answers my question," Mr. Pellicano said confidently, grabbing his papers from the podium, and walking back to his seat as if the F.B.I. agent's last confused answer had just tanked the government's entire case.

UPDATE: Mr. David Boies represented Mr. Shandling in his lawsuit against Mr. Grey and is based out of Washington, D.C. Mr. Boies responds to Bert Fields' statement about the Garry Shandling lawsuit, Brad Grey and Mr. Shandling's court testimony in the Pellicano trial. Mr. Boies noted that Mr. Fields' comment "mistates what the settlement provides. Let me put it this way, the primary object of the lawsuit was to recover the share in Gary Shandling's shows that Brad Grey held and which Shandling claimed had been improperly misappropriated. That objective was achieved by the settlement. The money that Mr. Fields refers to--$4 million--was in addition to the other more important elements of the settlement. One of things that makes Bert a popular lawyer, he's very aggressive on asserting things on behalf of his clients and attacking their opponents.

After hearing Mr. Fields' entire statement, Mr. Boies continued, "Gary Shandling did not bring the indictment against Mr. Pellicano. He did not bring that lawsuit. He did not volunteer to testify at it and he testified under oath. Everything he said in the testimony was accurate and supported by the evidence. Mr. Shandling did not select the questions that he answered. He merely responded truthfully to questions that were asked. I think it is regrettable that the dispute between between Mr. Shandling and Mr. Grey which we all hoped had been resolved continues to be the subject of public comment. I know that Gary Shandling would rather be being funny than testifying in court or responding to ill-considered attacks."

Former Anthony Pellicano employee, Lily LeMasters took the stand before noon today. She set a new trend in witness attire, sporting a leopard print blouse with a small square on the back, featuring an actual leopard. She paired the animal print with brown pants and a black Chanel bag and looked trim, attractive and petrified as she entered the courtroom. She was admonished several times by the Judge to speak up and then, Mr. Lally took over on direct, eliciting testimony about Mr. Pellicano's practice of wiretapping. Lily LeMasters established that she'd had a romantic relationship with Mr. Pellicano for over a year and that she'd also socialized with Mark Arneson, the former LAPD sergeant charged with wiretapping and conspiracy. Ms. LeMasters testified in great detail how Mr. Arneson often came to the office, both in uniform and civil attire, and met with Mr. Pellicano about providing the former detective with DMV and criminal history information. She said that she often saw Mr. Arneson arrive in the office with a manilla envelope and when he left, Mr. Pellicano gave her criminal histories and DMV records for many of their clients or people of interest to their clients. She also noted that Mr. Pellicano instructed her not to record phone calls from Mr. Arneson on her phone log and to follow the procedure with Ray Turner, a man she identified as providing information to Mr. Pellicano from the phone company.

Read all HuffPost's reports from inside the Pellicano courtroom