THE BLOG
04/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Pellicano Trial: Pokers In Your Eye, Plus CAA Super Agents on the Stand

Update:

In a merciful act, the Judge agreed to interrupt Mr. Pellicano's cross
of computer expert Mr. Edwards to allow the government to call two C.A.A.
super agents and managing directors of the agency. After Kevin Huvane
explained that he was a managing director at C.A.A. and that the agency
handled 700 to 800 clients, prosecutor Kevin Lally showed the agency
partner a series of documents from August, 2001. Mr. Huvane was asked
to identify a number of the documents from August of 2001, which contained
his DMV information as well as his date of birth and social security
number. Mr. Huvane explained that the DMV information contained his
business address because he never put his home address on his license
for security reasons. (You never know when some desperate writer is
going to show up on your doorstep with their latest screenplay and hold
you hostage while they force you to read it....)

When asked by Mr.
Lally what was happening in August of 2001, Mr. Huvane told about a
dispute between C.A.A. and former founding member of the agency
Michael Ovitz. Mr. Huvane explained that right around the period of time
his name and personal information was allegedly looked up by Mr.
Pellicano and former LAPD Sgt. Mark Arneson, C.A.A. was in a dispute
with Michael Ovitz. Mr. Ovitz's then company had just announced a
series of lay-offs.

The most interesting moment of Mr. Huvane's
testimony came when Mr. Pellicano opted to cross-examine him. Mr.
Pellicano asked Mr. Huvane who founded C.A.A., prompting Mr. Huvane
to list a series of names that included Ron Meyer as well as Michael
Ovitz. Mr. Pellicano then asked Mr. Huvane, "Have you ever hired a
private investigator to find information on anyone?" Before he could
answer, Mr. Lally objected as to the relevance of the question and the
objection was sustained. The question was left unanswered.

Next up was Mr. Huvane's partner, Bryan Lourd. Mr. Lourd appeared
relaxed and friendly, greeting Mr. Saunders with a pleasant "hello" and
confidently answering questions without hesitation. Mr. Saunders
showed Mr. Lourd documents, allegedly obtained by former Sgt. Mark
Arneson for Mr. Pellicano. Mr. Lourd identified his social security
number on the documents as well as the make of his then car, a 1997
Ford. (Yes, there was an audible mumble as to what a powerful C.A.A.
was doing driving a Ford. Mr. Lourd might want to chat with alleged
wiretapping victim, Producer Charles Roven, about trading up and buying
one of Mr. Roven's many Ferrari's.) Mr. Lourd identified most of the
confidential information in the records as his--noting in one instance
that the birth date on the records was wrong as to year. (The date of
his birth was listed in one document as 1950 and Mr. Lourd pointed out
with a smile that he was born, in fact, in 1960. Forget about wiretapping,
I wonder if any of Mr. Pellicano's alleged Hollywood wiretapping
victims know that he might have added ten years to their age?)

Mr. Pellicano declined to cross examine Mr. Lourd, but Mr. Hummel, who
represents Mr. Arneson, took a moment to point out that none of the
records on Mr. Lourd contained his correct address. So, the point
would be that Mr. Arneson hadn't looked up anything terribly personal
about Mr. Lourd. Mr. Hummel also made the point that everyone in the
world knew where Mr. Lourd (and Mr. Huvane) worked at the time--that
"famous" building on Wilshire and Santa Monica. Mr. Saunders used his
re-direct to take a slap at Mr. Arneson, pointing out through his
question that the main reason Mr. Lourd hadn't used his home address on
his license was "because of security concerns that someone would get
unauthorized access to your DMV records." Someone, perhaps, like Mr.
Pellicano?

Both Mr. Huvane and Mr. Lourd's testimony was terribly anti-climatic.
Although everyone was happy to be delivered from the relentless
education on Telesleuth being provided by Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Braun,
there was an expectation that either Mr. Huvane or Mr. Lourd might chat
about why they thought Mr. Pellicano was looking up their personal,
private information in August of 2001. And, there was some
curiosity--at least by me--about whether Mr. Lourd or Mr. Huvane would
accuse Mr. Ovitz of hiring Mr. Pellicano to dig up all their private
information in preparation for installing wiretaps on their phones.
But, at least for today, all we really found out was there was a
period when C.A.A. was in a dispute with Mr. Ovitz. That word
"dispute" is Hollywood speak for a knock down, drag out, only the
strong survive, battle to the death in which Mr. Ovitz hired Mr.
Pellicano because he believed that C.A.A. (under the leadership of
today's two star government witnesses) was trying to destroy him, along
with help from Ron Meyer, David Geffen, Anita Busch, Bernie Weinraub
and a long list of his enemies that he told the F.B.I. he asked Mr.
Pellicano to investigate. Mr. Ovitz, who is on the government's
witness list, has denied any knowledge of Mr. Pellicano's alleged
illegal activities.

Previously:

I actually would have preferred having two hot pokers in the eye than
sitting through today's testimony. During his cross-examination of
F.B.I. computer expert, Jeffrey Edwards, Mr. Braun proved that he
certainly knows how to clear a courtroom. While one of the jurors
slept in the front row, Mr. Braun, who represents Telesleuth inventor
and defendant, Kevin Kachikian, slowly, ever so slowly, cross-examined
Mr. Edwards about every aspect of the telesleuth programs. In fact, I
know so much about the telesleuth programs by now, that I'm tempted to
go home and wiretap my own phones--just to see if I can do it. And
then there was Mr. Braun's voice--slow and melodious, almost like the
waves on my sound machine at home. If you could bottle Mr. Braun's
voice on cross-examination, you could take valium right off the market.

And, just in case anyone was still awake after Mr. Braun's
cross-examination, Mr. Pellicano took over and proceeded to grill Mr.
Edwards on how exactly, specifically, "hopefully that's not too long a
question," Mr. Edwards came to work on decrypting the telesleuth
programs. With his usual combination of deference and Perry Mason "ah
hah's," Mr. Pellicano has gone to work trying to find out why exactly,
specifically, under what circumstances, and when, Mr. Edwards decided
to join the F.B.I. For those of you who actually care, the explosive
reason--he wanted to help his country after the attacks of September
11th. Probably not the best answer if you're a lawyer trying to make
Mr. Edwards look incompetent. But if you want the jury to recognize
Mr. Edwards as a patriot and a hero, it was a great question.


Read all of HuffPost's coverage from inside the Pellicano courtroom