Process Serving Hijinks In Pellicano Wiretap Case

There's finally some movement in the Anthony Pellicano Wiretapping Trial of the Century, but indictments to an anticipated net full of big Hollywood fish have yet to materialize. Yesterday, Keith Carradine's ex-wife pleaded guilty to perjury for earlier denying she knew that Pellicano (also her boyfriend, in an interesting twist) tapped Carradine's phone. Hardly thrilling stuff. But we now have our first, beautiful only-in-Hollywood moment of the proceedings, courtesy of a Pellicano case involving scary lawyer Bert Fields. Says the NY Times:

Court documents disclosed on Tuesday also provided new information bearing on the relationship between Mr. Pellicano and Bert Fields, the Hollywood lawyer who has acknowledged using Mr. Pellicano often but has denied knowing anything of his wiretapping.


The criminal information filed against Mr. Stevens, a 24-year veteran and former detective, noted that he had checked police databases for the criminal histories or driving records of both Adam Sender, a New York hedge fund manager and art collector, and members of the family of Aaron Russo, a Hollywood producer.

Mr. Russo was once the manager of Bette Midler, and his producing credits include the movie "Trading Places." He was sued by Mr. Sender in February 2001 over a movie deal that failed. Court filings show that Mr. Sender's lawyer was Mr. Fields, who used Mr. Pellicano's firm to serve Mr. Russo with a complaint. Mr. Sender won a $1.1 million default judgment when Mr. Russo failed to respond to his lawsuit. Mr. Russo contended later that he had never actually been served. [...]

In their 2004 court filings, Mr. Russo and Ms. Gregg contended that Mr. Pellicano's illegal wiretaps had provided information that two women who worked for Mr. Pellicano used to try to serve them with the 2001 complaint. Mr. Russo and Ms. Gregg said the two women had surprised them at a Beverly Hills barbershop where Mr. Russo, in a departure from his usual routine, had gone for a haircut.


There, Mr. Russo and Mr. Gregg recalled, the two Pellicano employees posed as would-be screenwriters, offered him a package containing what they said was a script for a movie and asked him to read it. When Mr. Russo refused, he said, the women chased him outside to his car and tossed the package into the open window of his car.

Mr. Russo recalled in the court filings that following what he said was "industry protocol," he had refused to accept an unsolicited manuscript from strangers, and tossed the package out the window and sped off.

Playing desperate writers accosting a producer with an unsolicited script is probably the single worst way to get this job done. Even if the Pellicano lackeys identified themselves and screamed, "You've been served!" the producer can credibly claim that he assumed they were merely offering a cute tagline for their Sex and the City-inspired screenplay about two process servers on the make in LA, chucked the package out of the car window, and continued on with the rest of his day.