Attorney Terry Christensen was convicted along with private investigator Anthony Pellicano on August 29, 2008, as reported by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Law Blog.  According  to the criminal minutes from his trial, Mr. Christensen had been found guilty of his two-count indictment for violating 18 U.S.C. 371 (Conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. 2511 (1) {a}  & {d} (Interception of Wire Communications). 

While representing billionaire investor Mr. Kirk Kerkorian in a child support case, Mr. Christensen had used an illegal wiretap to undermine Mr. Kerkorian’s adversary– Ms. Lisa Bonder Kerkorian.  As fully described at pages 15-17 of the government’s Trial Memorandum, Mr. Christensen had telephoned Mr. Pellicano on March 18, 2002 and authorized the illegal wiretapping of Ms. Kerkorian’s phone.  The wiretap ended on or about May 16, 2002 and had enabled Mr. Christensen to even eavesdrop on Ms. Kerkorian’s privileged conversations with her attorneys.

Mr. Christensen’s wiretap conviction could change how some attorneys interact with private investigators who perform background checks; asset searches; or other tasks.  As suggested by The Los Angeles Times article "Wiretap trial sheds light on lawyers’ work with private eyes", Mr. Christensen’s conviction might make attorneys more cautious in their dealings with private investigators.  In discussing Mr. Christensen’s conviction, an FBI spokesperson also said in a press release: "This case uncovered corruption by the wealthy and influential and today’s guilty verdicts render assurance that the justice system cannot be bought by those with money and power." 

Copyright 2008 Fred L. Abrams