Attorney was a witness in Pellicano case
High-profile entertainment attorney Bert Fields won’t be testifying at the Anthony Pellicano trial, but the former private eye said Friday he will take the stand on his own behalf.
The testimony could prove awkward as Pellicano is representing himself. Just how the P.I. will question himself has yet to be determined. He already must refer to himself in the third person when cross-examining witnesses.
It was up in the air whether Pellicano would even serve as his own witness, but he said Friday that he’d made up his mind.
“After some consideration of information that I learned last night, I’m afraid Mr. Pellicano may testify,” Pellicano said. “There are some things that need to be learned and there are some things that need to be resolved.”
Throughout the day’s testimony from former FBI Special Agent Stan Ornellas, the defense attorney for former Los Angeles Police Dept. Sgt. Mark Arneson continued to stress to the jury that his client had conducted legitimate work for the $2,500 monthly retainer he received from Pellicano.
Arneson is charged with having illegally used police computer databases to provide Pellicano with confidential DMV and criminal history reports on individuals the P.I. was investigating in return for payment.
But defense attorney Chad Hummel has pushed the fact that Arneson also provided Pellicano’s more high-profile clients like Whoopi Goldberg, Nicolas Cage, Farrah Fawcett and Mary J. Blige with security and conducted surveillance and other work for the P.I.
In questioning Ornellas, the lead FBI agent in the government’s case against Pellicano, Hummel asked whether he had ever looked into whether Arneson was providing legitimate work.
But Ornellas testified that he only checked whether Arneson had committed any crimes.
“No,” Ornellas said. “I was focused on the criminal aspects pertaining to Mr. Arneson.”