Lindsay Lohan's new attorney fails to charm judge
When Lindsay Lohan's new attorney, Mark Heller, tried to play up his New York roots with Stephanie Sautner in court Wednesday, the judge gave him a terse brushback easily captured in the old Big Apple expression: Fuhgeddaboudit!
Heller appeared on behalf of Lohan, who made a mandatory court appearance before Sautner on Wednesday for allegedly violating probation in a jewelry shoplifting case and to answer to a new charge of lying to Santa Monica police for allegedly telling them she was not driving a Porsche involved in a collision with a truck on Pacific Coast Highway.
The judge also approved Heller as the new attorney replacing Shawn Holley and set a March 18 trial date.
But during the brief hearing, Heller attempted to make a connection with the judge, saying in a thick New York accent that it was "a great honor" to appear in her court and referenced Sautner's previous work as a New York City police detective.
Sautner was nonplussed. The work she did for the NYPD, the judge told Heller, “was in another life.” She also scolded him about his attempts to butter her up.
“Flattery doesn’t get you anywhere in this court,” Sautner said.
But Lohan made the trip to L.A. when the court expressed the likelihood that an arrest warrant would be issued if she failed to show up.
It was not the first time a New York lawyer has appeared in a high-profile case in Los Angeles. During the first Phil Spector murder trial, noted New York trial attorney Bruce Cutler was part of the record producer's defense team and occasionally clashed with the more subdued style of Los Angeles court proceedings.
Heller said Wednesday in court that all he wants to do is help the actress: “I think it would be in Miss Lohan’s best interest to bring closure to this drama in her life.”
--Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather