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Lindsay Lohan judge, an ex-New Yorker, doesn't know new lawyer

The L.A. judge in Lindsay Lohan's continuing legal dramas was once a New York police detective, but she never dealt with the actress' new attorney, Mark Heller, despite his decades working in Big Apple courtrooms.

L.A. County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner gave a quick, "No," to the question as she left the bench Wednesday. She addressed her remark to a court spokeswoman, who had passed the question along from a Times reporter. Sautner, based at the Airport Courthouse, is set to retire next month.

The response came moments after the judge decided to allow Heller to take the reins of Lohan's criminal trial on three misdemeanors, replacing her previous lawyer, Shawn Holley.

Lohan faces a probation violation in a jewelry theft case and new charges of reckless driving, obstructing police and 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.

Heller attempted to make a connection with the judge during Wednesday's proceeding, saying it was "a great honor" to appear in her court and referenced Sautner's previous work as a New York City police detective.

Sautner remarked her police work occurred "in another life" and scolded him for trying to butter her up.

“Flattery doesn’t get you anywhere in this court,” she said.

The judge was not in a joking mood but did remark to Lohan she was glad the actress was feeling better. Lohan had previously submitted paperwork to the court saying she was too ill to travel from New York and could not appear Wednesday.

But Lohan made the trip to L.A. when it became likely an arrest warrant would be issued if she failed to show up.

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.”


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-- Richard Winton

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