Pellicano Trial: Greenberg, Glusker and Brad Grey's Work

Ms. Soo Hoo took a much needed break from her defense of Mr. Turner and turned the defense over to Adam Braun, the attorney for computer wiz Kevin Kachikian. Mr. Braun called Ricardo Preston Cestero, who began as a worker in Mr. Pellicano's audio lab in July 1995 and then worked for him part-time while attending UCLA law school. As Mr. Cestero told the jury, after law school--and this is probably going to come as a shock--he managed to land a job with none other than the firm of Greenberg Glusker. As Mr. Cestero told the F.B.I. in his interview in September 16, 2003, while he listed Mr. Pellicano on his resume, "he had requested that Mr. Pellicano refrain from making any calls on his behalf to Greenberg Glusker." He wanted to get this job all on his own.....admirable, but not entirely believable since Mr. Pellicano was on his resume and Mr. Cestero was aware of his relationship with many of the Greenberg partners. (Nevertheless, Mr. Cestero's desire to make it all on his own appears in the notes taken by Agent Stan Ornellas and R.T. Ballard during their first interview with Mr. Cestero.)

During his testimony Tuesday, Mr. Cestero was asked very little about his employment with Greenberg Glusker by either Mr. Braun or Mr. Saunders. Lucky break for the Pellicano employee turned Greenberg attorney. Apparently, the judge purposely limited the scope of Mr. Braun's questions--guess she didn't want to hear all about what Mr. Cestero told the F.B.I about working at Greenberg Glusker. I'm sure the judge's decision had to delight Greenberg Glusker attorney Brian Sun, as well as his associate Katherine E. Hertel, who were both intently watching the proceedings along with Mr. Cestero's personal attorney. (It must be a comfort for Mr. Cestero's to know that his rights are being protected by the same lawyer that Bert Fields hired to represent him.)

Mr. Cestero merely testified that while working for Mr. Pellicano, he was responsible for the analyzing and enhancing of audio tapes utilizing Forensic Audio Sleuth. Mr. Cestero also said that he assisted in the testing of the software, noting there were fixes and bugs and problems with the software. He told the jury that he helped Mr. Pellicano prepare marketing materials regarding Forensic Audio Sleuth entitled "The State of the Art in Audio Tape Analysis." The brochure also included a photo of a relatively stern, relatively young looking Mr. Pellicano in front of a computer. Mr. Cestero testified that he was involved in mailing the brochure to a number of law enforcement agencies. When asked to describe what he understood Telesleuth to be, Mr. Cestero was guarded and quite erudite in his response. "Telesleuth was able to record a call from pick-up to hang-up," he answered, without any elaboration. When pressed by Mr. Braun, he added, "It was designed to specifically replace reel to reel technology." Mr. Cestero also admitted to putting together computer boxes for Telesleuth, selling fifty of those boxes and assisting Mr. Pelllicano in Telesleuth presentations to law enforcement--including the Ventura County Sheriff's department as well the Orange County District Attorney's office. But when Mr. Braun asked if Mr. Cestero ever became aware of any wiretapping by Mr. Pellicano, the answer was an unequivocal "no."

Mr. Saunders quickly established that Mr. Cestero had gone to work for Greenberg Glusker and Mr. Fields after working for Mr. Pellicano. But then Mr. Saunders let Mr. Cestero point out that after he left Mr. Pellicano's office in 1996, he never had anything to do with Telesleuth again. "So, you had no idea what Defendant Kachikian or Defendant Pellicano did with Telesleuth from the time you left?" Mr. Saunders asked, doing a great job of distancing Greenberg Glusker and Mr. Cestero from any of Mr. Pellicano's alleged wiretapping. "That's right," Mr. Cestero answered.

And now, let's take a walk down memory lane to when Mr. Cestero chatted with the F.B.I. about this very same program and let's review what Mr. Braun wasn't allowed to ask and what Mr. Saunders clearly didn't want to explore. During his first interview with the F.B.I., which was written up in notes by Agent Ornellas, Mr. Cestero was asked if Pellicano had engaged in recording personal telephone conversations with clients. Mr. Cestero replied, according to the F.B.I. notes, that Pellicano "would come into the lab once a week or every two weeks to record a conversation." As a general matter, Mr. Cestero admitted, in the presence of his lawyer, that Mr. Pellicano should have told the other party that he was recording the conversation but Mr. Cestero does not know if Pellicano was that forthcoming. (And, by this time, since he'd graduated from law school and passed the bar, one would have to assume that Mr. Cestero was aware that recording a conversation in California without informing the other party is against the law.)

Mr. Cestero didn't have a chance during court Tuesday to mention that he was interviewed for his job at Greenberg Glusker by Jill Cossman, who ironically testified in court right after him. (Ms. Cossman prepared a trademark application for Telesleuth on Mr. Pellicano's behalf.) Also not asked about in Mr. Cestero's testimony, but still interesting in terms of the Pellicano/Greenberg Glusker relationship, was Mr. Cestero's awareness of the attorneys who often worked with Mr. Pellicano. According to what Mr. Cestero told the F.B.I., those attorneys Pellicano had worked with at Greenberg Glusker included Jim Hornstein and Bert Fields, among the most prominent in the entertainment field. "Cestero added that Fields was normally involved in high profile cases which would normally require the services of Pelllicano."

After Mr. Cestero got to Greenberg Glusker, he told the F.B.I., he recalled that Fields along with attorneys Chuck Shepard and David Moriarty and Aaron Moss, who represented Brad Grey in the Bo Zenga litigation, hired Pellicano. Apparently, Mr. Cestero was unable to hire Mr. Pellicano on behalf of his clients because Mr. Pellicano charged too much. "It was $25,000 or nothing," Mr. Cestero told the F.B.I., according to Mr. Ornellas' notes. Finally, in that September interview, Mr. Cestero told the F.B.I. that he was unaware of Pellicano's involvement in wiretapping, positing that "wiretapping information is useless" because it's inadmissible. Clearly, as the jury has heard, that wasn't the case with Susan Maguire, Suzan Hughes, Alec Gores, Adam Sender, Freddie DeMann, Brad Grey and a host of other Pellicano clients.

All of these clients have denied initially being aware of Mr. Pellicano's wiretapping skills--including Mr. Grey. However, even after learning that Mr. Pellicano was wiretapping their adversaries, Ms. Hughes, Ms. Maguire, Mr. Sender and Mr. DeMann did not tell him to stop or report his conduct to authorities. As for Mr. Grey, despite evidence that Mr. Zenga and his attorney were wiretapped in Mr. Grey's litigation against them and some eivdence that Mr. Shandling and many associates were also wiretapped, Mr. Grey has repeatedly denied any knowledge of Mr. Pellicano's wiretapping. (He also initially denied having a close relationship with Mr. Pellicano or asking to hire him in either of those two lawsuits). There is some evidence to suggest that he knew Mr. Pellicano prior to the date he gave the F.B.I. given testimony by Ms. Linda Doucett and Mr. Gary Shandling and evidence that arguably shows that wiretapping of Mr. Zenga began after Mr. Grey's deposition went poorly -- and there is arguably evidence to suggest that Mr. Grey's attorneys used wiretapped information in their case against Mr. Zenga. However, at all times, Mr. Grey has maintained no knowledge of any of Mr. Pellicano's illegal wiretapping and said that all visits to Mr. Pellicano's office were made in conjunction with a television show that Mr. Grey was selling with Mr. Pellicano.

During his second interview with the F.B.I., Mr. Cestero was a bit more explicit about the Telesleuth program, explaining that it was his understanding that "Pellicano had developed the Telesleuth software for the purpose of selling the program to law enforcement." Mr. Cestero admitted to the F.B.I. that it was his understanding, way back in 1995, that the Telesleuth program could be used for wiretapping and consensual monitoring. And he elaborated that Mr. Pellicano used the program to record his own conversations. According to F.B.I. notes, Mr. Cestero maintained "that Pellicano would instruct him every other week to switch the Telesleuth program from his private line to the main incoming line" in order to allow Pellicano to record the conversation on the line.

So, despite the fact that Mr. Cestero was a Pellicano employee with a great working knowledge of Telesleuth, and despite the fact that he later accepted a job at Greenberg Glusker after being interviewed by the same attorney who later handled the trademark application for Telesleuth, and that he told the F.B.I. that he was also aware of Mr. Pellicano's work on behalf of Mr. Fields in a number of high profile cases (although he personally was never involved), Mr. Cestero was only on the stand to testify about the 1995 version of Telesleuth. No need to go into that stuff about what happened when he was at Greenberg Glusker when he was aware that Mr. Pellicano was working for some of the top lawyers there. The main thing is that Mr. Cestero never hired Mr. Pellicano and that after he left Mr. Pellicano's employment, he never spoke to him again about Telesleuth or wiretapping or anything. Oh wait. Nobody asked him about that.

Next up on the Greenberg Glusker roster, Jill Cossman, the attorney given the task of obtaining a trademark for Mr. Pellicano's Telesleuth. Now, that means that while name partner Bert Fields was busy not knowing anything about Mr. Pellicano's wiretapping activities or capacity for wiretapping, another partner at his firm, Jill Cossman, was busy helping him trademark the Telesleuth device. (Mr. Fields has not been charged in this matter and has maintained that he knew nothing about Mr. Pellicano's illegal wiretapping.) Adam Braun posed the operative question in this particular instance, asking Ms. Cossman, "You and others at Greenberg assisted with the description of goods on this trademark application?" Pausing to think over the complicated question, Ms. Cossman came up with a perfect attorney-like answer. "I drafted the language." You've got to love lawyers. So, she drafted the language, but didn't know the content of that language.... That makes perfect sense -- if you're a lawyer.

And then, in a wonderful bait and switch move that one had to know was appreciated by the Greenberg attorneys, Mr. Sun and Ms. Hertell, Ms. Cossman noted that the bulk of the trademark work was done by another attorney at Greenberg, Mr. Michael Grace, who later left the firm. And, apparently, never contacted anyone ever, ever again about Mr. Pellicano's trademark application. "I don't know what happened with respect to the application," Ms. Cossman replied, as if Mr. Grace had left Greenberg and landed on the "Lost" island, never to be heard from again. (There's a rumor that Mr. Grace was spotted by Earth Google, sitting on an island talking to a volleyball....) As Mr. Lally struggled between understanding the difference between a trademark and a patent, Ms. Cossman took the opportunity to further confuse him and the jury. "I wouldn't know about a patent," Ms. Cossman said. "Right," Mr. Lally agreed, "I meant the trademark. Do you know if Mr. Pellicano would have had to file a statement of use to get a trademark in Mexico?" Ms. Cossman continued to be confused: "I don't know the process for Mexico." And just for good measure, Ms. Cossman added, "I didn't work on the application at that stage." And with that, she was excused and Mr. Sun and Ms. Hertel most likely suppressed the desire to high five each other as they quickly scooted out of the courtroom.

On Wednesday, Adam Braun, Mr. Kachikian's attorney expects to call more witnesses to show that Mr. Kachikian developed Telesleuth for lawful purposes and was unaware that it would be used for illegal purposes. Ms. Soo Hoo confirmed that her client, Ray Turner, will not testify, but we can expect to hear from Mr. Kachikian. STAY TUNED....