Lohan Appears Court in Car Crash Case
DEL AIRE, Calif. (KTLA) — Actress Lindsay Lohan appeared in court on Wednesday morning for a pretrial hearing in her car crash case, amid some drama about her health and her representation.
The 26-year-old walked quickly past a throng of cameras with her mother Dina and her new attorney, Mark Heller, by her side.
Lohan is facing a probation violation as well as several misdemeanors for allegedly lying to police about a crash in Santa Monica last summer.
She had been on probation from a 2011 shoplifting case, but it was revoked last month after the new charges came down.
On Tuesday, Heller had notified the judge that his client would not be able to attend because she was too ill to fly.
“I know there was some drama concerning her attendance today,” Heller told Judge Stephanie Sautner on Wednesday.
“I’m glad to see you’re feeling better,” Sautner quipped.
Heller told the judge that a doctor had indicated that Lohan had “an upper-respiratory condition” and should not travel, both out of concern for her health and the health of others.
He initially suggested Lohan had the flu — calling it an “epidemic” in New York — but then conceded that it was a cold.
Judge Sautner told Heller that Lohan could choose to have him represent her in absentia for pretrial matters, but she must be in court for the trial.
Sautner said that she ordered Lohan to appear on Wednesday because of the issues with her representation.
Lohan fired her former longtime attorney, Shawn Holley, earlier this month. On Wednesday, she indicated that she was comfortable with the substitution of counsel.
However, because Heller, who is based in New York, is not licensed to practice law in California, he had to get a licensed California attorney to sponsor him on the case.
That attorney, Lindsay Berger Sacks, was also in court. She became an active member of the State Bar just last week after being inactive for 17 years, a fact that was noted by Sautner.
Sautner gave Heller permission to represent Lohan, prompting Heller to remark that they had a New York connection, since Sautner was an NYC detective.
“Flattery doesn’t get you anywhere in this court,” Sautner fired back.
After some back-and-forth on scheduling, Sautner set the next hearing date for March 1, with the trial to begin on March 18.
Heller indicated that he may need to file some motions after he reviews the discovery handed over by Holley.
But Sautner, remarking that the case is not that complicated, told him he’d need to show cause to delay the proceedings any longer.
The judge also noted that Lohan’s probation remains revoked. She said the probation violation matter will be heard alongside the car crash case.
Sautner also reminded Lohan that she could be acquitted in the car crash case but still found guilty of a probation violation since the standard of proof is lower.