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Photos: Lindsay Lohan Made it to Court Today and She's Not in Jail Yet
Phew, she made it: Despite a tough night getting into L.A. and into a hotel, 26-year-old Lindsay Lohan managed to get herself to court this morning, and faced Judge Stephanie Sautner in a pretrial hearing.
Lohan, flanked by mom Dina and new New York-based attorney Mark Heller, showed up, albeit a little late, looking very tired. Once in the courtroom, the business at hand was settling the matter of who was representing Lohan, and setting future court dates.
The actress recently rid herself of longtime lawyer Shawn Holley, who valiantly managed to keep her client out of jail during oh so many court appearances. Rumor has it Lohan owes Holley money, and Holley wants nothing to do with Lohan anymore. Enter Heller, with a hitch: He can't practice law in California, so he needs an in-state sponsor.
Heller attempted to "bond" with Sautner by asking her to confirm she was indeed once a New York Police detective. Sautner remarked that was in a previous life for her, and later, when Heller tried to kiss up a bit more, Sautner retorted that flattery won't get him far with her. Sautner has made no bones about it; she's not a Lohan fan. (No word on if she
suffered sat through Lohan's Lifetime "Liz and Dick" flick.) In fact, Sautner is the judge who has frequently chastised the actress for her behavior, urging her repeatedly to abandon partying and grow up and get her business together.
As Heller pointed out, since the case of Lohan allegedly lying to police about her involvement in a car crash last summer is a misdemeanor, his client isn't required to appear in court, but Sautner noted that because this appearance was centered on a change of legal representation, Lohan was obligated to be there to indicate her will.
Heller alluded to "a lot of drama" surrounding today's appearance, notably because his client was sick with an "upper respiratory infection." The attorney had tried to get Lohan out of appearing because of her alleged illness but Sautner wasn't interested in dwelling on the excuse. It was "a cold" confirmed Sautner, not allowing Heller to made the medical condition be interpreted as the flu, despite the "epidemic" he said was rampant in New York, where Lohan has been staying...and shopping and smoking.
The bottom line today was to affirm Heller as Lohan's lawyer, and to set a pretrial hearing date and trial start date for March. Sautner also noted that concurrently the case of Lohan's probation violation would be heard, and that she could possibly be acquitted of charges of lying to police, but still be found in violation of probation, since the burden of proof was considerably less in the latter. So while Lohan wasn't being sent to jail today, she could very well still be come March.