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Orange County law firm may take helm in Lindsay Lohan's defense

March 13, 2013|From the Los Angeles Times

Lindsay Lohan maybe getting a new lawyer if she signs off on a plan to have a  prominent Orange County law firm help represent her on criminal charges she lied about a car crash on Pacific Coast Highway.

The latest development comes after her New York attorney was warned by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge that he did not know California law.

Paul Wallin, a partner at Wallin & Klarich, said Lohan's attorney, Mark Heller, has asked one of the firm's attorneys, David Wohl, to help represent the actress at trial March 18.

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"We are awaiting Ms. Lohan's approval," Wallin said. "Mr. Heller made the request. The court and our firm want to ensure the integrity of this case."

Wallin said the firm "isn't doing the case for publicity. We don't need publicity. We have plenty of cases and high-profile clients."

He said Lohan's father, Michael Lohan, has also been in contact with the firm but they want the actress' approval before becoming involved. Wohl is a 24-year veteran of California courts.

Wohl is a regular legal analyst for Fox News and has worked as an investigative reporter.

Wallin acknowledged that any other attorney entering the case on Lohan's behalf would ask for a trial delay to get up to speed on the evidence and history.  

L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Dabney told the actress the last time she was in his courtroom that if she proceeded with Heller as her sole legal counsel, she would be required to sign a waiver stating he was incompetent in California law.

Until last month, Lohan was represented by Shawn Holley, among the region's top lawyers.

Dmitry Gorin, a veteran defense attorney and former prosecutor, said such a waiver was almost unprecedented and the entire issue could be grounds for appeals on any action the court takes.

Lohan has been on probation for various drunk-driving and shoplifting charges since 2007 and accumulated what the judge described as a voluminous court file. She remains on probation for shoplifting.

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