I was just reading on Hollywood Reporter Esq that 91 year old billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s lawyer, a career lawyer, a guy by the name of Terry Christensen who had 44 years of legal practice under his belt, has been sent to prison for 3 years. And why? He is accused of colluding with convicted felon Anthony Pelicano (private investigator to the stars), of wiretapping Kerkorian’s 37 year old ex wife Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, whom the elderly businessman was married to for 28 days.
Now, this whole thing went down because Lisa ALLEGEDLY lied about the paternity of her daughter, Kira, whom she claimed was Kerkorian’s flesh and blood (hence her petition for an upward modification of child support from $75,000 per month to $320,000 per month)when in fact, the child was the flesh and blood of Steve Bing, a real estate developer in Los Angeles, famous for making Elizabeth Hurley prove, that her son Damian was in fact his biological son.
Are you following all that? I sure hope so, cause I’m getting tangled up in the details…The reason I bring any of this up, is to impress upon you the importance of being careful about obtaining evidence against your spouse in a divorce action.
You cannot secretly tape your spouse’s conversations with a third party, as a general rule. You probably can get away with taping conversations your spouse and you have on the phone, or even in the house, but you can’t tape your spouse and a third party.
You can’t generally tap your spouse’s email either. If the information was obtained from a computer in the home that the whole family uses, then you could conceivably get away with it. But if you went to your spouse’s place of business to get this information, or if you have spyware on your computer that intercepts the communication as it is being transmitted, you probably can’t use it as evidence in court.
Can you put a GPS system on the car? And then use Google map technology to track your spouse’s adulterous trysts? Well, if you both own/use the car, you could probably get away with it. Otherwise, it is a grey area.
What about video tapes? If it is in the home, you could probably get away with it. Anywhere else, you could have a problem.
What about cell phones? I am not sure about this one. The jury seems to be out. Cell phones do not have a “wire” they are cordless. So the rules are a bit different.
Check out this website I got. It was written by a New Jersey attorney and I think it is pretty comprehensive. Wiretapping.
But understand fundamentally, that if you are brought up on criminal charges of wire-tapping your spouse, this is a violation of state and federal law, and you could do a stint in prison for this – even if your spouse was up to the monkey business you suspected in the first place.
I mean, think about it. Lisa Bonder Kerkorian ALLEGEDLY faked paternity documents and probably milked her ex husband out of millions as a result and had she not been outed, she stood to gain over $61 million more over the course of the child’s formative years – just in support alone. Who knows what else she would have gotten? But she is not going to prison. The attorney with 44 years of practice with absolutely no blemish on his record is going to do 3 years (if he loses his appeal) because he conversed with Kerkorian about wiretapping Ms. Kerkorian, in order to prove that she was lying about the Mr. Kerkorian’s paternity.
So, the lesson is, first of all, if I am your attorney, I will not be conducting any secret surveillance or wiretapp of your spouse on your behalf so don’t even ask. Sorry! But more than that, you should be very careful about how you go about extracting evidence from your spouse as this could get you into serious trouble.