After initially claiming illness, Lindsay Lohan appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday with New York City attorney Mark Heller, and a judge agreed to let him and a California associate represent the troubled actress on a charge of lying to Santa Monica police.
Lohan, who recently parted ways with celebrity attorney Shawn Holley, arrived in Los Angeles shortly after midnight, and she and her mother, Dina, were turned away from Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.
TMZ.com reported that the actress, now 26, was blacklisted for tearing up a room there in 2007.
In court this morning, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner asked about Lohan's health and Heller, amid some friendly banter, mentioned that New York was having a flu epidemic. But Saunter—a former New York City detective—told Heller that she understood Lohan had a cold, an upper respiratory problem.
"I still have New Yorker in me. The flu is the flu. It's a whole different dance," she told Heller.
Lohan appeared in minimal makeup, two gold chains around her neck and black top. She answered "Yes, your honor" when waiving her right to a trial within 45 days.
Heller's associate attorney in Los Angeles will be Lindsay Berger, who he said was recently readmitted to the California bar. He said he wanted to move "expeditiously" to "bring closure to this drama in her life."
The judge mentioned that she was retiring soon and the case, now set for trial March 18, would outlast her. Sautner said she would allow Heller or his associate to appear on Lohan's behalf in future pretrial hearings.
Lohan was charged by the Santa Monica City Attorney's Office on Nov. 29 with willfully resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer, providing false information to an officer, and reckless driving.
The misdemeanors each carry potential jail terms ranging from three months to a year. Lohan was already on probation because of the theft of a necklace from a Venice jewelry store and now stands accused of violating the terms of her probation, which ultimately could send her to jail.
Through Holley, Lohan pleaded not guilty on Jan. 15 to the charges, which accuse her of lying to police by telling Santa Monica officers she was not driving a Porsche that rear-ended a truck on Pacific Coast Highway on June 8 as she headed for work on the TV film Liz & Dick.
During the arraignment, which Lohan did not attend, Superior Court Commissioner Jane Godfrey ordered the actress to personally appear in court for today's hearing. Sautner, who has overseen Lohan's case before, said Godfrey had a conflict this morning and she was substituting for her.