Holley and Lohan in court in February 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages)Lindsay Lohan may have fired the one person who has saved her from serious jail time all these years: her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley.
According to TMZ, the troubled actress relinquished the famed attorney on Monday in a letter that was sent by her New York City – and now bi-coastal – lawyer, Mark Jay Heller. It just so happened that when Holley – who has been in court with Lohan at least 13 times since May 2010 – received word she was being let go, she was preparing to meet with a judge in Los Angeles to try to negotiate a deal for Lohan regarding the three charges stemming from her car crash last June, including lying to police.
Holley did not respond to omg!’s request for comment on the situation.
Radar Online reports that the reason Holley got the axe is because she is owed $300,000 by Lohan, who has not made a payment in more than six months. “Shawn has kept Lindsay out of jail for over five years now and she has no idea how good she has had it,” a source tells the site. “Shawn is extremely respected by judges and prosecutors and that has benefited Lindsay greatly. Lindsay’s new criminal attorney, Mark Heller, isn’t even based in Los Angeles and certainly doesn’t have the revered reputation that Shawn does.”
Heller on January 7. (D Dipasupil/Getty Images)The man who is apparently now employed full-time for the 26-year-old doesn’t come with glowing reviews. Heller, who is also representing Lohan in her assault case from that November nightclub incident, was reportedly suspended from practicing law for five years, starting in 1994. During the disciplinary panel for that expulsion, Heller was described as a “menace to the public, shockingly cavalier, and abusive and rife with puffery,” reported the New York Times in May 2010.
On the site LawyerRatingZ.com, Heller, who represented Jon Gosselin in his divorce case against ex-wife Kate, was reviewed by a user as “The absolute worst” on November 21, 2011. “He took my money, promised me results and never would return one phone call. He should be disbarred.”
Previously, on January 19 of the same year, another person claims, “He also took me for my money. Mr. Mark J.Heller cannot be trusted. He will smooth talk his way to you, into trusting him, he will claim that he will help you with your case, he will claim that you can trust him, then he will inquire how much money you have in your budget, then he will suck the money out of you dry, and in the end of it, he will do nothing for your case take as much money he can get from you, then he will [claim] that you have exhausted your money he needs more, in order for him to move [forward] with your case or he cannot do anything for you.”
This would also not be the first time Heller has claimed to be Lohan’s sole attorney. After her arrest in NYC in November, he was boasting to any media outlets who would listen, but Lohan’s camp told Rumor Fix.com, “Lindsay’s legal counsel remains her longtime attorney Shawn Holley. Any reports of her being represented by Mark Heller are not accurate.”
Lohan is due back in court on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, to be arraigned on the three charges from her car accident, at which time she will be required to enter a plea … and then another hearing will be set. But will Heller or Holley be by her side in court?
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