9:27 AM PT -- Heller is currently inside the courthouse and is expected to come out to address the media ... because he can't help himself.
Judge Stephanie Sautner couldn't help herself during Lindsay Lohan's hearing this AM, quipping, "I'm glad to see you're feeling better" -- referring to the fact that she was almost a no-show because her doctor said she had an upper respiratory infection -- which apparently didn't get in the way of her shopping spree last Saturday.
Lindsay reluctantly told the judge in her criminal case she's down with saying goodbye to longtime lawyer Shawn Holley ... and put her fate in the hands of New York attorney Mark Heller, who arrived to court today with a rabbit's foot on his bag for good luck.
A sleepy Lindsay hesitated when Judge Sautner asked if she was comfortable with the change. Lindsay qualified her answer by telling the judge she was OK with it today, but the judge wanted to know about today and tomorrow ... Lindsay said it was.
Judge Sautner gave Heller permission to rep Lindsay in the lying-to-cops case and Heller then tried to turn on the charm, telling the judge they had a NYC connection since she was once a Big Apple detective. The judge fired back that flattery would get him nowhere fast.
The judge also laid down the ominous fact -- that Lindsay could be found not guilty in the lying case, and her probation in the jewelry case could still be violated since the standard of proof is lower.
The Judge set March 1 as the next hearing.
FYI -- for whoever cares, Lindsay wore Chanel to court today with Celine shades ... and Louboutins on her feet, obviously.