Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mark John Geragos (born October 5, 1957) is an American criminal defense attorney best known for defending pop-star Michael Jackson, actress Winona Ryder, Gary Condit, and Susan McDougal, who was involved in the Whitewater scandal. He also represented Scott Peterson, in another trial that received widespread media attention.


Notable clients

Lindsay Lohan
Geragos first came to national attention with back-to-back acquittals in both State and Federal Court jury trials for Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, the former business partner of former President Bill Clinton.

Susan McDougal
In December 2002, Geragos defended Academy award–nominated actress Winona Ryder on charges of stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills, California store in 2001. She was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to undergo psychological and drug counseling.

Winona Ryder
In the early stages of the Michael Jackson molestation case, Geragos handled that case as well as Scott Peterson's death penalty case simultaneously. Though he managed a busy workload since he began working as a lawyer, during this time, he was handling two of the United States's best-known cases. Geragos's "...crushingly busy calendar" in the courtroom earned him a rebuke by a judge in an embezzlement case Geragos was also trying. Less than a year later Scott Peterson, Geragos's other high profile case, was convicted and sentenced to death.

Michael Jackson & Scott Peterson
In 2006, Geragos was back in the headlines for representing Barry Bonds's personal trainer Greg Anderson. On July 5, 2006, Anderson was found in contempt of court by U.S. District Judge William Alsup who jailed Anderson for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating perjury accusations against Bonds. Geragos announced he would file an appeal based on his assertion that the subpoena to testify violated Anderson's July 2005 plea bargain agreement in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative case. [2] Anderson was to be held until he agreed to testify or the grand jury's term expired. Geragos has said his client would not testify. [3] The grand jury expired on July 20, 2006, and Anderson was released from prison two weeks later. [4] On August 28, 2006, Anderson was again found in contempt of court for refusing to testify before a newly convened grand jury and sentenced to prison. [5]Anderson was freed on October 5, 2006 after an order from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Trial Judge had committed legal errors and ordered Anderson's immediate release. Anderson was sent back to jail on November 16, 2006.

Mark Geragos Legal commentary

1999 - Trial Lawyer of The Year by the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association.