Geragos to talk trial at Glendale Central Library

Mark Geragos, a Glendale attorney who has represented Michael Jackson and numerous other high-profile clients, has penned a book with fellow criminal defense attorney Pat Harris that delves into the faults of the criminal justice system and gives an inside look at the headline-grabbing cases he's argued in court.

Geragos — who is scheduled to discuss his book, "MISTRIAL: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works…and Sometimes Doesn't" at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Glendale Central Library — said defendants are too often assumed guilty in the modern justice system.

And, as he knows all too well, a trial can take on a life of its own when fueled by a media frenzy.

That's where being both an attorney and a crisis management counselor come in handy.

Geragos can't put his finger on how he became one of the go-to legal representatives for both the revered and the infamous, but his winning record may play a role, he said.

"I like to think it's because I'm effective and I get results. I've been called tenacious," Geragos said. "I think I also understand the trial-and-error and what it takes when someone is high profile to try to navigate them through the situation."

Modest isn't a term often associated with the man who's been called a "bad-boy defender."

While King of Pop is hard to beat — Geragos represented Jackson about eight years ago at the beginning of a child molestation case — the attorney said his most enjoyable clients recently have been singer Chris Brown and Mike Tyson.

Geragos represented Brown in the assault case involving his pop-star girlfriend Rihanna, and Tyson in a lawsuit against a financial company the champion boxer claimed gave him bad advice.

"Those are probably two of the clients that right now I enjoy representing," Geragos said. "They have had very challenging and difficult situations and they came back very strong."

But Geragos still has an affinity for his former client, Jackson.

Geragos doesn't think the trial of Conrad Murray — the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter after administering a lethal dose of a powerful anesthetic to his client, Jackson — did much to vindicate the legendary recording artist.

And he hopes the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Jackson's family against entertainment giant AEG won't damage the late singer's reputation even more. Geragos does think, though, that the Jackson family will win a large sum of money from the concert promoter.

"In a lot of ways, I sure hope that the current trial doesn't drag his legacy through the mud," Geragos said.

The Glendale Central Library is located at 222 E. Harvard St. 


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