Michael Jackson is being represented in his boy fondling charges by none other than Mark Geragos. If that name sounds familiar it's because Mr. Garagos will be splitting his time between this and another high-profile (read media frenzy) case as he represents Scott Peterson in his murder trial. Garagos was also Winona Ryder's lawyer in her shoplifting case.
Gloria Allred, another attorney who can't get enough of the spotlight, appeared on the news last night in the midst of the collective media pants-creaming over Michael Jackson's latest legal troubles to talk about how she tried to get his kids taken away after the whole baby dangling incident a few months ago. I'm not sure what she was hoping to gain by bringing up a set of charges she filed that didn't go anywhere, other than precious, precious, media exposure. My prediction is that Allred will end up representing the child accusing Jackson. For free.
And, if Gloria Allred's name sounds familiar, it's because she's also representing Amber Frey, Scott Peterson's other woman, in whatever legal issues she may have surrounding Peterson's trial. So once again Geragos and Allred find each other on opposite sides of a criminal defendant, albeit less formally (for now) in the Jackson case. Both attorneys went to Loyola University Law School, and both went to college in Pennsylvania. Coincidence? Perhaps.
It's interesting to look at the roles taken on by people like Geragos and Allred in high profile criminal case. Geragos, the defense attorney, gets to be the center of attention, while Allred has to scramble around for peripheral people to represent or other ways to get herself on the business end of a microphone. The prosecutors, meanwhile, are inevitably characterized as nameless yokels, with the emphasis either on their over-eagerness to land a big fish celebrity or their inability to compete against flashy big-city lawyers like Geragos. After watching the drastically incompetent performances of nitwits like Moira Lasch (William Kennedy Smith) and Marcia Clark (O.J.), it might be nice if the Santa Barbara or Modesto D.A.s would deputize Allreg as co-counsel. Seeing Allred and Geragos go head to head may actually make the round-the-clock trial coverage worthwhile. Just a suggestion.