Famed Celebrity Lawyer Mark Geragos Joins Clare Bronfman’s Defense Team

Michael Jackson (C), with his lawyer Mark Geragos (L) and his sister, singer Janet Jackson (R), arriving for the US pop star's arraignment on child molestation charges at the courthouse in Santa Maria, California. Photo credit HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos has filed a Pro Hac Vice Motion in the case of U.S. v. Raniere Et Al – which, when approved, will allow him to join Clare Bronfman’s defense team.

A Pro Hac Vice motion allows a lawyer who has not been admitted to practice in a certain jurisdiction to participate in a particular case in that jurisdiction.

Although such motions are not automatically granted, there is little doubt that the presiding judge in this case, Nicholas G. Garaufis, will approve this one.

Geragos has represented a bevy of famous clients over the years. These include the following:
Susan McDougal: Geragos first rose to national attention when he represented Susan McDougal, the former business partner of Bill Clinton. McDougal was sentenced to 18-months in federal prison for refusing to answer questions before the federal grand jury that was hearing testimony in the Whitewater case – and then was also convicted in the Whitewater case itself (She served a total of 22-months in prison before being released for medical reasons). After all that, Geragos secured a full pardon for McDougal from President Clinton as he was leaving office.

Scott Peterson: Geragos also represented Scott Peterson who was found guilty of murdering his wife, Laci, and their unborn child. In doing so, Geragos argued that Laci had been kidnapped by a Satanic cult that had held her hostage until she gave birth – and then killed both her and the baby. Peterson was convicted of two counts of murder, sentenced to death, and has been on death row at San Quentin prison since 2005.

Michael Jackson: At the same time that he was representing Scott Peterson, Geragos was hired by Michael Jackson who was facing multiple child molestation charges. Jackson later replaced Geragos – and said at the time that “It is imperative that I have the full attention of those who are representing me. My life is at stake…”. Geragos co-counsel on the case was Benjamin Brafman, whose current firm is representing Keith Raniere.

Other famous Geragos clients have included actress and film producer Wynona Ryder; Greg Anderson, the personal trainer of baseball star Barry Bonds; NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield, singer Chris Brown, and actor Jusse Smullett.

In addition to continuing to practice law, Geragos also appears as a legal commentator a variety of television shows. He also co-hosts “Making the Case”, which airs Monday nights on CNN at 10:30 PM.

The addition of Geragos means that Clare Bronfman now has nine attorneys on her defense team. It also means that there are now at least twenty-six defense attorneys currently involved in the case (Several other attorneys who previously made appearances on behalf of the defendants appear to have dropped out).

For those Frank Report readers who are keeping score, here’s a list of the current attorneys:

RE: Keith Raniere
1. Marc Agnifilo
2. Jacob Kaplan
3. Teny R. Geragos (This is Mark Geragos’ daughter)
4. Paul DerOhannesian II
5. Danielle R. Smith

RE Clare Bronfman
1. Dennis Burke
2. Susan R. Necheles
3. Kathleen E. Cassidy
4. Gedalia Moshe Stern
5. William Savino
6. Alexandra A.E. Shapiro
7. Fabien Manohar Thayamballi
8. Mark J. Geragos
9. John Sandweg

RE: Allison Mack
1. William F. McGovern
2. Steven G. Kobre
3. Sean S. Buckley
4. Matthew I. Menchel
5. Gabriela Magda Ruiz

RE: Nancy Salzman
1. Mark J. Sullivan
2. David Stern
3. Robert Soloway

RE: Lauren Salzman
1. Hector J. Diaz
2. Andrea S. Tazioli

RE: Kathy Russell
1. Justine A. Harris
2. Amanda Ravitch

It is unclear why Clare thought it was necessary to bring in a celebrity attorney like Mark Geragos at this point in time (Perhaps there won’t be another superseding indictment – and the trial will actually start on April 29th?)

It is also unclear whether there will be enough oxygen in the courtroom to allow Marc Agnifilo and Mark Geragos to appear at the same time.

Although it was always assumed that the trial would take place at the U.S. District Court House in Brooklyn, NY, it is now possible that it will be moved to the Barclays Center in order to ensure there will be adequate room for all the defense attorneys.



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Geragos with client – singer Chris Brown.
Related image
Geragos with client Scott Peterson – on trial for murder.
Geragos on Larry King
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Geragos now represents Jussie Smollett.

Mark John Geragos is an Armenian-American criminal defense attorney best known for defending pop-star Michael Jackson, actress Winona Ryder, Gary Condit, and Susan McDougal. He was also involved in the Whitewater scandal. He represented Scott Peterson and now Jussie Smollett and Clare Bronfman.


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