Teny Geragos

Raniere’s lawyers, Agnifilo and Teny Geragos, claim no conflict with father, Mark Geragos, representing Clare Bronfman

The prosecution has raised an objection to Clare Bronfman retaining famed lawyer Mark Geragos as her attorney because his daughter, Teny Geragos, represents codefendant Keith Raniere.

They claim there is a potential conflict.

Raniere’s attorneys, Mark Agniflo -his lead attorney – and his associate, Teny Geragos, have replied that there is no conflict.  In a letter to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, Agniflo and Teny Geragos write:  

“[T]he government…  asserts …  a ‘potential conflict’ with Teny Geragos’ representation of Keith Raniere and Mark Geragos’ representation of Clare Bronfman because they are “closely related.’…   Counsel [Teny Geragos] has made clear to both Raniere and the government that she is aware and takes seriously her ethical duties to her client including the duties of confidentiality and loyalty. These duties have not and will not be impaired by her ‘close family relationship.’ … We do not believe there is a conflict; however, if the Court would like to conduct a Curcio hearing, we have provided Curcio counsel, Avraham C. Moskowitz, with the government’s letter and are able to proceed with a hearing on the next court date, March 18, 2019.”

Avraham C. Moskowitz represented Keith Raniere at the Curcio Hearing. His role is to advise Raniere on potential conflicts arising from the unique arrangements of payment of lawyers for this case. He may also have to advise Raniere on potential conflicts arising from the father – daughter relationship of Clare Bronfman’s lawyer [father Mark Geragos] and Raniere’s lawyer [daughter Teny Geragos.] 
Judge Garaufis appointed attorney Avraham C. Moskowitz to represent Raniere at the previous Curcio Hearing to insure that Raniere understood the possible conflict arising from the fact that Clare Bronfman is  paying, through a trust fund, for attorneys for Raniere [and other codefendants] which might cause a conflict of interest.

At that Curcio Hearing, held last month, Raniere said he was satisfied that his attorneys would represent him faithfully despite being paid by Bronfman.

if there is another Curcio hearing, Moskowitz is expected to represent Raniere, but is not expected to represent Raniere beyond Curcio hearings.

The prosecution’s objections arise from from what they says is the “risk” that father and daughter’s “loyalty may be impaired.”

“[T]here is a risk”, the prosecution writes,  “that they could reveal client confidences to one another. There is also a risk that the relationship between them could affect their legal advice, because either one of them may be incentivized to make strategic decisions that would not be in his or her own client’s best interests out of fear of harming the other’s client or the other’s professional reputation. This is especially true given the high profile nature of this case.  As examples, strategic advice that could be affected by the relationship between Teny Geragos and Mark Geragos might include: (1) whether one client should seek leniency by cooperating against the other, (2) whether a client should testify in his or her own
defense at trial, where such testimony might implicate the other, (3) whether to elicit testimony
from witnesses on direct or cross-examination if that testimony might implicate the other’s
client, and (4) whether to make motions that could be adverse to the other client’s interests.”

The judge will ultimately decide whether to conduct a Curcio Hearing on this potential conflict, as well as if there is a conflict too great to permit father and daughter to represent the two codefendants.

If both Raniere and Clare Bronfman assert on the record that they understand the conflict, and both attorneys assert they will faithfully represent their clients, the judge, I suspect, would be hard pressed to deny them the attorneys of their choice.

If the judge prohibits the defendants from having counsel of their choice, it almost automatically sets up significant grounds for appeal if the defendants are convicted.

If the judge holds a Curcio Hearing and they assert they understand the potential conflict, the grounds for appeal are weaker.

 

Celebrity lawyer, Mark Geragos, was recently retained by Clare Bronfman. one legal observer estimated his retainer to be $3 million, to be replenished monthly as he bills the Seagram’s heiress for his services.

About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Report’s founder and lead writer Frank Parlato is one of the internet’s most decorated investigative journalists. His writing and investigations have helped expose major criminal organizations and scandals.

Frank’s work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more.

He is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.

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  • The Judge is smart and will have hearings to prevent appeals.

    At some point, he might have to say enough.

    NXIVM played the add/swap attorneys game in the Ross case and it dragged on for over 10 years.

    What KAR & Clare are too stupid to think ahead about; this time KAR sits at the MDC.

    Maybe Clare has had enough time to detox from the kool-aid and doesn’t care how long KAR is at the MDC.

    When the Trust Fund run dry, she wont pay another penny into it. The four other defendants will be left with their own legal billb.

  • Regarding Geragos, there is one interesting fact about him that is a complete reflection of who he is.

    The fact is when Geragos is involved in a very high profile case; if he believes the jury’s verdict will be unfavorable such as guilty on all counts, he will often not show up to court for the verdict. Geragos will have another attorney stand in for him.

    He most famously did this in the Scott Peterson case. Geragos claimed to have an important outside obligation in another court. LOL

    Geragos after all is a showbiz attorney.

    Another interesting tidbit is Geragos, a day before becoming Peterson’s attorney, he appeared on court tv and spoke about the evidence against Scott Peterson being damning and that Scott Peterson, “is most likely guilty”.

    24 hours later Gregragos became Peterson’s attorney.

    This information is all verifiable.

    • On a side note: It all smells on the surface but provided a Curcio hearing is held, I do not believe it is a big deal regarding father and daughter duo.

      Frankly, I am surprised Frankreport’s own legal analyst has a problem with the father and daughter dynamic. Attorneys frequently appear in front of judges they know personally as well as sometimes personally knowing the attorneys on the other side……

      and usually, no attorney or judge recuses themselves. Before my wife was a family law attorney, she did insurance defense. It happens all of the time.

      Is Krclaviger a trial attorney?

  • All the lawyers represent Clare Bronfman and all the defendants are employees of Clare Bronfman.
    The Bronfmans have owned NXIVM since 2009.
    NXIVM is the Bronfman family’s worst investment.
    Worse than half brother Edgar’s ill-fated investment in MCA Music.

  • Why would Raniere have an issue with Bronfman paying for his legal bills? She has paid for everything he’s spent for the past almost two decades. Like father, like daughter. The Geragos apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. When they smell money with those huge noses, it’s like a hound dog on a scent. The father is smarter, he latched onto the money source.

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Fox News, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, and more.

Frank Report is dedicated to Frank's investigative journalism and the pursuit of truth.

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