The Shift Doctors (Tracy Latz, M.D. & Marion Ross, Ph.D.) would love to introduce our friend and Marion’s former graduate school classmate, internationally respected attorney and newest guest blogger Thomas Mesereau. Thomas A. Mesereau Jr. is a partner in the firm of Mesereau & Yu, LLP in the Century City area of Los Angeles, CA. He has represented numerous clients in high-profile cases in California and the Deep South. Among his clients was Michael Jackson, who was acquitted on all charges in a criminal trial in 2005. Tom was also instrumental in getting The Shift Doctors connected with teaching personal transformation courses in the Los Angeles County Jail through the Women-In-Transition-Support (WITS) program.
As published in the Los Angeles Lawyer – Survival Guide for New Attorneys in CA (Fall 2011 Issue)
Society, and the legal profession, are fixated on high-profile cases. Although the infamous O. J. Simpson case in 1994-95 riveted the nation like no other previous case, high-profile and celebrity cases have always had a prominent role in U.S. history. Lawyers who find themselves in a case that is generating intense media interest should proceed proactively on a number of fronts.
First, it is essential that the lawyer not lose focus. No matter how intense the media spotlight may be, the most important person in the courtroom is the client. Every decision a lawyer makes should put the client’s welfare before the lawyer’s.
While I was defending actor Robert Blake in his homicide case, he told me that cameras were like a drug–and no one is immune. He was correct. For whatever reason, lawyers have a tendency to change their countenance and alter their values when cameras loom. This is dangerous.
Many of the reasons behind this phenomenon began with societal values. On some level, most human beings seek recognition and approval–consciously and subconsciously. The boundaries of this need may extend no further than one’s immediate social group, such as a school, club, athletic team, or professional association. However, this desire for recognition is reaching absurd heights in a culture that seems to have gone beyond the goal of 15 minutes of fame to constant 24/7 celebrity. Social media–including Facebook, YouTube, and other Websites–are enabling everyone to obtain some form of celebrity status. [Read more…] about “Effectively Handling High-Profile and Celebrity Cases” by Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.