Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Michael Jackson - Brawler?

Michael Jackson has not generally acted in a manner I would counsel my clients to act, although I don't tend to represent well-known people (and the couple who have been well-known have been so by virtue of their acts that led me to represent them). As well known as he is, he is widely viewed by the public as a child molester who got away with it a decade ago, and who, based on his TV special, never seemed to get it.

But, he's really not helped his case with his outcries over things like his maltreatment by the Sheriff (really Michael, you should talk to your lawyer about what kind of surveillance the Sheriff uses for high profile cases such as yours before spouting off about being beaten or abused). Of course, the video and audio of that interaction showed him to be a drama queen (oops, sorry bout the use of the word "queen" and Michael) at best, and a liar at worst.

His latest, though, is really classic. He's challenging the Santa Barbara DA, Tom Sneddon, his own personal Captain Ahab, to a mano a mano. This may actually be the best move he could've made. From everything I've heard and read, Sneddon wants Jackson badly after being outmanned ten years ago. This time he has may have crossed the line in going after Jackson (let's face it, you just don't conduct searches on your own initiative of the defendant's lawyer's investigator unless you bring along a special master with you). Clearly, he wants Michael. But, how good of a trial lawyer can he be, I mean, as the head guy for so long, he probably hasn't done a trial in ages (actually, I looked it up and he appears to do a few cases every so often - I kinda doubt he does them against the caliber lawyers that Jackson's hired). When San Francisco DA Hallinan decided that he wanted to do a high profile murder case a few years back, by all accounts he did a pretty bad job.

That which makes one a good administrator does not make you a good trial lawyer, that's obvious. However, DAs offices are so political (as they are elected offices), that I've seen enough of the DAs in management where I work to realize that good lawyering often has very little to do with promotion to management, and eventually, making it to the top spot. The same is true in many public defenders offices as well.

Sneddon has personally taken part in some aspects of this case, I believe he has even appeared in court on the case, something unusual (at least in a big city). So, by Jackson throwing down the gauntlent to him, he may have given Sneddon a gambit that he can't refuse. If he entices Sneddon to do this trial against him, then he will probably take a more experienced trial lawyer out of commission in so doing. That would be a great achievement indeed.

Who knows, it could get ever more interesting.

28 comments:

holden said...

PDD,

This trial is going to be interesting indeed.

New look to the site is great. In other news, I recently joined the local Public Defenders Office, and I've already nearly gotten into a fistfight with a DA.

Best,

PD Dude said...

fistfight? Excellent work!!!

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