In a report from the AP discussing what was brought out in court today, Jackson’s lawyers revealed that civil attorney Larry Feldman essentially lied to grand jurors about the prospects of the accusing family. They say Feldman told grand jurors, after being called by prosecutors to testify, that if the family pressed forward with a criminal case it diminished their chances of winning a civil suit. This, of course, is a complete lie. If they push ahead with the criminal case to convict Jackson, it all but ensures that they’ll received a civil judgement at the end of it. That is, if they lie well enough on the stand. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
AP: Linda Deutsch Title: Judge refuses to remove Michael Jackson prosecutor from case (Nov 4 2004) – AP … Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., had presented a final exhortation in favor of removing Sneddon, saying that the district attorney and his office had spent more money pursuing Jackson than they had on the cases of serial killers, showing that they had lost perspective. Mesereau said that Sneddon was so personally invested in pursuing Jackson’s case that he misrepresented to grand jurors the potential motivation of a boy’s family in accusing Jackson. Mesereau said that Sneddon brought an attorney, Larry Feldman, before the grand jury and had him tell the panelists that a criminal prosecution of Jackson would diminish the chances for the boy’s family to win compensation in a civil suit against the pop singer. In truth, Mesereau said, a criminal conviction would mean that the family would be more likely to win a financial claim against Jackson. “It goes without saying that if you obtain a criminal conviction, that will establish liability,” Mesereau said. “Every lawyer here knows that if Mr. Jackson was convicted of these allegations, the alleged victims could walk into civil court and get a judgment.” He also cited Sneddon’s personal role in investigating the Jackson case as well as his performance at a press conference announcing the singer’s arrest. But he said the entire district attorney’s office was too zealous in the grand jury proceedings. “They are too emotionally invested in getting a case against the celebrity…. They are blinded by zeal, blinded by emotion in deciding how to decide this case.” The judge expressed interest in one point raised by Mesereau that Sneddon might have to be a witness in the trial because of his personal role in investigating Jackson.
* Read the full article here: Judge refuses to remove Michael Jackson prosecutor from case (Nov 4 2004) * Stay tuned to the latest updates about the hearing here: November 4th Hearing Thread