So much happened last week in Los Angeles criminal defense news. Yet one story dominated the headlines and even momentarily distracted the populous from the sad but ever-developing story of Lindsay Lohan’s DUI/probation violation/grand theft/morgue duty skipping/playboy stripping saga.
Let’s quickly recap some of the “big events” in the Murray-Jackson saga from last week. Last Monday, 12 jurors found the 58-year old doctor guilty of involuntary manslaughter, just days after pop icon Michael Jackson’s physician appeared on The Today Show. Sentencing has been set for November 28th.
But that wasn’t the end of the drama!
• A medical imaging company has sued the doctor for nearly $150,000 dollars.
• Different jurors have begun telling their stories to the media. One juror confided to the New York Daily News that “she voted to convict (Murray) because he made a covert phone call to Michael Jackson’s handlers rather than dialing 911 first.”
• Another juror went on Good Morning America and said that she convicted the doctor “because she believes Michael Jackson would be alive today if it had not been for the doctor… ‘Conrad Murray did it.’”
• Dr. Murray was placed on suicide watch.
And that wasn’t even the end of all the drama.
NBC aired a documentary, “Michael Jackson and a doctor – a fatal friendship,” which retold the Murray story from the doctor’s perspective. October Films, a production company from England, followed the doctor through his trial. Michael Jackson’s family was hugely critical of the filmmakers, whom some alleged contributed significant money to the doctor’s legal defense.
All in all, it’s clearly a huge, complicated mess – just the kind of story about Los Angeles crime that the media loves and the populous eats up.
But aside from the distraction value, is there anything actionable that we can learn from all this hoopla? In other words, if you or someone you care about was recently arrested in the Southland for Los Angeles Medicare fraud, insurance fraud in Southern California, Los Angeles healthcare fraud, etc, can you learn anything substantial from Murray’s defense (or lack thereof) and the way that the trial was covered?
Obviously, Dr. Murray’s criminal situation – his charges, his relationship with the most famous singer of all time, etc – colored his case and made the situation unique. However, the rapidly evolving and difficult situations that Murray found himself in can give us insight. His legal situation quickly became chaotic as events unfolded. This can be normal. No matter how carefully you plan your defense, surprises can happen, often when you least want or expect them.
That’s why it’s so important to choose a legal representative who will be there for you, fighting for you, and making the most precise, strategic and effective moves.
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut of the Kraut Law Group (6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, California 90028) can help you. Mr. Kraut is a Harvard Law School educated former prosecutor with terrific reputation and a fantastic track record at jury trials.