Bill Cosby’s new legal team is headed by Tom Mesereau – the silver-maned attorney who famously won Michael Jackson’s acquittal in the child sex case, who looks like super-attorney Gerry Spence and who wins celebrity court battles – among others.
Meserau’s own law firm website will explain why and how he is the best in an elite group to top attorneys – “second to none”, in fact.
There’s no holding back on his professional accomplishments and personal abilities, although he is no star-struck, celebrity-seeking attorney in the usual sense – having failed to write the “Michael Jackson Trial” book that was on offer and could so easily have been churned out.
On trials and cases his website says: “Trials are high stakes encounters. Mesereau takes risks. Mesereau likes impossible odds. His results speak for themselves.”
“His accomplishments in the courtroom are extraordinary and unprecedented.”
So what else can WE say about Tom Mesereau, the attorney charged now with the defense of another celebrity client hoping that the results will be the same for Bill Cosby as Mesereau was able to obtain for Michael Jackson.
Well, here are five facts you may not have known about the star attorney.
1. He Said ‘No’ to Charles Manson
He rejected the opportunity to represent one of the last century’s most infamous murderers, Charles Manson. He was quoted – “[Manson] was interested in possible legal representation,” he told reporters in 2000. “We talked for about three hours. It was a very interesting conversation.”
2. He Has a Degree in International Relations
He achieved a Harvard Honours degree cum laude and went to the London School of Economics obtaining a Masters Degree in international relations before graduating in law from the University of California Hastings College of Law.
3. He Started Work for a Methane Producer
When he first moved to California from the East Coast he worked as an executive for three years with Texaco-owned Getty Synthetic Fuels, the world’s largest producer of methane fuels obtained from landfills.
He subsequently developed a passion for criminal law work and entered private practice in 1985.
4. He Has Been Lauded For His Work With Michael Jackson
He was one of the few people who ‘did right’ by Michael Jackson, according to many.
A person of quiet but firm demeanor and ethics, he believed there was something of a conspiracy involving Michael Jackson’s trial and trial transcripts reveal investigations ordered by Mesereau through Interpol, targeting Sony, Tommy Mottola and Michael’s then fired business lawyer John Branca.
The integrity in which he conducted himself in during and after the trial, and after Michael Jackson’s death in a sea of otherwise starkly opportunistic and almost maniacal hangers-on was noteworthy.
5. He Has a Strong Affinity For the Underdog and the Poor
He set up the Meseareau Free Legal Clinic in Los Angeles which meets twice monthly to dispense free legal advice to the poor, together with law students and others. He provides extensive free services for women recovering from abuse and also free representation for death row convicts in Mississippi and Alabama every year. He has received awards from the City of Los Angeles and church groups for his help for the poor and disadvantaged.
Each year he marches with the ‘Women of Watts’ in Los Angeles, together with their children, to protest against gang violence.
6. His New York Connections Are Famous
His maternal grandfather ran the famous “Mama Leone’s Restaurant” in Times Square, described once as a “tourist trap of the first order”.
It was certainly extremely famous as a hot spot for tourists and visitors alike.
It was also possibly the biggest restaurant in New York City, serving 700,000 meals a year until it closed in 1987.
As they left the courtroom, the departing lawyers shook hands with Cosby and his new legal team, which includes Tom Mesereau, the high-profile attorney who won an acquittal in Michael Jackson’s child molestation case. Others on the new team are former federal prosecutor Kathleen Bliss and Sam Silver, who represented now-imprisoned former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah in a corruption case.
The new lawyers said they want jurors picked from Montgomery County, where the alleged assault at Cosby’s home took place. The first jury was selected from the Pittsburgh area and spent two weeks sequestered 300 miles from home.
Cosby is being retried on charges that he assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004. He has said their sexual encounter was consensual.
The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they grant permission, which Constand has done.