Law Stars – Mark Geragos, Criminal Defense Attorney Par Excellence

mark geragos

Mark Geragos is a well known Los Angeles-based litigation specialist and principal in Geragos & Geragos.  He first rose to fame with his representation of Bill Clinton’s former business partner and convicted Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, for whom he secured a presidential pardon in 2001 but he has represented such luminaries as Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Chris Brown, Gary Kaepernick and Bronfman heiress Clare Bronfman.

An Armenian American he retains close contacts with the Armenian community as well as pursuing class action litigation against two insurance companies for policies issued early in the 20th century during the Armenian genocide of more than 1.5 million Armenians. The two cases settled for over $37.5 million, in 2004 and 2005.

He was controversially dropped from CNN as a commentator with allegations he was involved in a Nike extortion bid with Michael Avenatti, with Geragos responding with fury, telling the NY Post “God forbid that I start telling some of the stories for how I’ve covered for that lame-ass organization.”

The LA Times said that he was a lawyer who “has seemingly courted controversy, earning a reputation as a respected and talented courtroom figure while defending or advocating for one divisive figure after another, from the King of Pop to the NFL quarterback who turned the national anthem into a political battleground.”


  • Born – Los Angeles, California
  • Education – Attended Flintridge Preparatory School in La Cañada, graduating with honors. Earned his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College, (1979) double-majoring in anthropology and sociology, then a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Loyola Law School (1982).
  • Law Firms –
  • Awards – He has won numerous accolades, including the California Lawyer of the Year award in Civil Litigation, and was named the Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association.
  • Net worth – According to Celebrity Net Worth, Geragos has an estimated $25million net worth. He has investments in real estate, hotels and restaurants.

Private & Professional Life

The vast array of celebrity clients and a successful trial track record already elevated Mark Gregaros into public view, but his frequent television appearances as an expert commentator on legal matters has also given him his own celebrity status.

Geragos has appeared on the Today show, Good Morning America60 MinutesAnderson Cooper 360°On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren, and has appeared a number of times on Larry King Live.

He was also an executive producer for the 2016 ABC network television series Notorious, which was inspired by the working relationship between Geragos and Larry King Live producer Wendy Walker.

Controversy Over Avenatti

There was controversy that erupted over his involvement with former lawyer Michael Avenatti, who

Geragos became caught up in the Avenatti scandal after Avenatti had sought his assistance in regard to domestic violence issues and then became implicated in Avenatti’s Nike charges. Despite various claims made about his role in the Nike matter, Geragos was clear on his position.

“Contrary to the defendant’s repeated assertions, (Geragos) has advised the Government that he did express to the defendant that he was concerned that the defendant had ‘crossed a line,’” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal wrote at the time.

According to prosecutors, Geragos “was concerned about and uncomfortable with the situation…which Geragos believed may have become extortionate.”

Despite the warning, Avenatti then demanded Nike to make a payment of $22.5million directly to him, rather than the client, prosecutors write.

Geragos “raised his concern and lack of comfort multiple times thereafter with the defendant, and insisted that the defendant must inform his client…of Nike’s offer, which the defendant said he would do (but did not, as demonstrated by evidence),” prosecutors wrote.

Controversy comes with top criminal lawyers and the work they do, but Mark Gregaros remains one of the country’s top criminal lawyers and is the only lawyer apart from the late Johnnie Cochran ever named “Lawyer of the Year” in both Criminal and Civil arenas. California Law Business Magazine named Geragos “One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California” three years in a row, and Geragos has repeatedly been voted by his peers as one of Los Angeles’ SuperLawyers. His $59 million jury verdict in a trade secrets case against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corporation was voted both “Top Ten Verdicts in 2008 in California” by the Daily Journal, as well as “Top Fifty Verdicts in the United States” by the National Law Journal.

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