Mark Geragos and his Fresno connection

Mark Geragos, one of the most recognizable criminal defense attorneys in America, returned to the Valley on Friday.
March 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
One of the most recognizable criminal defense attorneys in America returned to the Valley on Friday. Mark Geragos has a strong connection to Fresno. His mother, Betty, was born in Fresno. She attended Fresno High, Fresno City College and Fresno State.

Geragos was working a case in San Jose and arrived late to a local luncheon. Several people at the noon event had to leave Pardini's to get back to work, but Mark Geragos finally did arrive.

Geragos said he was glad to be back in the Valley.

"Some of my fondest memories are taking twice a month trips to Fresno to visit my grandparents who lived on Belmont Avenue," he said.

Geragos shared stories with the Fresno County Bar and Fresno Paralegal associations.

Mark Geragos made a career out of high profile cases. He represents Chris Brown in his assault case involving Rihanna. In 2003, Geragos defended Michael Jackson at the same time he represented Scott Peterson in Modesto.

"Back then I was wearing a pager, that tells you how long ago it was and I got a page and it was Neverland. I saw the 805 number. They were executing a search warrant at Neverland literally the day they were finishing up the prelim," he recalled.

Geragos had to go to Las Vegas, pick up Michael Jackson and get him to Santa Barbara. He said he's used to juggling cases though.

"I hate the term celebrity lawyer but a lot of people, the high profile, tends to then attract more," he said.

Geragos also has penned a book titled, "Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works ... and Sometimes Doesn't."

One of the things he discussed in the book is the role race plays in the judicial system.

"I think contrary to what may be the common perception is we're not beyond race in this country," he said.

Geragos said he now handles more civil cases than criminal cases.


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