Thursday, April 18, 2024

Michael Jackson’s Ex Lawyers: One a Hero, the Other Disbarred


Michael Jackson’s former attorneys have quite divergent paths since the child molestation trial in 2005. This week, Brian Oxman was disbarred by the California Bar Association for a host of malfeasance. Meanwhile, Thomas Mesereau continues to be a hero, handling pro bono cases to exonerate the wrongly accused in Alabama. Here’s a release from the Mesereau office about their latest accomplishment. Can you imagine that Mesereau had to put up with Oxman during the Jackson trial? The man has patience.

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July 9, 2012 – The Firm of Mesereau & Yu, LLP, is pleased to announce that Tom Mesereau’s former client, Wesley Quick, who was acquitted of capital murder and avoided the death penalty in 2003, has been listed in the “National Registry of Exonerations.”  A joint project of the University of Michigan Law School and Northwestern University School of Law, The National Registry of Exonerations is a newly published report on exonerated defendants between the years 1989 and 2012.

Mr. Quick was originally represented by other counsel when he was convicted of two counts of capital murder by a jury in Birmingham, Alabama in 1997.  He received the death penalty and spent four and a half years on Alabama’s death row before his convictions were reversed on a technicality.  The original jury heard evidence of devil worship, excessive drug use, and random targeting of innocent citizens for murder.

After his conviction was reversed, Mr. Quick hired Mesereau’s colleague and friend in Birmingham, noted criminal defense lawyer Charles Salvagio.  Mr. Salvagio asked Mr. Mesereau to try the case with him.  In a stunning reversal, Mr. Quick was acquitted of all counts in a high profile jury trial.  This resulted in a widely read editorial about injustice in death penalty cases by the Birmingham news.

Mr. Quick’s listing in the National Registry of Exonerations means that he has been completely exonerated from all legal obligations associated with this death penalty case.

At the time, Mr. Quick’s acquittal was the third high profile victory in a capital murder trial for Mr. Mesereau and Mr. Salvagio.  They had previously acquitted a homeless black man, who was charged with murdering a beautiful white woman in Birmingham.  This trial was also controversial and subjected to enormous media coverage.  On a prior occasion, the Mesereau/Salvagio team had won a high profile capital murder trial in Bessemer, Alabama, in which they represented a young mother charged with murdering her baby daughter with an M & M filled bottle.  She was acquitted of capital murder and murder and convicted of the lesser-included offense of manslaughter.

Mr. Mesereau has been defending clients accused of capital murder for the last fourteen years.  All of these cases have been in Alabama and Mississippi.  Mr. Mesereau defends one to two capital murder cases in the Deep South each year for no legal fees.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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