Michael Jackson fans blog the trial on his behalf, attacking a possible defense argument on rapid detox. A live blog of the trial follows the testimony of Dr. Paul White, a witness for the defense. According to a reuters story, Dr. White, an anesthesiologist, has doubts about the corner's determination that propofol killed Michael Jackson, "I was somewhat perplexed at how a determination has been made that Dr. Murray was infusing propofol."
I contacted criminal defense attorney Lou Shapiro, who has a few questions about what the jury may be wanting to know.
He wrote, "Now that we are over a week into the trial of Dr. Murray, we are left with more questions than answers. The jurors want to know: 1. Why was medicine cleaned up before the paramedics arrived? 2. Why didn't Dr. Murray inform the paramedics or the doctors that Jackson had been given propofol? 3. Why was Dr. Murray calling his girlfriend in the ambulance? 4. Why did Dr. Murray record Michael Jackson on his phone? 5. Why was propofol being delivered to Dr. Murray's residence, rather than Jackson's residence? While Dr. Murray has the right not to testify, he is the only one who can provide answers to these questions."
According to LAist, "[Dr. Marc] Abrams had been under investigation in conjunction with 'his treatment of a 25-year-old patient who overdosed on prescription drugs.'" More.
And according to KTLA news, "Dr. Nazar Al Bussam, 71, was arrested in October 2010 after a three-year investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration." The LA Times reports that the doctor has received a seven-year sentence; the doctor has been linked to the deaths of three patients.
Meanwhile, Trials and Tribulations, a trail watch blog, has been following the Dr. Murray trial with regular updates.
The Guardian/Observer has an excellent summary of the story of Dr. Nick, the personal physician of Elvis Presley. According to Wikipedia, Dr. George Constantine Nichopoulos was indicted in 1980 on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as twelve other patients, and ultimately the doctor lost his license to practice medicine.
The ABA Journal has an article on how attorney James Neal successfully defended Dr. Nick before a Memphis jury.
One point of comparison between Dr. Nick and Dr. Murray: Dr. Nick tried to keep Elvis's addiction to prescription drugs in check, going so far as to "persuade Knoll, the manufacturers of Dilaudid, Elvis's favourite painkiller, to press a special batch of a thousand pills without any active ingredients. It took a year of letter-writing and legal wrangling. But they looked just like the real thing. They cost him $5.98 apiece."
I had an opportunity to speak by phone with Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., today about the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Mesereau, who is best known for his defense of Michael Jackson and Robert Blake in their criminal trials, stated, as he has in other interviews, that in this case he is pro-prosecution. When I asked Mr. Mesereau to speculate as to why Dr. Murray's defense counsel did not accept a plea bargain before trial, he indicated that he considers it likely that no plea deal was offered. In a case in which it is conceivable that a second-degree murder charge could have been brought, perhaps the charge of involuntary manslaughter was all the bargain that the prosecution was willing to make.
Mesereau indicated that so far, both legal teams are doing a very professional job, with opening arguments on both sides earning his praise.
Traffic around the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center has been tied up this morning for the opening day of the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor. MSNBC has the cheat sheet. EOnline has the minute-by-minute updates.
The medical marijuana fray has gotten complicated, with no signs of mellowing. Judge James C. Chalfant has reversed a ban on new dispensaries in the city, while Steve Cooley and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich have come out against the dispensaries. The U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, has announced that the federal government will not seek to enforce federal laws against marijuana distribution when they run counter to state laws. And in United States v. $186,416 in Currency (9th Cir. - Oct. 20, 2009), the Ninth Circuit rules against the LAPD and in favor of the United Medical Caregivers Clinic on Wilshire. LAist has details about Trutanich's proposed new ordinance.
California Attorney General Jerry Brown has launched a suit against State Street Bank and Trust, charging that the bank defrauded Calpers and the California State Teachers Retirement System.
Ever try to win an argument with a cable TV company? How about a credit card company? The Ninth Circuit rules in favor of John Gorman, who sued after his credit rating went down because he wouldn't pay the cable company. The ruling addresses FCRA preemption of California's arguably more pro-consumer credit reporting law.
According to a story by Christine Pelisek in the LA Weekly, the murder of Deputy Abel Escalante may have been retaliation for the death of gang member Danny Leon in a shootout with the LAPD on Drew Street. A recent crackdown on the Avenues Gang in Northeast Los Angeles resulted in the arrest of 46 members of the gang.
According to Injuryboard.com, "The Los Angeles regional rail system, Metrolink, Wednesday agreed to pay $30 million to settle most of the remaining lawsuits that resulted from a 2005 Glendale crash that killed 11 and injured more than 180."
Who is to blame for the economic implosion? In two feature articles, authors Mark Labaton and Mark Anchor Albert explore the legal fallout from the absence of regulatory control over derivatives and the legal arguments against the First Amendment shield that bond ratings agencies have traditionally enjoyed. And in "Take It to the Bank," authors Maura O'Connor, James Bryce Clark, and Edward Karlin offer insight into the differences between and FDIC bank receiverships and other corporate insolvencies. The economic crisis and the law also receive attention in Dennis L. Perez's article on tax relief for victims of Ponzi schemes. For those looking to reduce child support or alimony in the wake of financial loss, however, no relief is likely. Lance S. Spiegel has more in his article concerning the recession's effect on family law matters. Finally, Ken Swenson offers an overview on
starting a law practice in a home office.