Judge considers sanctions against Jackson’s top lawyer

THE judge in Michael Jackson’s child molestation trial yesterday said he may sanction lead defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau for misrepresenting the terms under which Jackson waived his privilege of confidentiality with former lawyer Mark Geragos.

“I feel deceived by Mr Mesereau and I am considering ... sanctions of some sort against Mr Mesereau,” Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville said in a hearing before Mr Geragos resumed testifying.

Jackson only waived lawyer-client privilege for the period until his arrest in November 2003 but that limit was not disclosed until Mr Geragos mentioned it while testifying last week.

The prosecution and the judge were surprised by the limitation, and at the time Mr Mesereau apologised, saying he had not thought the period after arrest was relevant.

Prosecutors argued Mr Geragos should be required to testify about the period after the arrest because of the misrepresentation, but the judge ruled that Mr Geragos would only have to testify about the period allowed by the waiver.

Yesterday, Michael Jackson’s legal team scored a victory as jurors were allowed to see a video tour of the singer’s Neverland ranch that a prosecutor condemned as propaganda.

Jurors saw idyllic scenes of amusement park rides, cheerful workers and zoo animals. District Attorney Tom Sneddon vehemently opposed the viewing.

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