Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dr. Conrad Murray's new attorney could be conflict of interest

Dr. Conrad Murray's new lawyer could be conflict of interest

A lawyer who worked for celebrity attorney Mark Geragos
during his representation of Michael Jackson said Tuesday he
wants to join the defense team representing Jackson's doctor
on an involuntary manslaughter charge.

The move by attorney Nareg Gourjian raised the
possibility of a conflict of interest.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said that loyalty
to a former client, even one who is dead, is part of the
rules that must be obeyed by all attorneys.

Dr. Conrad Murray, who was Jackson's personal
physician at the time of his death, is accused of
negligence in giving him the powerful anesthetic
propofol and other sedatives listed as the cause of
death in the pop star's autopsy.

Murray has pleaded not guilty. He did not attend
Tuesday's hearing

Geragos represented Jackson on child molestation
allegations from 2003 to 2005 but left the case before
the trial in which Jackson was acquitted.

Gourjian, who appeared in court with Murray's
lawyers, said he was a new attorney when he was
hired by Geragos and did little on the Jackson case.
Geragos' associate, attorney Pat Harris, brought the
situation to the judge's attention.

"Our position is there may be a conflict. We feel it is
our duty to disclose it," Harris said. "We have the
highest respect for Mr. Gourjian as an attorney."

Judge Pastor said he wants to hear from Geragos and
an attorney for the Jackson estate on whether
Gourjian's possible involvement in the Murray case
would be a breach of loyalty to Jackson under
California's Rules of Professional Conduct for

The judge set a hearing for Feb. 24 on the issue.

Source: By LINDA DEUTSCH AP Special Correspondent  AP

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