|More On Tuesday's Hearing|
(15-2-2011) As reported earlier, the judge delayed a decision on allowing a new lawyer to join Dr. Conrad Murray's defense team until he can determine if there is a conflict of interest.
The lawyer in question, Nareg Gourjian, once worked on Michael Jackson's child molestation defense and is now set to replace Joseph Low, who left Murray's defense team earlier this month.
Gourjian's former law firm, headed by attorney Mark Geragos, raised the possible conflict of interest before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor at a hearing Tuesday.
"We have a great amount of respect for Mr. Gourjian, but it is our duty to disclose his participation in our past representation for Mr. Jackson," said Geragos' attorney Pat Harris.
The Geragos firm represented Jackson for two years beginning in 2003 when he was charged with child molestation. Jackson later replaced Geragos with Thomas Mesereau in 2004, saying he wanted an attorney who would devote his full time to his case. At the time, Geragos was also busy defending Scott Peterson, who was charged with murdering his pregnant wife.
Gourjian told Judge Pastor he was "in no way inolved" in the Jackson case because he was "a brand-new lawyer," busy working on the Peterson murder case at the time.
The decision will rest on whether or not Gourjian's work for Jackson was "substantially related" to the current case and if his work for the defense would require "Gourjian to attempt to discredit his former client directly or indirectly," Pastor said.
He delayed a decision until more facts can be provided by Geragos and there is a response from the attorney for Michael Jackson's estate.
Mark Geragos will be asked to appear at the next hearing on February 24, Pastor said.
The defense demanded a speedy trial at last month's arraignment and Jury selection is now set for March 24.
Make sure to check out the MJFC Shop for all the best deals on your Michael Jackson music, DVDs, videogames, books & merchandise!