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Thomas Mesereau's Biography

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Criminal defence lawyer Thomas Mesereau Jr, who successfully defended singer Michael Jackson against charges of child abuse, was born in 1950 into a military family in West Point, New York.

Mesereau studied at Harvard and the London School of Economics (LSE).

Thomas Mesereau has defended a number of high-profile clients. He once served on the defense team for Robert Blake, the actor accused of murdering his wife.

However, Mesereau and Blake parted company in February 2004 over "irreconcilable differences".

Mesereau also served as local counsel to Mike Tyson (although the charges were never filed), newsreader Larry Carroll, and a former member of the Symbionese Liberation Army accused of attempted police car bombings.

Thomas Mesereau has in the past volunteered his trial services without charge in death penalty cases in Alabama and Mississippi, and in the mid-1990s, he met with Charles Manson and considered representing him.

According to Mesereau, "[Manson] was interested in possible legal representation ... We talked for about three hours. It was a very interesting conversation."

Apart from Mesereau, other leading legal figures in the Michael Jackson case were Tom Sneddon, the prosecutor; and Rodney Meville, the judge.

After the Michael Jackson case, Mesereau accused Sneddon of having a vendetta against the singer.

The excellent Smoking Gun web site has a copy of the letter signed by Michael Jackson notifying his switch from lawyers Mark Geragos and Benjamin Brafman to Thomas Mesereau. It is worth looking at, as the site points out, just to see Michael Jackson's signature.

Towards the end of the Michael Jackson trial Mesereau upset Judge Rodney Meville over the nature of what Jackson's former lawyer, Mr Geragos was prepared to say in court.

Geragos had testified after Mesereau had told the court that Geragos had waived attorney-client privilege. But Jackson's former attorney in cross-examination, refused to answer various questions, saying the waiver was limited to before Michael Jackson was arrested in late November 2003.

Melville warned that he may sanction Tom Mesereau for not disclosing the terms of the waiver sooner, saying, "I feel deceived by Mr Mesereau and I am considering sanctions of some sort against Mr Mesereau."

In November 2005, Mesereau was chosen by Barbara Walters as one of the ten most fascinating people of 2005. In his interview with her, he expressed his view on racial discrimination in America:

"Despite whatever advances this country makes in the area of civil rights, I still feel that people of color are devalued constantly in our society, and I do what I can to fight against it."

In 2005, following the acquittal of Michael Jackson, Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr. and Susan C. Yu established Mesereau & Yu, LLP.

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