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Central California Life Magazine

Book Review: Mark Geragos’ ‘Mistrial’

Jun 28, 2014 03:03PM ● By Cen Cali Life Magazine

Mark Geragos

Book Review: Mark Geragos’ ‘Mistrial’

by Amy Guerra

Mark Geragos is a criminal defense and civil attorney from Los Angeles. Well known for representing celebrities and clients on highly publicized cases, in 2004 he represented Scott Peterson, who was accused of killing his wife in Modesto. Addressing a crowd of community members and attorneys in Fresno, Geragos spoke about his life, his most recent adventures and his book, “Mistrial,” which focuses on the many cases he’s had as a successful defense attorney.

Asked what case he considers his greatest loss, Geragos said that however unpopular the opinion may be, he still believes Scott Peterson is innocent. "I've seen nothing to convince me otherwise,” he said at the March event, which was held at Pardini’s.

Geragos has many ties to Fresno. His mother was born and raised in Fresno and he visited his grandparents here as a child twice a month. (His father was a district attorney in Los Angeles.)

Geragos’ career choice was shaped by his desire to help other Armenian Americans. While his clientele list includes names such as Michael Jackson, P. Diddy, Nate Dogg, Nicole Richie and many other celebs, he said his most rewarding work has been taking on difficult cases like the $37.5 million class-action settlement he negotiated with two insurance companies that issued insurance policies during the Armenian genocide. He's currently involved in a class-action suit against the Turkish government to obtain reparations for the victims and their families. 

In his book, which he originally wrote for young lawyers, Geragos discusses his most popular cases and proposes changes to the problems he sees in the criminal-justice system. The first change he’d make would be to have judges appointed, rather than voted in, so their political preferences wouldn’t affect their decisions. Geragos writes, “…removing politics from the judge’s decision gives the judge the freedom to do the right thing rather than the politically convenient thing.” He notes judicial review boards could address any misconduct.

Geragos practices in Los Angeles with his father at the law firm of Geragos and Geragos. For more information about Geragos or his book, “Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works… and Sometimes Doesn’t,” visit



Amy Guerra is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Fresno. She has written for several publications throughout California and enjoys writing about the law, food, travel and all things Fresno.