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Southern California “Lawyer of the Year”

Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr. is honored as 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" in Criminal Defense: General Practice in Los Angeles.

 Southern California “Lawyer of the Year”
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

November 19, 2021 07:00 AM

Cited in the National Registry of Exonerations for his success in the 1995 acquittal of Wesley Quick, Thomas Mesereau has been an active member of the Los Angeles legal community for almost 30 years, fighting for his clients on both the state and federal levels. Working as a full-time criminal defense attorney, Mesereau has also served as the President of the National Litigation Counsel of America and is currently being recognized by Best Lawyers as the 2022 Los Angeles “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: General Practice.

“Holding a life in your hands when the media, society and perhaps your own community are against you has its rigors. As criminal lawyers, we need to continuously and effectively remind people that without fair hearings and procedural safeguards, there is no justice. Many people don't like criminal defense lawyers until they need one. The burden is on us to continually explain, clarify and justify what we do. This can be challenging. With that, I am honored to be a member of this profession.”

Previously, Mesereau represented and acted as lead counsel in Michael Jackson’s 2005 indictment, successfully acquitting him of all charges.

“Acquitting Michael Jackson was particularly memorable for me. It was the most watched trial of my career. On verdict day, more accredited media from around the world were present than the O.J. Simpson and Scott Peterson trials combined. I had been repeatedly warned by colleagues not to defend this case for fear that it would not only ruin my career, but actually define the rest of my life. I ignored these suggestions.”

Additionally, Mesereau also co-founded and launched the Mesereau Free Legal Clinic in Los Angeles, a facility which helps bring law students and attorneys together to assist the impoverished members of the community with any legal difficulties.

“I often tell law students that I am a loner, rebel and misfit. I laughingly explain that if you have these qualities, you should fit right into criminal defense. I think a concern for people, a dislike for pompous, arrogant, misuse of power and a willingness to expose injustice, no matter what the personal and professional cost, make for great criminal defense attorneys.”

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