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Ed Chernoff

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 12, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
As his trial in the death of Michael Jackson approached, Dr. Conrad Murray found himself with an unlikely new cardiology patient — his own attorney. A battery of tests determined that the chest pains Ed Chernoff was experiencing were symptoms of anxiety, a diagnosis that the patient, a medium-time Texas lawyer about to try the biggest-time of cases, could not dispute. "I chew through one of these an hour," Chernoff said one afternoon last spring, holding up an unlit cigar he had gnawed to a ragged nub. Piled before him were stacks of legal motions, witness statements and forensic reports, a small portion of the case file that monopolizes his days and haunts his dreams.
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November 10, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and James Rainey, Los Angeles Times
The verdict is in, the jury has been dismissed, and Dr. Conrad Murray sits behind bars, but one question about the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor remains: Who paid for the defense? Speculation about how the cash-strapped physician funded an expansive legal team focused Wednesday on a British documentary made with Murray's cooperation and purchased recently by NBC for broadcast on its cable network MSNBC this weekend. Representatives of Jackson's estate demanded the network cancel the program, entitled "Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship," in part because of unanswered questions about whether Murray was compensated for giving filmmakers interviews and allowing camera crews to follow him and his lawyers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 26, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Michael Jackson's personal physician declared himself "innocent" in the singer's death Tuesday during a Los Angeles County Superior Court appearance in which he also demanded that his trial begin quickly. Asked how he pleaded to a charge of involuntary manslaughter, the sole count to be decided at the trial now set for March 28, Dr. Conrad Murray paused and then said, "Your honor, I am an innocent man ? " "What's your plea?" Judge Michael Pastor interrupted. "Therefore, I plead not guilty," Murray said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2011 | By Jack Leonard and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Defense attorneys fighting to acquit Michael Jackson's personal physician of an involuntary manslaughter charge in the pop star's death faced what many legal experts said was a series of insurmountable obstacles. The lawyers had to overcome an incriminating interview their client gave detectives; contend with a victim loved by millions around the globe; and deal with a series of court rulings that limited their attempts to point the finger at another possible culprit: The King of Pop himself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Lawyers for Michael Jackson's personal physician want to argue at his manslaughter trial that financial worries led the music superstar to take a massive and ultimately fatal dose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, according to statements in court Wednesday. Dr. Conrad Murray's defense has said previously that Jackson drank or injected a large amount of the drug in an attempt to sleep, but at a hearing in advance of next month's trial, his lead attorney supplemented the theory with a potential motive — financial pressure on the pop icon to succeed at his latest comeback attempt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
The trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician will include two haunting but starkly different depictions of the pop star's last day — a video of him dancing and singing on stage and photos taken hours later of his lifeless body on a coroner's gurney, a judge ruled Thursday. L.A. County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor cleared prosecutors to present the rehearsal footage and autopsy photos during a lengthy hearing that established evidentiary boundaries for next month's involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
The judge in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician said Friday he was considering contempt of court charges against a key defense witness for reportedly calling a prosecution expert "a scumbag. " The trial judge, who had previously issued a gag order against participants in the case, grilled prominent anesthesiologist Dr. Paul White about comments on the trial attributed to him that appeared Thursday on E! Online. White is expected to testify as a medical expert for the defense of Dr. Conrad Murray.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2011 | By Jack Leonard and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Defense attorneys fighting to acquit Michael Jackson's personal physician of an involuntary manslaughter charge in the pop star's death faced what many legal experts said was a series of insurmountable obstacles. The lawyers had to overcome an incriminating interview their client gave detectives; contend with a victim loved by millions around the globe; and deal with a series of court rulings that limited their attempts to point the finger at another possible culprit: The King of Pop himself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2011 | By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Prosecution witnesses testified Wednesday that Michael Jackson's personal physician covered up the pop star's health both before and after his death, misleading concert promoters and his entourage. Dr. Conrad Murray assured promoters that Jackson was in perfect health when in fact he was dependent on nightly doses of a dangerous surgical anesthetic to sleep, witnesses said. Jackson's personal assistant told jurors that when the singer stopped breathing on June 25, 2009, Murray called him to say that Jackson had had a "bad reaction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
Attorneys for Conrad Murray have long argued that Michael Jackson gave himself the lethal dose of a surgical anesthetic. But on Wednesday, they acknowledged that one scenario they had previously suggested is not supported by science. Murray's attorneys told a judge in court, outside the jury's presence, that they would no longer argue that Jackson could have drunk the anesthetic propofol. That is a change in course from what they had argued at earlier hearings: that the singer's stomach contents strongly suggested that he swallowed the drug.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
It was the promise of a big celebrity trial with its alluring mix of Hollywood and death that ringed a downtown courthouse with camera crews. Citizens rose before dark for seats in the packed courtroom, where they heard intimate details of Michael Jackson's death, even viewing a photo of his body, laid out on a gurney in a hospital hallway. When the prosecutor and a defense attorney rose for their closing arguments Thursday, they dealt with that celebrity in starkly different ways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 2, 2011 | By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Testimony drew to a close in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician Tuesday as the doctor announced he will not testify in his own defense. Dr. Conrad Murray waited until the last possible moment to declare his intention not to take the stand, telling the judge as late as Monday afternoon he had yet to make up his mind. After the final defense witness completed his testimony Tuesday, Murray took his time responding to the judge's question about his final decision.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 26, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
In his three decades in the music industry, Randy Phillips founded a successful record label, worked with stars from Prince to Celine Dion and propelled his concert promoting company, AEG Live, to annual revenues of more than $1 billion. But he is likely to be remembered best as Michael Jackson's last boss, and it was that role that took Phillips to the witness stand Tuesday at the trial of the pop icon's doctor. For two hours, Phillips walked jurors through "This Is It," Jackson's planned comeback concert series, from its genesis in a Bel-Air hotel suite to a final rehearsal at Staples Center that left a normally cynical music executive with goose bumps and his star performer with a great confidence.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 22, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
The judge in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician said Friday he was considering contempt of court charges against a key defense witness for reportedly calling a prosecution expert "a scumbag. " The trial judge, who had previously issued a gag order against participants in the case, grilled prominent anesthesiologist Dr. Paul White about comments on the trial attributed to him that appeared Thursday on E! Online. White is expected to testify as a medical expert for the defense of Dr. Conrad Murray.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 13, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
Attorneys for Conrad Murray have long argued that Michael Jackson gave himself the lethal dose of a surgical anesthetic. But on Wednesday, they acknowledged that one scenario they had previously suggested is not supported by science. Murray's attorneys told a judge in court, outside the jury's presence, that they would no longer argue that Jackson could have drunk the anesthetic propofol. That is a change in course from what they had argued at earlier hearings: that the singer's stomach contents strongly suggested that he swallowed the drug.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2011 | By Victoria Kim, Harriet Ryan and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
Michael Jackson's fingerprints were not on any of the syringes, vials or other medical paraphernalia that littered the scene of his death, attorneys said in court Thursday, undercutting the defense theory that the singer had given himself the drug that killed him. Attorneys for Dr. Conrad Murray have told jurors that while the physician wasn't looking, Jackson swallowed a sedative and gave himself the anesthetic propofol, a combination that killed...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Dr. Conrad Murray's legal team asked a judge Thursday to prohibit any mention of the physician's extramarital affairs, out-of-wedlock children or penchant for strip clubs at his manslaughter trial next month in the death of Michael Jackson. In papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the defense argued that such evidence was irrelevant and would be used by prosecutors only "to inflame the passions of the jury. " "The prosecution's case involves the treatment and care of Michael Jackson provided by Dr. Murray.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
It was the promise of a big celebrity trial with its alluring mix of Hollywood and death that ringed a downtown courthouse with camera crews. Citizens rose before dark for seats in the packed courtroom, where they heard intimate details of Michael Jackson's death, even viewing a photo of his body, laid out on a gurney in a hospital hallway. When the prosecutor and a defense attorney rose for their closing arguments Thursday, they dealt with that celebrity in starkly different ways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 30, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
A lawyer for Michael Jackson's physician attacked the testimony of an important prosecution witness Thursday, suggesting his damning account of the doctor's actions was physically impossible and influenced by offers of huge sums from tabloids. The witness, security guard Alberto Alvarez, is key to the prosecution's theory that Dr. Conrad Murray delayed calling for an ambulance for Jackson in order to hide evidence that the doctor had given the singer the dangerous surgical anesthetic propofol and other drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2011 | By Victoria Kim and Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times
Prosecution witnesses testified Wednesday that Michael Jackson's personal physician covered up the pop star's health both before and after his death, misleading concert promoters and his entourage. Dr. Conrad Murray assured promoters that Jackson was in perfect health when in fact he was dependent on nightly doses of a dangerous surgical anesthetic to sleep, witnesses said. Jackson's personal assistant told jurors that when the singer stopped breathing on June 25, 2009, Murray called him to say that Jackson had had a "bad reaction.
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