TexasLawyer.com staff reporter Miriam Rozen has penned a commendable profile of Ed Chernoff (pictured), the Houston lawyer hired within 48 hours of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 to defend the pop superstar’s controversial bedside provider Dr. Conrad Murray.
Because of the constant and expensive Houston-LA commuting brought on by the case, Chernoff decided last fall to rent an apartment in Hollywood. He says he has learned to no longer answer calls on his cell phone from numbers he does not recognize, because they are usually unwelcome media inquires. He also describes the impact of the media attention on his firm Stradely, Chernoff & Alford:
“We’ve handled lots of high-profile cases. It’s one thing when you have three cameras out there as you leave the courthouse. It is another when it’s 300,” Chernoff says.
Chernoff and partner Bill Stradley say Murray’s defense has taxed their firm’s time and resources; forced them to figure out how best to handle the deluge of media inquiries; and required major case-juggling among the five lawyers at the firm.
It’s hard to feel sorry for an attorney who bills out huge hourly fees and is defending a client who may well be guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Still, reporter Rozen does a solid job of capturing the various challenges of taking on such a case, which unusually led Chernoff to post a YouTube message from Murray for his Texas patients.