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Geragos vs. Singer - The Battle Begins

  People in the News  -   POSTED: 2008/01/07 19:31

The public relations duel between noted defense attorney Mark J. Geragos and veteran PR strategist Sam Singer is the subject of several exclusive posts on The Law Firm Online Marketing Association's web site, www.lfoma.org.

Both Geragos and Singer, known and respected for their media savvy, are pitted against each other in the case of the Christmas Day tiger attack at the San Francisco zoo. In that attack, a 17-year-old patron, Carlos Sousa Jr., was killed and two brothers, Paul Dhaliwal, 19, and Kulbir Dhaliwal, 23, were injured.

Geragos, who is known for his celebrity clients including Michael Jackson and Wynona Rider, has been retained by the Dhaliwal family to represent them in any future legal actions. Simon, whose clients include Levi Strauss & Co., ChevronTexaco Corp., and other leading companies, is acting as a spokesman for the zoo.

"Anything that a defense attorney says has to be taken not with a pinch of salt, but a ton of salt," Simon told the San Francisco Chronicle on January 2. Singer is president of Singer Associates, Inc., with offices in San Francisco and Pasadena.

When contacted by LFOMA reporter Dean Rotbart, Simon told him that his remarks were mean "specifically for this case" and were not intended as an indictment of all defense attorneys. "I have a deep and abiding respect for defense attorneys in general," Simon told Rotbart.

For his part, Geragos told Rotbart that he and his Los Angeles law firm, Geragos & Geragos, are retained on request by their clients. "Dean, we respond to inquires," Geragos said, when asked by LFOMA if Geragos initiates discussions with potential clients or merely responds when contact.

In fact, Geragos told LFOMA that Geragos & Geragos is "inundated with more requests for representation than we can adequately handle, so we screen the cases."

Geragos told the Chronicle that he consider the tiger incident "mind-boggling," accusing zoo personnel of ignoring the cries for help from the Dhaliwal brothers. "They say [the brothers] were acting crazy. …I don't know how one is supposed to act after being attacked by a tiger," Geragos told the newspaper.

The Law Firm Online Marketing Association is a trade group dedicated to helping the legal profession showcase its many benefits on the Internet. LFOMA has taken a keen interest in the Geragos-Simon joust because the LFOMA views its mission, in part, to teach lawyers how to harness the power of the media on behalf of their clients. In that regard, Geragos has historically proven to be particularly adept, the LFOMA says.

On its web site, LFOMA not only looks at the publicity aspects of high-profile cases, it also regularly reviews the web sites of top personal injury attorneys. LFOMA provides consultations to help personal injury law firms optimize both their web sites' content and search engine page rank.

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