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Lawyers Under Fire In Jackson Case

As former Michael Jackson lawyer faced, and sometimes evaded, grilling in the pop star's defense, the judge in Jackson's child molestation trial said Friday he may sanction lead defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr. for misrepresenting the terms limiting Geragos' testimony.

The trial is wrapping up for the weekend — and the testimony could be over for good before long. A prosecutor says the defense has indicated that it could rest its case by Tuesday of next week.

Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville could penalize Mesereau for not detailing the agreement under which the pop star waived confidentiality with former lawyer Mark Geragos.

"I feel deceived by Mr. Mesereau and I am considering ... sanctions of some sort against Mr. Mesereau," Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville said in a hearing before Geragos resumed testifying.

Jackson waived attorney-client privilege only for the period up until his arrest in November 2003, but that limit was not disclosed until Geragos mentioned it while testifying last week.

The prosecution and the judge were surprised by the limitation, and at the time Mesereau apologized, saying he had not thought the period after arrest was relevant.

Most court observers expect the sanctions to include a fine.

"Whatever the judge decides to do with Mesereau, it won't make a bit of difference to the ultimate outcome of the case against Jackson. The only thing it will do, and already has done, is make the judge a little more wary of what the defense says in court," says Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen.

When testimony resumed, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen asked Geragos about surveillance conducted on the accuser's family by a private investigator, Bradley Miller.

Geragos said he hired the investigator because he was concerned the family might go to tabloids to sell a false story or to an attorney to try to sue Jackson.

"I told him, 'Find out who they're meeting with and what they're doing,"' Geragos said.

During today's testimony, Jackson's former lawyer Mark Geragos said he suspected something was up with the accuser's family. So Geragos told his investigator to monitor the family — because he was afraid they were getting ready to shake Jackson down. He says he thought they might meet with tabloid reporters, or meet with an attorney and sue Jackson.

Geragos also said he doesn't know how he got hold of the family's passports. He said he knew nothing about a purported plan to fly them to Brazil.

And as for whether his investigators acted illegally — for example, in their taping of phone conversations involving the accuser's mother — he says their methods were entirely up to them.

His testimony is over, but prosecutors still want him to produce further records, which could lead to more testimony.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in February or March 2003, plying him with wine and conspiring to hold the boy's family captive.

Prosecutors said he wanted them to rebut a TV documentary in which Jackson said he let children sleep in his bed, but it was non-sexual.

Prosecutors have shown surveillance videotapes to suggest that Jackson and his associates were plotting to hold the family captive, and the mother has testified she feared her parents and her boyfriend would be in danger if she didn't cooperate with Jackson.

Zonen tried to link Miller to the alleged captivity conspiracy by asking Geragos if he knew that an employee of Miller threw rocks at the home of the accuser's grandparents, an incident that the accuser's grandmother and sister alleged in their testimony.

"I don't send people out to throw stones at people's houses," Geragos said.

Geragos' testimony was marked by snippy exchanges between him and Zonen, and the judge at one point chided the prosecutor for approaching the witness stand too often without permission.

Geragos began testifying on May 13 but was granted a one-week delay before returning because of his obligations to other cases.

Prosecutors argued that Geragos should be required to testify about the period after the arrest, but the judge ruled that Geragos would only have to testify about the period allowed by the waiver.

The judge also ruled that Geragos must claim the privilege every time he is asked a question he believes he cannot answer, so the jury will know something is up, CBS' Jennie Josephson reports.

The judge will also entertain the prosecution's motion to strike all the Geragos testimony after it is completed.

Although defense attorneys argued they had given a copy of the waiver to the prosecution and judge's clerk, Melville said he believed Mesereau misrepresented the waiver in his statements in open court.

The judge said he could have stricken Geragos' testimony from the record but didn't think that was viable because jurors had already heard it and were likely to remember it.

On Thursday, Jackson's legal team scored a victory as jurors were allowed to see a video tour of the singer's Neverland ranch that District Attorney Tom Sneddon called "propaganda."

Jurors saw idyllic scenes of amusement park rides, cheerful workers, zoo animals, blooming flowers, and statues of boys and girls at play.

One of the scenes shows a chalkboard, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman, and on the chalkboard is written 'I love daddy,' apparently by one of Jackson's children. Also prominently displayed in the video are two paintings featuring Jackson in almost a savior-like pose, surrounded by children.

The video also showed numerous clocks, apparently countering testimony by family members of Jackson's accuser that they were unable to keep track of time while allegedly being held captive at the ranch.

Melville permitted the viewing over the opposition of Sneddon, who argued that it was designed to make Jackson look good.