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Caption: Dr. Conrad Murray
Dr. Murray keeps license for now
Judge denies conflict of interest
By Kathy Williamson
Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal physician at the time of his death, scurried between two Los Angeles Superior courtrooms on Monday. He is charges with administering a lethal dose of Propofol and other drugs which led to Jackson's death in June last year. This was a procedural hearing and did not last very long though the media outlets and Jackson's fans formed massive crowds in front of the court house.
The purpose of the court proceedings was to continue the pre-trial process by appointing a judge and scheduling another hearing to handle pending matters in the case.
At Judge Peter Espinosa's courtroom, Murray was assigned another judge in the case for all future proceedings. The doctor then moved downstairs to the courtroom of Judge Michael Pastor.
In compliance with ethics requirements, Judge Pastor made disclosures that could possibly be challenged by Murray's attorneys as conflicts in the case.
Pastor noted that he had written a recommendation for Deputy District Attorney David Walgren, when the prosecutor applied for a judgeship. Pastor stated that he is a not personal friend with Walgren and there was no conflict.
Pastor also revealed that he was appointed to the bench in 1983 by California Attorney General Jerry Brown (then governor). Brown's office is currently seeking to revoke Murray's California medical license.
Subsequent to these disclosures, Murray's legal counsel has 10 days to file a complaint if they feel that a conflict exists.
Judge Pastor set a preliminary hearing date of June 14 when the issue of Murray's medical license, among other matters will be addressed.
Murray's attorneys stated, in a 10 page filing, that unless the doctor can maintain his medical license and treat patients, he could be unable to pay for his own defense. They also believe that if California revokes his license, Nevada and Texas would do the same.
The case was adjourned until mid-June and at that time, the presiding judge is scheduled to decide whether or not to revoke Murray's license. It is believed that his lawyers would fight hard for him to continue his medical practice because that is one of the ways that the lawyers can guarantee to be paid for their services. And as it presently stands, Murray is facing tremendous legal bills added to his normal cost-of-living expenses. According to court documents, his lawyer stated, "He is, without fear of overstatement, hanging on by a thread."
Several members of Jackson's family attended to proceedings including his mother, Katherine; father, Joe; sister, Janet; and brothers Jermaine and Randy. They were seated in a reserved section of the courtroom. Murray was escorted in through a private entrance by Los Angeles County deputy sheriffs.