In The Media
Marks & Brooklier has been featured in numerous publications including the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Daily Journal, Los Angeles Magazine, and Super Lawyers.
Disney Internet Executive's Child Pornography Conviction Tossed Out (Jan. 2000)
Attorneys Donald B. Marks and Anthony P. Brooklier have also made numerous guest appearances on local and national news programs.
Please read about Marks & Brooklier's involvement in high-profile cases and their widely-recognized victories by clicking on the links below.
Former executive vice president of Walt Disney Co.'s Go.com web site, Patrick J. Naughton's child pornography conviction was overturned by a federal judge this week based on subsequent appellate court decision.
The federal appeals court in San Francisco tossed out a portion of the federal child pornography statue on the basis that the government can outlaw pornographic pictures of children, but it cannot outlaw images that only appear to be children but are actually computer generated. The trial court judge stated that although "the evidence at Naughton's trial only dealt with pornographic images of actual children," under case law, "if any clause of a statute is unconstitutional, a general verdict of guilty under the statute cannot be upheld."
The ruling wipes away the only conviction the government received in its prosecution of Naughton. The jury deadlocked on the two other counts charged, which involved using the Internet to solicit sex from a minor. The charges against Naughton stem from an investigation during which an FBI agent posed online as a 13 year old girl, and corresponded with Naughton in a chat room called "dadanddaughtersex."
Naughton went to Santa Monica Pier for what law enforcement claims he expected to be a sexual encounter with a minor, and was arrested. After Naughton's arrest, law enforcement searched his computer and claim to have found at least ten pornographic images of children. Naughton's lawyer, Donald B. Marks, said he was "gratified" by the ruling, and further stated "Now our client is not convicted of anything."
Related Story in the News:
Salon.com, December 1999
- "Former Disney Exec Dodges A Bullet"
The federal sex case against Patrick Naughton falls apart as jury see something other than a monster. Patrick Naughton, the former Disney Internet executive who was convicted of possessing child pornography, may yet walk out of the Los Angeles federal courthouse a free man. Though jailed after a jury found him guilty (they deadlocked on the more serious charges of seeking to have sex with a minor), an unrelated ruling overturning the child pornography law could have bearing on his case. Naughton's lawyers, Los Angeles criminal defense attorney's Donald Marks and Anthony Brooklier, have vowed to have him acquitted on the pornography charge on the same grounds.
Disney Internet Executive's Defense In Sex Case: The Internet Is A Fantasy World (Dec. 1999)
Patrick J. Naughton was arrested on September 16, 1999, on charges that he used the Internet to solicit sex from a minor. As a result, Naughton has lost his lucrative position as an executive for Walt Disney Co.'s Internet division, as well as his $2.4 million Seattle home. At trial, his legal team has launched an unusual and novel legal defense centering on the premise that the Internet is a "massive masquerade ball," and that he never expected to meet a minor in the chat rooms he frequented.
Naughton was arrested on the Santa Monica Pier after showing up for law enforcement claims he expected to be a sexual encounter with a minor. Naughton's lead defense attorney, Donald B. Marks, stated, during a preliminary hearing, that "This was all fantasy. ..This is what the Internet is all about—It's a virtual world of fantasy."
Naughton's defense team claims that, if anything, he expected to meet an adult at the pier on the night in question, and that it is common for people to lie about their gender and age in sex chat rooms.Furthermore, Naughton has also been accused of possession of child pornography. Naughton 's defense team will attempt to deflect that charge by arguing that the images may have been placed on Naughton's computer without his knowledge.
However, Marks stated that because of the technological workings of internet chat rooms "it's possible you receive images even if you don't want them. Marks further stated, "Unless you're deleting them…at any moment in time you could be arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. Naughton faces three felony counts, including possession of child pornography and engaging in interstate travel to have sex with a minor, and up to 40 years in prison. Prior to his arrest, Naughton was part of the team at Sun Microsystems, Inc. that created the Java programming language. Naughton then held senior positions at Starwave Corp. and Infoseek Corp., which was in the process of being acquired by Disney at the time of his arrest.
Related Story in the News:
Los Angeles Times, January 2000
- "Separating Internet Fantasy From Reality"
Los Angeles criminal defense attorney's Donald Marks and Anthony Brooklier, argued to the jury that their client lacked the requisite mental state to commit the crimes he was accused of. Instead, they said that Naughton was participating in an Internet sex fantasy and had no real intent to have sex with a minor.
Court Overturns Heidi Fleiss' Conviction, Orders New Trial (May 1996)
A state appeals court panel has overturned Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss' pandering conviction and ordered a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct. This decision was rendered over a year after Fleiss was found guilty of operating one of Los Angeles' most exclusive call-girl rings. In the opinion, it is stated that the jurors at trial traded votes to avoid a deadlock, as well as to satisfy a contingent that wanted to minimize Fleiss' punishment.
The jurors detailed their malfeasance under a grant of immunity. Fleiss reacted to the news with obvious joy, stating, "You don't know what this means to me…I'm relieved that the momentum at least seems to be going forward. Hopefully it will continue that way."
Deputy Attorney General David F. Glassman, who argued against the reversal, call it an "ironic windfall" for Fleiss. Glassman noted that the State Attorney General's Office still has the option of asking the state appeals court panel to reconsider its findings. If the state attorney general's office does not asking the panel to reconsider its findings or appeal to the state Supreme Court, the matter will be returned to the district attorney's office, where a decision will be made as to whether Fleiss will be retried. Jury forewoman Sheila Mitrowski stated that the guilty verdict "has preyed on my conscience for a long time." Mitrowski is glad the conviction was overturned. "I can't tell you how delighted I am by this," Mitrowski said.
The state appeals court panel decision adds another colorful chapter to this highly publicized case, which has rekindled the debate about whether prostitution should be legalized. Until this week, Fleiss, who was charged with pandering and possession of cocaine, was facing a three-year sentence on the pandering conviction.
At trial, the state evidence was limited to a vice sting operation, which took place in a Beverly Hills Hotel suite. Hidden cameras filmed four women sent by Fleiss to entertain four police officers who posed as Japanese businessman celebrating a deal. The State introduced tapes of phone conversations between Fleiss and Beverly Hills Detective Sammy Lee. In those conversations, Lee told Fleiss that he wanted a brunette and a small quantity of cocaine on the first night, and that on the second night, he wanted four women to entertain his friends. Fleiss indicated that providing such would be "no problem." The women subsequently showed up at the hotel.
Samantha Burdette testified at trial that she had been sent by Fleiss to entertain Lee. In addition, the tapes showed that Burdette returned the following night with three other women and cocaine. The tapes also showed the four women do a striptease. As the last women stripped down to her underwear, police came in and placed them under arrest.
The prosecution argued that Fleiss had willingly procured drugs and women, knowing it was against the law. However, Fleiss' defense lawyers, Donald B. Marks and Anthony P. Brooklier, argued that she had been entrapped and induced to commit an act that would have never occurred had the police not set the events in motion.
Fleiss was convicted on three counts of pandering, the jury deadlocked on two other pandering counts, and was acquitted on the cocaine charge. However, within hours of the verdict, several jurors expressed remorse when they were informed that state law mandates three years imprisonment for pandering.
In sworn affidavits taken thereafter, five jurors admitted to discussing the case outside the jury room. In another set of affidavits, four jurors stated that they had speculated about Fleiss' potential punishment, in violation of the judge's orders. Jurors further stated that they were under the impression that the narcotics charge carried a heavier penalty, and thus, offered to vote guilty on the pandering counts in exchange for a not guilty on the narcotics charge. The jury claimed that the trading of votes was necessary in order to avoid a hung jury because the panel was deeply split.
Related Story in the News:
Los Angeles Times, December 1994
- "Fleiss Lawyers Blame Jurors, Seek Retrial"
Attorneys Donald Marks and Anthony Brooklier asked for a new trial for Heidi Fleiss, contending that jury misconduct occurred because jurors had wrongly discussed the case outside the court before reaching a verdict and had improperly talked about sentencing.
Los Angeles Times, May 1996
- "Court Overturns Fleiss' Conviction, Orders New Trial"
Criminal Defense attornys claimed that juror misconduct in the case of the Hollywood Madam turned "a serious proceeding into a farce," a state appeals court has overturned Heidi Fleiss' 1994 pandering conviction and ordered a new trial. Prosecutors alleged that Fleiss had willingly procured drugs and women, but Los Angeles defense lawyers Anthony Brooklier and Donald Marks argued that she had been entrapped by overzealous officers and induced to commit an act that would never have occurred had the police not set events in motion.
Hell's Angel Denies Drug Case Involvement: Retains High Profile Defense Lawyers (Mar. 2001)
A drug and racketeering indictment has been filed against Hell's Angels leader George Christie Jr., which charges him with running a criminal gang that stole drugs from an Air Force clinic and distributed them to both adults and high school students through a group of minors called "The Outfit." Christie is charged with 23 criminal counts, including tax evasion, grand theft, and fraud.
However, Christie, in a motion to reduce his bail from $1 million to $250,000, "vigorously denies his involvement in any conspiracy to distribute drugs of any kind to any person, whether or not a minor." The motion, filed by Christie's attorneys Donald B. Marks and Anthony P. Brooklier, asserts that he did not know the Air Force clinic clerk who was charged with stealing more than 700,000 prescription pills and funneling them thought a Hell's Angels associate to Ventura County residents. The motion further states that Christie did not at any point speak to Hell's Angels associate Rogelio Botello about drugs. "In fact, the prosecution has evidence indicating that Mr. Botello requested that Airman Joshua Adams keep their relationship secret and unknown to Mr. Christie," the motion states.
Christie's attorneys, of the high profile Century City defense firm, Marks and Brooklier, argued that he is not a flight risk or a threat to anyone, and filed 50 pages of documents stating that Christie is a lifelong Ventura County resident responsible for quelling problems with local Angels, not inciting them.
Christie's attorneys specifically wrote that, "On the night of their arrest last month at the Hells Angels' fortified Ventura clubhouse, Christie arranged for club members to surrender peacefully one by one, instead of trying to escape or fighting." The motion further states, "Mr. Christie has taken every step to cooperate with law enforcement concerning the present case," adding, wryly, "with the exception of breaking into the sheriff's lockup."
Christie also offered written testimonials from 15 friends, family members and local business owners as evidence of his good character. These testimonials were made by a chiropractor, numerous restaurant owners, and downtown Ventura shopkeepers located near Christie's Ink House tattoo and body-piercing business. The documents refer to Christie's upbringing, and his attorneys traced his heritage from his grandparents' immigration from Greece a century ago to his parents operation of local cafes.
"The household in which George himself was raised was steeped in the values embodied by these people," the documents state. "And George has taken pains to live a life of which his family would be proud." The documents further state that Christie has been steadily employed as a utility cable slicer, black belt martial arts instructor and tattoo parlor operator since the 1970s. He was married and lived with his high school sweetheart for 23 years until they separated in 1990. Christie also raised his two children. According to his attorneys, Christie is helping raise his fiancée's 8-year-old child.
Related Stories in the News:
Los Angeles Times, March 2001
- "Hells Angels Leader Retains LA Lawyer In Drug-Ring Case"
Veteran Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Anthony Brooklier will represent national Hells Angels leader George Christie Jr. against charges of running a criminal gang that stole drugs from an Air Force clinic and peddled them to high school students. Brooklier, whose clients have ranged from his late father, a reputed Los Angeles Mafioso, to Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, confirmed that he will defend Christie in the broad drug-and-racketeering case.
Los Angeles Times, May 2001
- "Hells Angels Chief Pleads Not Guilty to Slew of Charges"
National Hells Angels leader George Christie Jr. pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court to charges to 23 criminal counts in a broad drug and racketeering case filed in February against 28 motorcycle gang members and associates. He is also charged with tax evasion, grand theft, fraud and firearms possession. "He firmly denies all charges," said Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Anthony Brooklier, who represents Christie.
Los Angeles Times, March 2001
- "Hells Angels' Cash Targeted for Confiscation"
Ventura County prosecutors moved to confiscate $234,415 in cash seized during searches of homes and properties of Hells Angels and their associates during a drug-and racketeering investigation in 1998 and 1999. Attorney Anthony Brooklier's client, George Christie is charged with running a criminal gang that stole drugs from an Air Force clinic and peddled them to high school students. He also is charged with tax evasion, grand theft and fraud.
The Godfather's Son Is A Partner In A Prosperous Law Practice (Sep. 1989)
Anthony P. Brooklier, son of Los Angeles Mafia leader, Dominic Brooklier, had a relatively normal childhood growing up in suburban Anaheim, California. Brooklier grew up as the son of a seemingly regular car dealer who worried about his children's grades in school and encouraged their participation in sports. This encouragement led the younger Brooklier to become a high school football star who eventually went on to attend UCLA Law School in nearby Los Angeles.
Brooklier, a partner in the law firm of Marks & Brooklier, has built a respectable practice defending accused white collar criminals, cocaine barons, corrupt public officials, stock swindlers, among others. Brooklier and his longtime partner Donald B. Marks, are the men the Los Angeles mafia called to handle virtually every case brought in federal court against it by the Los Angeles Strike Force.
In 1987, the firm won an acquittal for Michael Rizzitello, one of the most powerful organized crime figures in Southern California at the time. The firm also represented the elder Brooklier who was indicted under a 20-count federal indictment, which named him, as well as four reputed lieutenants with multiple crimes, including the murder of Frank ("The Bomp") Bompensiero. At the trial, which lasted two months, Aladena ("Jimmy the Weasel") Fratianno testified that Brooklier had put the contract out on Bompensiero, a mafia capo in San Diego who had been informing the FBI. The firm asserted that Fratianno lied about Brooklier's part in the murder to cover up his own role, and exposed him as an unreliable witness.
At the height of the trial, Marks grilled Fratianno for days, exposing a few crucial inconsistencies between his trial testimony and what his has said in his memoirs. Fratianno claimed the inconsistencies were the result of his bad memory. Ultimately, Brooklier, and the others, were acquitted on the charges related to the Bompensiero murder. Despite his mafia connections, prosecutors describe Brooklier as an energetic, highly principled attorney, who has shrewdly capitalized on the State Department's sweeping crackdown on the mob over the past decade. In court, Brooklier has a reputation for meticulous preparation and dangerously disarming style. Former strike-force prosecutor John DeBois explains, "Some people, in order to get noticed, have to scream and yell. Tony doesn't. He's sort of beyond that."
Singer Rick James Charged With Sexual Assault And Torture (Aug. 1993)
Singer Rick James and his girlfriend Tanya Anne Hijazi have been charged with sexual assault and torture stemming from an incident on July 16, 1991, at James' Hollywood home. The alleged victim asserts that she was tied naked to a chair, assaulted, and tortured. This took place at the end of a weeklong cocaine binge. Another set of charges were filed after an alleged incident on November 2, 1992, during which James and Hijazi beat a woman they invited to meet them at the St. James' Club. The two cases have been consolidated.
Through his attorneys, Anthony Brooklier and Donald Marks, James denies the charges against him, claiming both women are simply seeking publicity. James is currently free on $250,000 bail.
Related Story in the News:
Los Angeles Times, August 1991
- "Pop Singer Arrested on Torture, Drug Charges"
Singer Rick James, was arrested with his girlfriend for allegedly imprisoning and torturing a woman with a hot cocaine pipe over three days at James' Hollywood Hills home. James, was held in lieu of $1-million bail at the North Hollywood Division jail of the Los Angeles Police Department. His girlfriend, Tanya Anne Hijazi, was held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the women's jail in Van Nuys. James and Hijazi were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, forced oral copulation, making terrorist threats and furnishing narcotics.
"Beverly Hills Madam" Elizabeth Adams Avoids Jail Time (Oct. 1991)
Beverly Hills Madam Elizabeth Adams, aka Madam Alex, had a lucrative prostitution network that ranged from movie stars to Saudi Arabian sheiks. Adams had faced a minimum jail term of three years stemming from a 1988 charge that she used her house in the Hollywood Hills to pimp and pander, and attempted to enlist an undercover policewoman into her ring of high-priced call girls. Adams allegedly told an undercover office that she could make good money on her payroll.Adams, who is represented by Los Angeles law firm Marks & Brooklier, ultimately received probation instead of the three year term she had originally faced. Her work as a police informant was cited.
Related Story in the News:
Los Angeles Times, July 1995
- "Beverly Hills Madam Elizabeth Adams Dies"
Velvet Revolver's Scott Weiland Arrested For DUI (Oct. 2003)
Just one week after being congratulated by a judge for staying clean, Velvet Revolver front man Scott Weiland has been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.
The former Stone Temple Pilots front man/current Velvet Revolver singer was apprehended in Los Angeles at 6:37 a.m. on October 27, 2003. An LAPD spokesperson said that an officer was dispatched at 6:07 a.m. to the corner of Melrose and Genesee, where Weiland's 2001 BMW allegedly struck a parked van. By following the debris and tire marks, a police officer was able to locate Weiland's car at the corner of Melrose and North Orange, 15 blocks away.
The singer was released from jail that same day after posting bail of $15,000. Weiland's longtime attorney, Anthony Brooklier of Marks & Brooklier, had no comment on the arrest, pending an investigation. Prior to this most recent arrest, Weiland had completed most of his drug testing and counseling required on the terms of his probation from two felony charges of possession of heroin and cocaine stemming from a May 17 arrest in Burbank.
At a hearing last week, Judge Colette Serio told Weiland that his freedom could be revoked should he not test clean at his next checkup. Weiland told reporters outside the court that the court-mandated counseling and rehab program "got me reinvigorated about going back to [12-step program] meetings." "Sometimes God offers you circumstances that sort of fall in your lap that you thought wouldn't happen," he told reporters last week. "Getting busted spurred my desire to seriously get back into recovery." Weiland is scheduled for an arraignment on November 17.
Related Story in the News:
- "Velvet Revolver Singer Scott Weiland Arrested for DUI"
Mistrial Declared in "Taxi" Actor's Drunk Driving Case (Nov. 1990)
A mistrial was declared in Jeff Conoway's DUI case . At trial, the prosecution asserted that Conoway, a former "Taxi" costar, was driving drunk on February 23, 1990, when his Porsche struck the back of Farid Farhan's bicycle.Farhan suffered a broken leg, and required 15 stitches on his head. Defense attorney, Anthony Brooklier, contended that Farhan had been struck by another vehicle. The jury deadlocked 8-4 in favor of acquittal.
Attorneys Donald Marks and Anthony Brooklier in the News:
Los Angeles Weekly, October 2008
- "The Strange and Disturbing Trial of Anand Jon"
Attorney's Donald Marks and Anthony Brooklier represent their client in the downtown Los Angeles criminal courts building. Apart from sexual battery, Jon’s charges include forcible oral copulation, lewd acts upon a child, sexual penetration by a foreign object and possession of child pornography.
USA Today, October 2008
- "Designer Facing Sex Charges in New York as well as Los Angeles"
A fashion designer already in police custody in Los Angeles on sex charges has been indicted in New York on charges of rape and sexual assault of nine women. Donald Marks, said he hadn't seen the New York indictment and couldn't comment. Marks' law firm partner, Anthony Brooklier, had said their client denied the Los Angeles charges and was "anxious to get out of jail."
Los Angeles Weekly, October 2008
- "Vodka Tumblers and Women in Caves"
Anand Jon rape trail article examines the alleged victims testimony. Los Angeles criminal lawyer Anthony Brooklier hammered their stories during cross-examination and wanted to know why, if they had felt they’d been sexually assaulted, had they sought the help of the Beverly Hills Police Department only to complain about a parking ticket they’d received while parked on Jon’s street, and not to file charges against him?
Los Angeles Weekly, September 2008
- "Barely Illegal: Anand Jon Rape Trial"
Young models testify and Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers argue ove age of consent. Defense attorney Donald Marks mostly avoided hammering on the petite, otherworldly-looking model, and focused on her stage-mother ambitions. “You mean,” he asked her, “at 14 years old, your daughter was driving her career and not you?”
Los Angeles Times, October 2003
- "Jury Deliberating in Attempted Drive-By Shooting"
The jury began deliberations in Torrance on an associate of rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight who is charged with attempted murder and assault with a firearm. Los Angeles defense attorney Anthony Brooklier argued that his client went to the South LA neighborhood to pay tribute to a slain friend and did not intend to shoot anyone and accused the sheriff's deputy of false testimony.
Los Angeles Times, October 2003
- "Mistrial Declared in Murder Attempt Case"
A judge declared a mistrial in the case of Timothy McDonald, a Marion "Suge" Knight associate who was charged with attempted murder and assault with a firearm. Los Angeles defense attorney Anthony Brooklier said he planned to ask the judge to dismiss the case.
California Appelate Courts, May 2002
- "Court Upholds Use of Taped Phone Calls"
Telephone calls between a murder defendant and his girlfriend were properly admitted in evidence against him, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled. Defense attorney Donald Marks moved to keep the tapes out of the trial under Massiah v. United States (1964) 377 U.S. 201.
United States Court Of Appeals, January 1999
- "United States v. Jackson"
Attorney Donald Marks representing his client on appeal who was convicted and sentenced to 21 months in federal prison on one count of federal conspiracy, fifteen counts of acquiring Dilaudid, a prescription drug, by fraud and fifteen counts of furnishing false Dilaudid prescription information.