Mark Geragos was born in Los Angeles, California and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and later his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. During law school, Geragos founded a rock n’ roll concert promotion business that he ran from the old Raymond Theatre in Pasadena which was called Perkin’s Palace. (See http://hometown-pasadena.com/history/remembering-pasadena’s-palace-of-rock/11578 ) After graduating law school and passing the California Bar Exam, Geragos started practicing law with his father who was then a solo practitioner exclusively doing criminal defense work. “Pops,” as he was called, was a hard-charging homicide prosecutor for the L.A. District Attorney’s office for a dozen years, until he left to enter private practice so that he could afford to put Geragos and his two brothers through college. Together, Geragos and his father formed the firm of Geragos & Geragos in 1983, and for the first twenty years did almost exclusively criminal defense work.
Geragos cemented his national reputation as a trial lawyer almost twenty years ago with back-to-back state and federal court jury trial acquittals for renowned Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, who was the erstwhile real estate partner of Bill and Hillary Clinton, later securing a presidential pardon for Ms. McDougal for a conviction sustained prior to his representation of her. Starting about fifteen years ago, he transitioned the practice from primarily criminal defense to a mix of trial work with a focus on Plaintiff’s contingency cases. Geragos was one of the lead lawyers on a pair of groundbreaking federal class action lawsuits in which they recovered forty million dollars for descendants of those killed during the Armenian Genocide.
Geragos has represented some of the most prominent figures in the world including world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, international pop icon Michael Jackson, Academy Award-nominated actress Winona Ryder, former Congressman Gary Condit, former first brother Roger Clinton, television personality Nicole Richie, singer Chris Brown, hip hop stars Nathaniel “Nate Dogg” Hale and Sean “Diddy” Combs (aka Puff Daddy), NBA legends Scottie Pippen and Elgin Baylor, pop star Kesha Sebert (aka Ke$ha), Barry Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, and countless others whose cases never became public. Geragos is currently representing quarterback Colin Kaepernick in his claims against the NFL.
Geragos has served as the President of the Criminal Trial Lawyers of America and is a past President of the National Trial Lawyers of America. He is one of only two lawyers ever named “Lawyer of the Year” in both the criminal and civil arenas. California Law Business Magazine repeatedly names Geragos “One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California” and he has been voted by his peers as one of Los Angeles’ Super Lawyers for fifteen straight years. Geragos’s $59 million jury verdict in a trade secrets case against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corporation was voted both “Top Ten Verdicts in 2008 in California” by the Daily Journal, as well as “Top Fifty Verdicts in the United States” by the National Law Journal.
Aside from his career as a trial lawyer, Geragos is also a licensed California real estate broker and has his own brokerage firm, G&G Realtors, in California. Geragos has always had a passion for real estate, and in particular, for buildings which are historically significant. Starting almost forty years ago, Geragos has bought and sold close to a hundred properties throughout California. In recent years, he has expanded his real estate portfolio to also include assets in Paris, New York, and Rhode Island. Geragos’s passion for historic real estate was covered by Los Angeles Downtown News. (See http://www.ladowntownnews.com/news/the-other-side-of-mark-geragos/article_f1a68689-034f-53b1-bcd0-7df63bb87fdf.html ) The article focuses on the purchases of two historic Financial District buildings by Geragos: the former 1912 fire station at 644 South Figueroa Street, known as the Historic Engine Company Building or the Engine Company No. 28, and the Fine Arts Building, a now almost ninety year-old architectural gem located at 811 West Seventh Street. Geragos purchased the four-story Historic Engine Company Building on Figueroa Street at Wilshire Boulevard in March 2007 for $10 million. ( See http://www.metnews.com/articles/2007/engi030607.htm .) Geragos’s law firm is headquartered in the building. In March 2010, Geragos also acquired the Engine Company No. 28 restaurant, which occupies the retail space of the building. (See http://www.ladowntownnews.com/news/geragos-partner-buying-engine-corestaurant/ article_e1e68ac2-cd06-55af-b992-14963ff35c4c.html ) The restaurant has perennially been named Downtown L.A.’s preeminent power-lunch spot. In 2014, another Engine Company No. 28 restaurant opened in Terminal 7 of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) which Geragos licensed as the first franchise of the Engine Company brand.
In 2008, Geragos bought the Fine Arts Building for $23.5 million. In June 2012, he sold it to the Sorgente Group of America, which controls the famous Flatiron Building in New York, for $28.5 million. ( See http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/24/business/la-fi-mo-fine-arts-building- 20120624.) Prior to the sale, however, Geragos leased the ground floor retail space of the Fine Arts Building for a new Mediterranean restaurant, 10e, which he opened in 2014 and is one of Los Angeles’ finest restaurants. In June 2012, Geragos purchased a six-story, 12,960 square-foot Landmark commercial building located at 256 Fifth Avenue in New York City for $8 million. The architecturally unique building was built in 1893 and designed by architects Alfred Zucker and John Edelman in a Moorish Revival style with a terra cotta facade featuring columns and rounded arches. Following a gut renovation of the entire building, the building is weeks away from completion. Part of the space will be used as the New York office for Geragos’s law firm and tenants are lined up for the remaining space.
In November 2012, Mark purchased a two-story retail building consisting of approximately 38,492 square feet located at 460 South Lake Avenue in Pasadena for $19 million. This income property is leased by the giant discount clothing chain, Ross Dress for Less. In December 2012, Geragos’s group purchased the historic 1920 Woolworth Building located at 719-725 South Broadway near 7th Street for $12.6 million. Ross Dress for Less has also leased the entire 39,000 square foot building. (See http://brighamyen.com/2013/01/22/ross-dress-for-less-opening-soon-on-broadway-in-downtown-la-2/ ) They sold this building in June 2014, which was the downleg to the purchase of the V Palm Springs Hotel (formerly the “Curve”) later that year. (See https://www.desertsun.com/story/money/business/tourism/2014/12/19/curve-sold-brian-kabateck-mark-geragos/20668523/ ) In January 2014, Geragos purchased a four-story 20-foot wide townhouse located at 107 Greenwich Avenue in the West Village neighborhood of New York City for $4.75 million. (See http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/01/27/celebrity-lawyer-mark-geragos-buys-west-village-townhouse/ ) In light of the significant appreciation in the area, he is currently in talks to list the property for sale for $9 million.
In December 2014, Geragos purchased a five-story mixed-use building in the Flatiron district for $9.5 million. In light of the development rights that could more than double the size of the current building, Geragos intends to ultimately convert the property into a boutique hotel or residential condominiums. (See https://therealdeal.com/2014/12/22/celeb-attorney-plans-development-near-10-madison-sq-west/ ) In January 2015, Geragos purchased the famed Capri Hotel in Southampton, New York for $4.7 million. (See https://therealdeal.com/2015/02/20/celeb-attorney-mark-geragos-picks-up-capri-hotel-in-southampton/ ) Since taking over and renovating the 30-key property in 2015, the seasonal Hotel has doubled its average daily rate while maintaining steady occupancy.
In 2016, Geragos sold the air rights of 256 Fifth Avenue and he used the proceeds from that sale to purchase a beachfront boutique hotel in San Clemente, California known as “Casa Tropicana” for $7,840,000. He has successfully operated the Hotel since acquiring it in January 2017 and has recently began renovating the property to ultimately rebrand it as another “Capri Hotel” upon completion. Geragos’s portfolio also includes a number of smaller investments. For example, he owns a twelve-unit apartment building in Pasadena, California, retail stores in La Canada and Montrose, California, and a two-story commercial investment/income property in Glendale, California which houses another Geragos & Geragos law office. He also co-owns a four-unit residential income property located in the South Lake area of Pasadena which he refurbished as historic cottages as well as a two-story office building located at an old train station in Providence, Rhode Island.
Last week, Geragos closed on his sale of a development site in Pasadena. He has a signed letter of intent and is currently negotiating a purchase and sale agreement for a 30-key beachfront boutique hotel in Miami, which he intends to renovate and rebrand as another “Capri Hotel.” Aside from his law practice and real estate ventures, Geragos is also a paid legal analyst for CNN and serves as a legal analyst for ABC. In 2013, he co-authored the bestselling book Mistrial: An Inside Look at How the Criminal Justice System Works and Sometimes Doesn’t . Geragos co-hosts the weekly podcast “Reasonable Doubt” with comedian and radio personality Adam Carolla. The Podcast is a perennial top-performer. In 2016, Geragos executive-produced “Notorious,” a crime and legal drama television series loosely based on his career that was broadcast on ABC. Geragos is currently in negotiations with two different networks for new shows.
Geragos is a significant stakeholder in Prova Pizzabar, an innovative pizza bar and eatery founded by celebrity chef and TV personality Donatella Arpaia. (See https://www.manhattandigest.com/2017/04/18/donatella-arpaias-prova-pizzabar/) The restaurant’s first location opened in the heart of the Grand Central Terminal dining concourse in 2016, with a second location on its way this year at the brand new Moxy Hotel in Times Square. The owners have plans to expand this concept to more locations within New York City as well as cities across the country.
Geragos is also a minority owner of the BIG3, a three-on-three basketball league featuring mostly retired NBA players which was formed by rapper/actor Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz. After a successful inaugural season, the BIG3 is returning in the summer of 2018 for its second season. (See https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/2018-big3-rosters-latest-nba-players-who-have-committed-to-play-this-summer/ ) And it was just announced that international behemoth Adidas has signed on for a multi-year multimillion dollar sponsorship deal. (See http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/adidas-to-outfit-big3-basketball-league-1202642734/ )