Geoffrey Fieger

Geoffrey Nels Fieger (born December 23, 1950) is an American attorney based in Southfield, Michigan.[1] Fieger is the senior partner at the law firm of Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Harrington P.C., and is an occasional legal commentator for NBC and MSNBC. His practice focuses on personal injury, civil rights litigation and medical malpractice cases.

Geoffrey Fieger
FullC489D2008-01-01.jpg
Personal details
Born
Geoffrey Nels Fieger

(1950-12-23) December 23, 1950 (age 70)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Kathleen Fieger
RelativesDoug Fieger (brother)
EducationUniversity of Michigan (BA, MA)
Detroit College of Law (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Fieger served as the defense attorney for Jack Kevorkian and as the unsuccessful Democratic nominee for governor of Michigan in 1998.

Early life and familyEdit

Fieger grew up in Oak Park, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit, Michigan, the son of June Beth (née Oberer) and Bernard Julian Fieger.[2] Fieger's father was Jewish, and his mother was of Norwegian descent.[3] He earned B.A. (Theater, 1974) and M.A. (Speech) degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1976 and his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law (now the Michigan State University College of Law) in 1979.

Fieger and his wife Kathleen have three children and live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Fieger is the older brother of the late Doug Fieger, lead vocalist of the late-'70s/early-'80s rock group The Knack, best known for their hit song "My Sharona" in 1979.

Legal careerEdit

Fieger has been involved with a variety of high-profile or controversial cases. In 1994, he represented Jack Kevorkian in the first of several doctor-assisted suicide trials. Kevorkian was acquitted in that trial and all subsequent trials where Fieger represented him. (Kevorkian was convicted when he represented himself in his last assisted suicide trial in 1999.) These events were made into a movie, You Don't Know Jack, aired on HBO, in which Fieger was portrayed by actor Danny Huston.

Other notable clients and cases include:

Political careerEdit

1998 gubernatorial campaignEdit

In 1998, Fieger ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic nominee for Governor of Michigan. During the campaign Fieger made several inflammatory and controversial comments and statements, including

  • an assertion that his opponent John Engler was the product of miscegenation between humans and barnyard animals;[9]
  • a claim that "rabbis are closer to Nazis than they think."[10]
  • the observation that, "in 2,000 years we've probably made somebody who is the equivalent of Elvis into God, so I see no reason why not to believe that in 2,000 years Elvis will be God. Probably if we went back 2,000 years, and they said, you know, we think Jesus is God, and Jesus is just some goofball that got nailed to the cross."[11]
  • a radio appearance characterizing Michigan appellate judges as "jackasses" for overturning a 15 million dollar medical malpractice judgment he had won. (A lower court reprimand based on these comments was eventually upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court.)[12]

Other activitiesEdit

In 1997, Fieger donated four million dollars to the Detroit College of Law, now the Michigan State University College of Law, to start the nation's first trial practice institute for law students, which was named the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute.[13]

Fieger appeared as one of the attorneys on the reality TV series Power of Attorney, and was opposing counsel in an episode of NBC's The Law Firm.

Trial and acquittalEdit

In August 2007, Fieger was indicted on federal campaign finance charges; the U.S. government alleged that Fieger had illegally funneled $127,000 to John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign. Fieger was defended by famed defense attorney Gerry Spence, who announced this would be his last case. A jury acquitted Fieger of all 10 charges, and Fieger's co-defendant and law partner Ven Johnson on five charges, on June 2, 2008. Johnson stated that the charges were politically motivated.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Law practice homepage – fiegerlaw.com, retrieved 9/08/07
  2. ^ "Motormouth".
  3. ^ "Behind the mouth: Geoffrey Fieger". 16 December 2004. Archived from the original on 16 December 2004.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ White, Corey Williams and Ed. "Fieger: Video shows police fired into Detroit home". The Oakland Press.
  5. ^ Attorney Geoffrey Fieger to file $50 million lawsuit over fatal Flint state police chase The Flint Journal via MLive, July 7, 2014
  6. ^ State to pay $7.7M to settle fatal police chase lawsuit The Flint Journal via MLive, October 2, 2015
  7. ^ John Wisely & Jennifer Dixon, Fieger files $100-million suit over Flint Legionnaires' disease cases, Detroit Free Press (February 2, 2016).
  8. ^ Keilman, John (December 19, 2018) "Lawyer Claims Kenneka Jenkins Might Have Been Locked Inside Hotel Freezer, But Police Video Contradicts Theory", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  9. ^ "Michigan Review". Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-03.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Brash Candidate a Problem in Michigan – WashingtonPost.com, 9/24/98
  11. ^ Beliefs – nytimes.com, 8/8/98
  12. ^ "Reprimand Of Fieger Upheld By Supreme Court", NPR – Lansing, MI 2007-02-20) http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/michigan/news.newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1042622
  13. ^ Gift Establishes First Institute For Law Students – newsroom.msu.com Archived 2006-09-01 at the Wayback Machine, 9/08/07
  14. ^ Kristine Pioch, "Geoffrey Fieger acquitted in campaign-finance violations case" (June 2, 2008). Kalamazoo Gazette.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Howard Wolpe
Democratic nominee for Governor of Michigan
1998
Succeeded by
Jennifer Granholm