Bill Cosby’s lead defense attorney formally filed notice that he’s no longer representing the comedian, who has begun searching for a replacement ahead of his scheduled November retrial on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted a former Temple University student.
Brian McMonagle, the Philadelphia-based defense lawyer whose command of the courtroom likely helped Cosby earn a mistrial in the June criminal trial, told Judge Steven O’Neill that he’s done.
“It’s true,” Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt told reporters Tuesday. “We’re still vetting lawyers that are on my short list.”
Reportedly, Cosby has until Aug. 21 to find a new lawyer. His second trial is scheduled to start Nov. 6. Wyatt said co-counsel Angela Argrusa remains with the team.
It’s believed that McMonagle had a conflict with Wyatt during the trial, with many in the media speculating that the hard-nosed attorney didn’t appreciate the publicist holding news conferences while a jury was still deliberating.
Wyatt has not addressed those claims, but has appeared upbeat in recent communications with The Washington Informer.
“We’re good,” he said in a text message late last month. “The team is still intact.”
Among the names being floated are Tom Mesereau, who successfully represented “Baretta” star Robert Blake after he was charged with murdering his wife and Michael Jackson, when the pop star was charged with molesting a young cancer patient.
Mesereau did not respond to several messages left.
Robert Shapiro, who was on the “Dream Team” that convinced a jury to acquit O.J. Simpson of double murder in the infamous “Trial of the Century,” has also been bandied about as a potential replacement to McMonagle, who was once named Pennsylvania’s Attorney of the Year.
“As a matter of policy, I don’t comment on what potential clients may or may not have contacted me and my interest or lack of interest regarding representation,” Shapiro said in an email to The Informer.