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Topic: Michael Rains

Michael Rains, a prominent criminal defense attorney who has represented numerous peace officers who have found themselves accused of breaking the law, is the attorney representing former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle in the videotaped shooting death of Oscar Grant.

He was hired to represent Mehserle on Jan. 22, 2009, replacing Sacramento-based labor attorney Christopher Miller.

In court, Rains argued that his client mistook his gun for his taser and accidentally shot and killed Grant when he intended to tase him.

Rains is being paid to defend Mehserle by a statewide fund for peace officers that police departments throughout California — including BART Police — contribute towards in the event that an officer is charged with a crime.

The attorney is under a court-imposed gag order in the case. He is not allowed to speak publicly about the trial.

Rains’s practice, Pleasant Hill-based Rains Lucia Stern, has represented many high profile clients, including former San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds when Bonds was facing federal criminal charges related to the BALCO steroids scandal.

He also represented the Oakland Riders, a group of Oakland Police officers who allegedly participated in misconduct and overly aggressive policing techniques on suspects.

Rains, a former U.S. Marine and Santa Monica Police officer, attended Golden West University School of Law and has been practicing for over a quarter century.

He currently lives in San Ramon with his wife and son.

Information from Beat research and news services

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts, Oakland »

[By Beat News Service | 13 Jun 2011 | 9 Comments]
Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, plays a phone call from prison officials telling him that Johannes Mehserle has been released outside of the Los Angeles County Men's Jail. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

(6/13) — UPDATE 0720 PDT — LOS ANGELES — Johannes Mehserle, the former Bay Area Rapid Transit Police officer who was caught on video shooting and killing an unarmed train passenger, was released from the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail early Monday morning.

Mehserle left the Downtown Los Angeles facility after serving 11 months behind bars for an involuntary manslaughter conviction for the killing of Hayward resident Oscar Grant.

BART Police Shooting, Oakland »

[By Beat News Service | 10 Jun 2011 | 3 Comments]
A large banner reading "Oakland Says Guilty" was hung from a stoplight in Downtown Oakland during a gathering after the verdict in the Johannes Mehserle trial. (CALIFORNIA BEAT PHOTO)

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said Thursday that her city was prepared to handle possible protests organized in response to the Monday release of former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle from a Los Angeles County Jail.

In a written statement, Quan said, “Although we expect peaceful gatherings, we do not anticipate nor will we tolerate vandalism or violence. The Oakland Police Department is prepared to respond if personal safety or property are at risk.”

BART Police Shooting »

[By Steven Luo | 3 Dec 2010 | 7 Comments]
Johannes Mehserle

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles judge denied bail to former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle at a hearing Friday afternoon, dismissing a defense motion that sought the release of the former transit officer from jail pending an appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction.

“This court sincerely believes [Mehserle’s conviction] will not be reversed” on appeal, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry explained.

BART Police Shooting »

[By Beat News Service | 15 Nov 2010 | No Comments]
Johannes Mehserle

Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police officer sentenced to two years in state prison for the shooting death of Oscar Grant in 2009, will return to Los Angeles County Superior Court on December 3 for a bail hearing, according to the Court.

Mehserle’s defense has requested that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry allow Mehserle to be released on bail pending an appeal of his involuntary manslaughter conviction. If Perry grants the motion, Mehserle could be released from custody after posting bond.

BART Police Shooting »

[By Steven Luo and Jennifer Courtney | 5 Nov 2010 | 4 Comments]
SONY DSC

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle to two years in state prison Friday for the killing of unarmed train passenger Oscar Grant in 2009.

He will get 292 days of credit for time served and good behavior, which could translate to a prison sentence of a little more than a year for the former police officer. It’s possible Mehserle could be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence — slightly more than seven months.

BART Police Shooting, Cover Stories »

Johannes Mehserle

On Friday morning, one of the final chapters of a tragic high-profile Bay Area story will be written.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge is set to sentence former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle on Friday for the shooting death of passenger Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART station platform on January 1, 2009.

BART Police Shooting »

[By Tashina Manyak | 4 Oct 2010 | No Comments]
Former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle photographed by Oscar Grant moments before the fatal shooting. (Courtesy Los Angeles County Superior Court)

The defense for Johannes Mehserle, the former BART Police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale BART Station New Year’s Day 2009, has filed a motion seeking a new trial, claiming “newly discovered evidence” supports Mehserle’s case.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By California Beat | 14 Jul 2010 | No Comments]
Johannes Mehserle

(7/14) — 17:06 PDT — LOS ANGELES — Sentencing for former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle has been pushed back three months from the original date the judge set.

Mehserle was convicted last Thursday of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant, and will now face sentencing on Friday, November 5 at 8:30 a.m. in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to a court spokesperson.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 9 Jul 2010 | No Comments]
Cuate Juarez of the October 22 coalition told the crowd Mehserle's verdict was not enough to bring justice. (JENNIFER COURTNEY / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

The response in Los Angeles to the involuntary manslaughter conviction of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle was largely peaceful.

Mehserle was charged with second degree murder by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for fatally shooting unarmed BART passenger Oscar Grant last year, but after six and a half hours of deliberation the jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter Thursday.

BART Police Shooting, Cops & Courts »

[By Tashina Manyak | 9 Jul 2010 | One Comment]
Grant's mother Wanda Johnson reacted angrily to the news that Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, not murder. "My son was murdered. He was murdered!" she said. (JENNIFER COURTNEY / CALIFORNIA BEAT)

(7/9) — 00:15 PDT — LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles jury of eight women and four men convicted former BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter Thursday afternoon, but acquitted him of the most serious charge he faced: second degree murder.