Thomas A. Mesereau Cup

Each year the LCA awards the Thomas A. Mesereau Cup to a deserving lawyer, judge or scholar practicing in the area of criminal law.  The award recognizes excellence and commitment at the highest level.  Candidates are generally leaders in the legal profession who seek justice for or preside over individuals within the court system whose rights and freedoms depend on the selfless and courageous efforts of committed professionals.  The award honors visionaries who have created constituencies and inspired, mobilized and/or unified others in seeking equity and equality within the system and in furtherance of the common good.  Recipients are those whose leadership has had national or international impact, who practice the art of advocacy at a preeminent standing and who are committed to those they represent in the pursuits to which they are assigned.

The award is named after Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr., of the Mesereau Law Group, in Los Angeles, California.  Previously named by Barbara Walters as “One of the Ten Most Fascinating People of the Year” for his trial excellence and commitment to representing the underprivileged, Mr. Mesereau is a trial lawyer who specializes in the defense of white-collar criminal cases, corporate and individual; the defense of physicians and health care practitioners before the California Medical Board and other administrative entities, and violent and non-white-collar crimes.  In the most-watched trial in legal history, Mr. Mesereau obtained acquittal of the late music legend Michael Jackson on all fourteen charges brought against him. Named “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the National Trial Lawyers in January, 2016, where he was lauded for three consecutive white-collar jury victories for the defense in federal court, Mr. Mesereau was recognized for lifetime achievement and current successes. In June, 2016, he added a fourth consecutive federal court white-collar jury victory in New Jersey. Known for high profile cases and cutting edge strategies throughout his career, during his defense of actor Robert Blake on charges of murdering his wife, Mr. Mesereau became the only criminal defense attorney to obtain bail in a murder with special circumstances case over prosecution objection in California history. For almost forty years, Mr. Mesereau has committed substantial time on behalf of the underprivileged and has been recognized time and again by bar and legal associations for such efforts. For almost twenty years, he has reached beyond Southern California, the location of the Mesereau Free Legal Clinic, which not only provides legal services but assists local organizations and churches in drug recovery and youth counseling, and performed pro bono work in the Deep South, defending on average one capital murder case a year.  Mr. Mesereau’s client, Wesley Quick, who spent 6 years on Alabama’s death row before Tom acquitted him on all counts in a high profile jury trial, is listed in the National Registry of Exonerations of the Northwestern and University of Michigan Law Schools.  Tom Mesereau was the first lawyer to use an eyewitness identification expert in a capital murder trial in Alabama.  His client, a homeless black man, was acquitted of murdering a white woman.  A frequent national speaker, Mr. Mesereau has spoken at venues across America, including the Cleveland City Club, whose speakers have also included Presidents William J. Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Bishop Desmond TuTu.

“It is incumbent upon our profession to pursue justice and equity within our system, at every opportunity, for those in society for whom justice has become otherwise unachievable. It is not just our duty, but also our honor.”  Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.

The LCA takes great pride in presenting the Thomas A. Mesereau Cup. Past award recipients have included the following:


Jeffrey G. Adachi (2018)

Kay Anderle (2016)

Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants (2014)

Bryan A. Stevenson (2013)

Dennis G. Terez (2012)



Selection Committee

Jeffrey L. Bornstein
Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP
San Francisco, California

Eric R. Breslin
Duane Morris LLP
Newark, New Jersey

Carol Elder Bruce
Law Office of Carol Elder Bruce, PLLC
Washington, District of Columbia

Marc X. Carlos
Marc Carlos Law, APC
San Diego, California

Bruce L. Castor, Jr.
van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thomas W. Cranmer
Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.
Troy, Michigan

Jim Darnell
Jim Darnell, Attorney at Law
El Paso, Texas

The Honorable Karen F. Green
Massachusetts Superior Court
Boston, Massachusetts

The Honorable Jim M. Greenlee
Mississippi Court of Appeals
Jackson, Mississippi

W. Warren Hamel
Venable LLP
Baltimore, Maryland

The Honorable Craig L. Henry
Bowie County Court at Law
New Boston, Texas

Joel Hirschhorn
GrayRobinson, P.A.
Coral Gables, Florida

Michael HuYoung
Barnes & Diehl, P.C.
Richmond, Virginia

Faisal B. Joseph (Fellow Emeritus)
Lerners LLP
London, Ontario

Jennifer L. Keller
Keller/Anderle LLP
Irvine, California

Michael W. McCrum
McCrum Law Office
San Antonio, Texas

Patrick J. McLain
Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC
Dallas, Texas

Thomas A. Mesereau, Jr.
Mesereau Law Group, APC
Los Angeles, California

Daniel E. Monnat
Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered
Wichita, Kansas

Pamela J. Naughton
DLA Piper
San Diego, California

William L. Osterhoudt
Osterhoudt Law Group
San Francisco, California

Stanley J. Reed
Lerch, Early & Brewer
Bethesda, Maryland

Robert J. Ridge
Clark Hill PLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Joseph D. Rotella
Joseph D. Rotella, Esq.
Newark, New Jersey

George A. Stamboulidis
Baker & Hostetler LLP
New York, New York

John H. Trevena
Trevena | James
Largo, Florida

Theresa Van Vliet
Genovese, Joblove & Battista, P.A.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida

M. Bradley Wishek
Rothschild Wishek & Sands LLP
Sacramento, California

James R. Wyrsch
Wyrsch Hobbs & Mirakian
Kansas City, Missouri

Eric L. Yaffe
Lathrop GPM
Washington, District of Columbia

Susan C. Yu
Los Angeles, California



2024 LCA Conference & Celebration of Fellows

October 23-25, 2024
Four Seasons Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Event Registration


Where are the Women's Voices by LCA Senior Fellow Sheryl L. Axelrod

Where are the Women's Voices by LCA Senior Fellow Sheryl L. Axelrod Read on


Thomas A. Mesereau Cup

Each year the LCA awards the Thomas A. Mesereau Cup to a deserving lawyer practicing in the area of criminal law. The award recognizes excellence and commitment at the highest level.

Read on

LCA Scene

2024 LCA Spring Retreat

2024 LCA Spring Retreat Read on