Cosby defense team growing again
Lead lawyer asks judge to allow California attorney to join defense
NORRISTOWN >> Just weeks after several high-powered lawyers exited the defense team representing entertainer Bill Cosby against sexual assault charges, the lead local lawyer has asked a judge to allow another California lawyer to join the team.
Defense lawyer Brian J. McMonagle filed a petition in Montgomery County Court on Tuesday asking a judge to allow lawyer Angela C. Agrusa, of Los Angeles, to be admitted “for the limited purpose of assisting in the representation” of Cosby.
Under Pennsylvania Bar Admission Rules, lawyers or advocates who are qualified to practice in the courts of another state may be “specially admitted to the Bar of this commonwealth for purposes limited to a particular matter,” according to court documents filed by McMonagle.
In the event of Agrusa’s special admission, “Mr. McMonagle remains the attorney of record in this case…,” court papers spell out.
Judge Steven T. O’Neill is likely to approve the request as he did in the past for previous Cosby lawyers.
Earlier this year, McMonagle filed similar requests for lawyers Monique D. Pressley, of Washington, D.C., and Christopher Tayback and Joseph Sarles, each of Los Angeles, to assist with Cosby’s defense.
However, Pressley, Tayback and Sarles withdrew from the case several weeks ago.
Agrusa, according to court papers, was admitted to the California Bar in 1987 and has also been permitted to practice in the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania, McMonagle said.
Agrusa is a partner in the Law Firm of Liner, LLP, in Los Angeles “and has never been the subject of any disciplinary proceedings,” McMonagle wrote in court papers.
“Here there is no good cause for denial of the special admission of Ms. Agrusa to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” McMonagle wrote.
Cosby, 79, faces a June 5, 2017 trial on charges he allegedly had inappropriate sexual contact with Andrea Constand, a former Temple University athletic department
employee, at his Cheltenham home between midJanuary and mid-February 2004.
William Henry Cosby Jr., as his name appears on charging documents, faces three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault in connection with the alleged sexual assault of Constand at his home along New Second Street in Cheltenham between mid-January and mid-February 2004. The charges were lodged against Cosby last
Dec. 30, before the 12-year statute of limitations to file charges expired.
The newspaper does not normally identify victims of sex crimes without their consent but is using Constand’s name because she has identified herself publicly.
If convicted of the charges at trial, Cosby, an entertainment icon who remains free on 10 percent of $1 million bail, faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.
Bill Cosby departs after a pretrial hearing in his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown on Sept. 6.