Pamela Mackey's Latest Celebrity Client: Don Vito

Were we not presently in an all-Rockies, all-the-time zone, the local media would no doubt be paying more attention to the trial of Vincent Margera, known to MTV viewers as Don Vito, the bulbous uncle of wild man Bam Margera on the series Viva La Bam. As noted in this Rocky Mountain News account, which took a spelunker's skill to locate amid all the Rockies coverage, the elder Margera went to Jefferson County court this week to face charges that he fondled three teenage girls during an August 2006 appearance at Colorado Mills mall. Yet neither this piece nor any other article that turned up in a Google News search bothered to mention that the celebrity status of Don Vito's attorney, Pamela Mackey, rivals her latest client's.

As tabloid-TV fans will remember, Mackey defended Los Angeles Lakers basketballer Kobe Bryant against sexual assault charges stemming from an incident at an Edwards resort in June 2003; the matter was dropped by prosecutors in September 2004. Along the way, Mackey played hardball in the court of public opinion, where Bryant's accuser was painted as an emotionally erratic attention-seeker. As a result, Mackey's name briefly became a not-always-nice household word.

Arguably the most memorable example of this development came during an episode of Saturday Night Live, when Weekend Update co-anchor Tina Fey tried to do to Mackey what she'd done earlier to the woman who said Bryant had forced himself on her. Here's the transcript:

The preliminary hearing in Kobe Bryant's rape trial turned ugly on Thursday, when Pamela Mackey, Bryant's lawyer, "accidentally" said his accuser's name in court, violating Colorado privacy laws. And, after being admoished by the judge, Mackey went on to repeat the woman's name five times, which is really bad. Because what lawyer Pamela Mackey did by mentioning the woman's name, is to put her at risk of further harassment. A lawyer, like Pamela Mackey, of the Colorado firm Haddon, Morgan, Mueller, Jordan, Mackey & Foreman -- which is probably in the 303 area code -- should know that people can go on the Internet and look up any name, like Joe Smith, or, I don't know -- Pamela Mackey -- and learn everything about them, and call them and mess with them and stuff! So, be more careful, lawyer Pamela Mackey, because I heard a rumor that you're a little unstable, and you like to give wobble jobs to homeless guys! And, I want you to focus up and win this trial. I'm Pamela Mackey -- back to you, Pamela Mackey!

Of course, Mackey did win that trial, in the sense that it never actually took place. Margera is clearly in experienced hands, whether the public is paying attention to his fate or not. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts