Thursday, March 11, 2004
KNBC Reporter to Join ABC as Supreme Court Correspondent
By a MetNews Staff Writer
KNBC legal reporter and former prosecutor Manny Medrano will become the Supreme Court correspondent for the ABC television network March 22, he said yesterday.
Medrano spent 13 years as a litigator in Los Angeles before joining the local broadcast affiliate just in time to cover the O.J. Simpson murder trial. He said his last day with KNBC was Friday.
He discovered that the Washington D.C.-based network job was available fortuitously, he explained. He said he looked into openings in the nation’s capitol only because his wife, Rosa Flores, had found a possible job there.
Flores, a Harvard law graduate with a Stanford MBA, was seeking to rejoin the workforce after years spent at home raising their two sons, now seven and four, Medrano said.
“God watches over fools, children and Manny Medrano,” the reporter commented.
Medrano spent a decade as an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, prosecuting among others the killers of DEA agent Enrique Camarena. That case led to death threats against him, causing him for a time to carry a gun, he recalled.
It also led indirectly to his switch from law practice to a career in journalism, he explained.
After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Medrano related, he spent a year with the Los Angeles office of the Chicago firm Sonnenschein, Nath, & Rosenthal doing business litigation. Television reporters who knew him from the Camarena case began asking him to serve as a legal expert, he recalled.
Medrano said he did so partly in hopes of generating television station business for the Sonnenschein firm. Instead, then-KNBC news director Mark Hoffman unexpectedly offered him a job, he said.
“You could have knocked me over with a feather,” he commented.
Medrano said he has enjoyed covering “all the big cases” in Los Angeles and as far away as Eagle, Colo. for KNBC over the past decade.
“I relished it,” he said, noting that he has had the chance to “explain to our viewers in lay person’s terms what happens in the criminal justice system.”
A particular thrill has been reporting in real time as verdicts come in, Medrano said.
“It’s a rush—there’s just no other way to describe it,” he declared.
The Supreme Court assignment will give him a chance to address other types of cases with greater frequently, he observed, pointing out that in addition to his year with the Sonnenschein firm he spent two years after graduating from Harvard Law School as a business litigator with Cox Castle & Nicholson in Century City. He also earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard.
His varied background “makes me ideally suited to cover any case that comes down from the Supreme Court,” Medrano said.
He added he hopes to continue part-time work as an adjunct law professor at one or more of the Washington-area law schools. Since 1988 he has taught at USC, Pepperdine, Loyola and Southwestern law schools, he said.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company