Who Was O.J. Simpson’s Lawyer?
The trial of O.J. Simpson gripped the nation in 1994. Mr. Simpson, a former superstar in the NFL, was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Mr. Simpson assembled a so-called “Dream Team” of criminal defense attorneys, who, after a lengthy public trial, played a pivotal role in securing Mr. Simpson’s innocence by utilizing various strategies to obtain a not guilty verdict.
The attorneys on O.J. Simpson’s “Dream Team” were the following:
Robert Shapiro was a well-recognized, experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, California. He was hired as lead counsel for Mr. Simpson and used his vast network to bring other members onto the team to prepare a defense strategy for trial.
Johnnie Cochran, who was another prominent criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, was tabbed as lead counsel for the Simpson defense team as the trial progressed. He used his charisma and ability to connect with the jury to defend Mr. Simpson during the case.
He was best remembered for the phrase during closing arguments about a key piece of evidence found at the crime scene alleged to have been connected to the murderer: “If it [the glove] doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” He famously had Mr. Simpson attempt to put the glove on during the trial and showed the jury that the glove worn by the murderer did not fit his hand, thus ruling him out as a suspect.
F. Lee Bailey
- Lee Bailey, a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney, was hired to represent Mr. Simpson as a member of the Dream Team after having previously handled a number of other high-profile clients, including Sam Sheppard, Patty Hearst, and Ernest Medina.
As a member of the Simpson defense team, Mr. Bailey primarily focused on cross-examining the credibility of the key prosecution witness, Detective Mark Fuhrman, to undermine the investigation into Mr. Simpson by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Mr. Bailey deployed a strategy to raise doubts as to whether the Los Angeles Police Department – and specifically, Detective Fuhrman – planted or tampered with evidence in an effort to bolster their case against Mr. Simpson. He also suggested Mr. Fuhrman himself may have been motivated by racial animus against Mr. Simpson and challenged the fairness of the investigation.
Alan Dershowitz, an expert on constitutional law and professor at Harvard Law School, was a member of the Simpson defense team who served as an advisor on appellate law issues while the case was pending.
His role during the trial was to identify issues under California or federal law that would provide the basis for an appeal in the event that the Los Angeles jury convicted Simpson of murdering Brown-Simpson or Goldman.
Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld
The Simpson case was one of the first prominent cases nationwide to use DNA science during a high-profile homicide trial.
Attorneys Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld were members of the Simpson defense team whose specialty was challenging the police department’s handling and examination of the DNA evidence that the prosecution sought to introduce against Simpson. DNA science was relatively new in 1994.
Attorneys Scheck and Neufeld highlighted errors during the trial regarding the collection, handling, and testing of the DNA evidence. Specifically, they sought to raise doubts in the jurors’ minds about the DNA evidence’s reliability.
O.J. Simpson’s “Dream Team” and Defense Strategy
The overall defense strategy sought to portray Mr. Simpson as a victim of a criminal justice system that was broken, unfair, and biased when contrasted with his positive public image as a beloved sports figure and actor.
The team utilized various tactics to show that Mr. Simpson must be excluded as a suspect – the glove did not fit – and that other evidence was either planted, tampered with, or in the case of DNA, unreliable. The team also challenged key witnesses as untrustworthy and biased.
Ultimately, the “Dream Team” strategy prevailed, and by presenting a robust case throughout the trial, Mr. Simpson was acquitted of all charges.
Contact the Los Angeles Criminal Defense Law Firm of The Rodriguez Law Group Today For Help
The Rodriguez Law Group – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
626 Wilshire Blvd Suite 460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, United States