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Month: October 2015

The Unsung Hero of the O.J. Trials (Part I)

Dan Petrocelli - OJ Trials - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

Dan Petrocelli.

What a guy! Moreover, what a lawyer! This guy demonstrates everything that is good about lawyers and lawyering. Which is great, because decent lawyers were few and far between around the O.J. Simpson cases.

As discussed previously, the O.J. trials had it all: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly… and, of course, being LA, the Beautiful People. The only thing it sorely lacked, in my not so humble opinion, was great lawyering.

Take the prosecutors for example. They weren’t horrible. But they weren’t great. Simply put, this case, and the memories of Nicole and Ron Goodman, deserved better. It’s not totally the prosecutors’ fault; they suffered from prosecutor-itis. It comes from years of perfecting “masterful” trial techniques, like repeating the same question over and over: “And then what happened?”

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OJ Simpson Saved Lives! (Part II: Extreme Cases)

OJ Simpson Trials - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

As we shall see, the O.J. Simpson criminal murder trial turned out to be a complete circus. From the “Dancing Ito’s” on Jay Leno to the wall-to-wall coverage of the ten million defense attorneys, all vying for attention in front of the cameras. It was a joke.

But the impact of the trial on the actual real world, the one off-camera away from L.A., was no joke. To this day I tell people that it changed the face of criminal law forever.

Gone were the days of Domestic Violence (DV) cases being dismissed just because the chief witness didn’t show up. You see, it used to be that when you had a DV case, literally half the time you got to trial and the complaining witness (or victim, depending on how you look at it) was a no-show. No witness, no case, no trial, case dismissed. Simple as that.

Enter Nicole, stage right, with her nearly decapitated head, a truly horrific image.

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O.J. Simpson Saved Lives! (Part I: The Hidden Tapes)

OJ Simpson Trials - Hidden Tapes - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog

I know. Crazy title. Don’t worry, I’ll get to it.

The O.J. Simpson case(s) have had a huge impact on American society, particularly the legal system, and on me personally, over the past two decades. Most recently, A&E aired an excellent piece about his cases, the trials, and the legal work that was done behind the scenes, called O.J. Speaks: The Hidden Tapes (apparently there was another show on LMN, which I did not see, but will make a point of looking for it.) I predict that a lot of people watched or will watch these shows.

If you haven’t yet, you should. Try here.

They speak volumes about the anatomy of an actual murder case and describe in detail some extremely good (and bad) lawyering. This is real life murder mystery at its best – and worst.

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Keep it Simple, Stupid

Keep it Simple, Stupid - Seattle Criminal Lawyer Blog“I’m the BEST BLOGGER EVER! Really! My blogs are so wonderful and entertaining and smart. Because  why? Because I am so smart. And SUCH a great writer! Did I mention that?!? Really really really great. Dickens Great. Shakespeare Great. Heck, even Louis L’Amour Great. So, Great! Let’s face it—  I’m Great!”

Sound demented? Try this:

“I’m the BEST LAWYER EVER! Really! I’m so great. I win so many trials it would make your head spin. If you hire me I am going to do such an amazing and brilliant job in court that people will weep. Seriously! Trust ME! People say I’m arrogant. Whatever. WHATEVER! I am what I am and they are all jealous. And stupid. Really, really stupid.”

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