Friday, April 08, 2005

If The Glove Fits .....

Well, let's see what the venerable old L.A. Weekly is writing about me:

"Johnnie Cochran was a good lawyer."

Get no argument from me there.

"He knew how to try cases, and win. And pocket tidy fees."

Say amen, brother.

"But a champion of civil rights? Well, sometimes."

Say what?!

"Cochran was, in fact, more a masterful opportunist than a principled advocate. After a stint in the City Attorney's Office in the '60s, he made a name for himself getting money fo clients who'd been wrongfully beaten by the LAPD's notoriously brutal cops. There the Cochran legend arose: He wasn't simply a savvy courtroom peformer (which, in truth, he was) but also a civil rights advocate who bravely pioneered turf no other lawyer had the courage or insight to broach. That fiction ..."

Fiction? Fiction?!

"... That fiction helped Cochran buy his first Rolls-Royce, and helped obscure the truth that Hugh Manes, a white lawyer with the bark of a drill sergeant and a bulldog's bite, had labored since the 1950s to establish a person's right to sue the police and obtain compensation for his wounds.

"It was the false murder conviction of Geronimo Pratt, however, that furnished Cochran with the mantle of righteousness in which he cloaked himself in the years after he won an acquittal for O.J. Simpson. Simpson brought notoriety and wealth, but it wasn't the kind of verdict that could earn you a place in the pantheon of civil rights."


"It was more on the order of trading one kind of injustice for another: The LAPD got away with beating Rodney King; freeing O.J. settled the score."

So what? Isn't that still justice, no matter how you look at it? The obit continues:

"Pratt was different. At his 1972 trial, the ex-Black Panther had been framed by his accuser, Julius Butler, as part of an LAPD-FBI conspiracy to put Pratt behind bars. Back then, Cochran didn't have the evidence to expose Butler. Twenty-six years later, however, he did, and in an Orange County courtroom, he got a second chance to attack Butler's credibility. This time Butler's lies collapsed under Cochran's skillful filleting, and the judge freed Pratt. Here was a genuine civil rights victory.

"Yet Cochran was never content with these facts alone. He felt compelled to place himself in the entire 27-year storyline of Pratt's trial, conviction, incarceration, and appeals up and down state and federal courts, as if he'd been a rock of faithfulness throughout Pratt's ordeal."

Uh-oh .....

"In truth, beginning with the original trial, Cochran's role had been somewhat less abiding and heroic than he claimed. Pratt's chief counsel had been Charles Hollopeter ...."

Hollopeter! Ha! That name always cracked me up. Hollopeter.

"... a seasoned defense attorney, who put on such a capable defense that the jury was hung throughout ten days of deliberations before it finally reached its verdict. Hollopeter had been on the case for a year and a half before Cochran joined the defense -- only after Hollopeter asked the judge to appoint a black lawyer to corral Panther alibi witnesses who were refusing to cooperate with the white lawyer."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

No Blogging Today

I'm watching my funeral on TV. What a turnout. They're calling it Johnnie's Journey to Justice. I like the sound of that.

Oh look. There's O.J. being asked to take a bow. Gotta go now. This is too cool.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Neil Young?!

Hold on a minute. Neil Young had successful brain surgery but there was nothing they could do for me? Neil Young?!

No justice.

Me! Me! Me! They're Talking About Me!

It ain't all about the Pope. Here are a few selections from Talk

Posted by: Jay on March 29, 2005 05:59 PM

The only thing he'll be remembered for by me is freeing the "Butcher of Brentwood". With all the evidence in front of him, how could he sleep at night? He made a mockery of that trial and made defense attorneys look like a bunch of snakes.

Posted by: Richard on March 29, 2005 06:20 PM

Only a literalistic (think Attorney) mind could appreciate this man. Johnnie Cochran is singularly responsible for the adoration of travesty now, after O.J., so popular in American jurisprudence. This man contributed more to assuring innocents go to jail than any corrupt prosecutor ever could. He debuted blatant crapola as a defense tool and taught the DA just how it is done. What goes around comes around.

The man was a self promoting platitude laden showman with little respect for decency. The cases mentioned in this post were by NO MEANS those of common folk as the press had elevated them to celebrity status before Johnnie would look their way.

Has O.J. found that damn killer yet? Hasn’t he has scoured every golf course in South Florida?

Posted by: Ian on March 29, 2005 06:44 PM

Lest we forget he also represented Pete Rose in a made for TV mock trial that was watched by no one besides Rose himself....and me. He will unfortunately be remembered as a spotlight whore.

Making New Friends

Well, guess who I ran into today, ladies and gentlemen of the jury? C'mon, I'll give you three guesses ....

Woo-Hoo! Talk about a chilly reception. It's gonna be tough making new friends here, let me tell ya, but I'm a man of infinite charm and vast capabilities. I'll wear her down. I'll make her like me. The sheer force of my personality will overwhelm her (and, besides, she has a fondness for black men ... or so I hear).

OK, gotta go and file an emergency appeal --- they're making me bunk with Jeffrey Dahmer.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

They Have A Library Here!

I'm only allowed one book at a time so right now I'm reading a pretty good crime novel (natch) called "Angel's Flight" by Michael Connelly. I think I knew this Connelly guy when he was a crime beat writer for the L.A. Times.

Anyway, the story is about the murder of Howard Elias, an L.A. lawyer whose lawsuits charging the LAPD with racism and bruatlity made him a celebrity. Check out this passage, ladies and gentlemen of the jury:

"Few who revered Elias understood that his entire practice was built around one simple piece of the law. He filed lawsuits only in federal court and under provisions of the U.S. civil rights codes that allowed him to bill the city of Los Angeles for his fees in any case in which he was victorious in court.

"The Rodney King beating, the Christopher Commission report excoriating the department in the wake of the King trial and subsequent civil unrest, and the racially divisive O.J. Simpson case created a shadow that stretched over every case Elias filed. And so it was not paticularly difficult for the lawyer to win cases against the department, convincing juries to award at least token dames to plaintiffs. Those juries never realized that such verdicts opened the door for Elias to bill the city and its taxpayers, themselves included, hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.

"In the dog bite lawsuit, which became Elias's signature case, the jury found that the rights of the plaintiff had been violated. But since that plaintiff was a burglar with a long track record of prior arrests and convictions, the jury awarded him only one dollar in damages. Their intent was clear, to send a message to the police department rather than to make a criminal wealthy. But that didn't matter to Elias. A win was a win. Under the federal guidelines he then submitted a bill to the city for $340,000 in legal fees .... In effect, the jury -- and the many more before and since -- believed they were delivering a rebuke to the LAPD, but they were also paying for Elias's half-hour late-night infomercials on Channel 9, his Porsche and his Italian courtroom suits, his opulent home up in Baldwin Hills."


I think I'm going to like this book a lot. Elias sounds like my kind of brother.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Bob Shapiro Did This To Me

That's what I'm thinkin'. He never wanted to be on the defense team. I'll bet he zapped my brain in court every day with some death ray he kept hidden in his briefcase. And what about Kardashian? Hmmmmmm? I can't seem to find him anywhere around here but I know he's here. I can smell him.

Gotta go now. Coffee break's over.

Day Three

Well, they say it happens in threes: me, Schiavo, and now the Pope. Damn, I'm in good company these days. Too bad I won't get to meet either of them. I'm not allowed visitors.

Does anybody have some iced tea? I like that Lipston instant shit in the jar. I could use a couple aspirin too. I still have a splitting headache.

Hey, riddle me this, ladies and gentlemen of the jury: why did the Pontiff say it was a bad idea for Schiavo to be taken off life-sustaining equipment yet he opted out of such measures for himself, preferring to pass his last agonizing hours at home, in his apartment, in bed?

Just something to think about.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Day Two

Wait a goddamn minute. You mean that ugly-ass Bruno Magli-shoe wearin' motherfucker is still playing golf in Florida and I'm here? Where's the justice?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Day 1

Man, it's hot in here.