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Johnny L. Cochran, Jr.

(1937-2005)

OJ Simpson and Johnny Cochrane

OJ Simpson and Johnny Cochrane

Name: Johnny Cochran

Born: October 2, 1937

Died: March 29, 2005, of a brain tumor

 

Photo:photo by Vince Bucci Johnny Cochran tries on the infamous gloves at the Simpson Trial in 1995.

 

 

Birthplace:

Shreveport, Louisiana

Education:

University of California at Los Angeles (B.S. in Business Administration, 1959); law degree-Loyola Marymount University (J.D., 1962)

 

Occupation:

Attorney

 

Career History:

Cochran served as a prosecutor in Los Angeles for two years and rose to the position of Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles County before beginning his own legal practice. His law firm specialized in personal injury and tort cases, especially those involving alleged police brutality against African-Americans. In the 1990s, he became best known as a defense attorney representing such celebrity defendants as OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson, and Sean Combs (AKA Puff Daddy; P. Diddy).

Outside of the courts, he also served as a broadcaster for CourtTV and as an expert for NBC.

 

Accomplishments:

Johnny Cochran's famous "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit" line in the OJ Simpson trial in 1995 is considered by many to be the key moment in the acquittal of his client from murder charges.

 

Publications:

A Lawyer's Life (Cochran, Johnny; Fisher, David. New York, NY,: St. Martin's Press, 2002)

Journey to Justice (Cochran, Johnny; Rutten, Tim. New York, NY,: Ballentine Books, 1997)

 

Awards:

Criminal Trial Lawyer of the Year, Los Angeles Criminal Courts Bar Association, 1977;

Pioneer of Black Legal Leadership Award, Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade, August, 1979;

Outstanding Law Enforcement Office of 1979,

California Trial Lawyers Association; Trial Lawyer of the Year, Hon. Loren Miller Award, John M. Langston Bar Association, 1982-1983;

Equal Justice in Law Award, Legal Defense Fund, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Distinguished Alumni Award, UCLA Black Alumni Association, March, 1988;

Alumni Award of Excellence in Professional Achievement, UCLA, June, 1988;

Outstanding Criminal Defense Attorneys, Southern California, July, 1989;

1995 National Law Journal Trial Lawyer of the Year.

 

Worked/Collaborated With: Lance Ito (in the L.A. Prosecutor's office), Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz, Barry Scheck (all on the Simpson trial), Benjamin Brafman (Combs trial)

 
Served as the Attorney For: Reginald Denny, Abner Louima, Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt (a former member of the Black Panther Party), Todd Bridges, James Brown, Angela Igwe, and Cynthia Wiggins, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Sean Combs, and Kadiatou Diallo, the mother of Amadou Diallo, the Haitian immigrant shot by four New York City police officers in 1999.

 

 

Sources:

The Cochran Firm-http://www.thecochranfirm.com/_national/profiles_johnniecochran.html

Johnny Cochran Biography--http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/Simpson/Cochran.htm

New York Times Obituary--http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/30/national/30cochran.html?hp

 

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