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The future of Tory v. Cochran and "death of a giant"

The death of Johnnie Cochran, the lightning rod litigator who told the jury at O.J. Simpson's homicide trial, "If it don't fit, you must acquit," has elicited posthumous notice from a couple of Law.com bloggers -- one procedural (blogfather Volokh), the others admiring, ad hoc obits (Norm Pattis and Michael Cernovich).

Eugene Volokh notes that Cochran's passing will affect the Supreme Court docket. In Tory v. Cochran, Volokh writes, the Court was,

"... considering whether and when courts can enjoin libelous statements. Tory was enjoined from saying bad things about Johnnie Cochran. Cochran died today, which means the injunction will likely be automatically lifted under California law."

In an ad hoc eulogy, Norm Pattis admires Cochran as first and foremost an advocate. "He wasn't perfect," Pattis accedes, after writing,

"He burst some common bubbles: Only the guilty are convicted, the police do not lie, power can be trusted. He had courage and his courage made it safer to be an American. Cochran was not an oracle. He did not write books about what we should think, feel or do with. He was a trial lawyer, and he was at his best in the thick of battle, when a man or woman's fate hung on the next question he would ask."

Mike Cernovich, who just recently graduated from law school, writes: "There's only three people I regret not having met -- Edward Bennett Williams, Johnnie Cochran, and Dr. Eugene Scott ..." and tells why here.

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Posted by Laurel Newby on March 30, 2005 at 03:12 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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