LOS ANGELES, CA — Legendary lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who authored the memorable quote “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” while representing O.J. Simpson during his infamous murder trial, died of a brain disorder March 29, 2005 in Los Angeles. He was 67.
"Certainly, Johnnie’s career will be noted as one marked by celebrity cases and clientele," his family said in a statement. "But he and his family were most proud of the work he did on behalf of those in the community."
Born October 2, 1937 in Shreveport, LA, Cochran began his legal career in Los Angeles as a Deputy Attorney for the city’s criminal division. He worked his way through the ranks and was hired as Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Cochran left the D.A.’s office to start his own firm, handling both criminal and civil cases.
In addition to O.J. Simpson, Cochran’s high profile clients have included Michael Jackson, Reginald Denny, Abner Louima, Geronimo Pratt, Todd Bridges, James Brown, Angela Igwe, Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs and Cynthia Wiggins.
While Simpson’s acquittal was Cochran’s crowning achievement in a career notable for victories, the colorful lawyer who looked to Justice Thurgood Marshall as a role model also championed the causes of disenfranchised black defendants.
"The clients I’ve cared about the most are the No Js, the ones who nobody knows," said Cochran, who proudly displayed copies in his office of the multimillion-dollar checks he won for ordinary citizens who said they were abused by police.
Reprinted with permission: www.eurweb.com
Publisher’s Note: Mr. Cochran was a good person who treated people that he met with respect and dignity. When we spoke with him in 2002, he spoke about helping and fighting for those less fortunate than he.