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Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. (October 2, 1937 a?? March 29, 2005) was an American lawyer best known for his leadership role in the defense and criminal acquittal of O. J. Simpson for the murder of his former wife Nicole Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Cochran also represented Sean Combs (during his trial on gun and bribery charges), Michael Jackson, rapper Tupac Shakur, actor Todd Bridges, football player Jim Brown, rapper Snoop Dogg, former heavyweight Champion Riddick Bowe,1992 Los Angeles riot beating victim Reginald Oliver Denny, and Geronimo Pratt. He also represented athlete Marion Jones when she faced charges of doping during her high school track career. Cochran was known for his skill in the courtroom and his prominence as an early advocate for victims of police brutality.


Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. ("L" was his full middle name) was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. His father, Johnnie Cochran, Sr., was an insurance salesman, and his mother sold Avon products. The family relocated to the West Coast and settled in Los Angeles in 1949. Cochran later graduated first in his class from Los Angeles High School in 1955. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959 and his Juris Doctor at Loyola Marymount University School of Law (now Loyola Law School) in 1962. He was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Inspired by Thurgood Marshall and the legal victory he won in Brown v. Board of Education, Cochran decided to dedicate his life to practicing law. Cochran felt his career was a calling, a double opportunity to work for what he considered to be right and to challenge what he considered wrong; he could make a difference by practicing law. In A Lawyer's Life, Cochran wrote:
Despite setbacks as a lawyer, Cochran vowed not to cease what he was doing, saying "I made this commitment and I must fulfill it."
Cochran took a job in Los Angeles as a Deputy City Attorney

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Johnnie Cochran Latest News

The O.J. Simpson Trial: Where Are They Now?

This show-stopping tactic, of course, backfired — Simpson appeared to struggle as he put on the glove, prompting defense attorney Johnnie Cochran to utter that now infamous line: “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” In the years after the trial ...
Posted: July 23, 2017, 2:14 pm

OJ Simpson’s lawyer manipulated the media as masterfully as Trump, according to the prosecutor he beat

Johnnie Cochran, OJ Simpson’s lawyer, was able to win an acquittal for his client by making the mid-nineties trial about race, not a double murder. To do so, he manipulated the media, according to Christopher Darden, one of the prosecutors charged with ...
Posted: July 23, 2017, 12:22 pm

Simpson parole case sheds the racial relic of 1995 trial

The strategy for Simpson’s defense team — which included legendary Black litigator Johnnie Cochran — was to frame the case around race. They argued that Simpson had been framed by a corrupt and racist Los Angeles Police Department. Simpson ...
Posted: July 24, 2017, 9:01 pm
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