The O.J. Simpson Trials: Rhetoric, Media, and the Law

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Janice E. Schuetz, Lin S. Lilley
Southern Illinois University Press, 1999 - Law - 216 pages

The O. J. Simpson case captured the attention of the public like no other event in media history, and the Simpson criminal trial is arguably the most notable example of the media's ability to transform litigation. This collection of original essays provides a critical analysis of the Simpson criminal and civil trials. Edited by communications professor Janice Schuetz and professional trial consultant Lin S. Lilley, the book focuses on telelitigation, the media's transformation of sensational trials, with celebrity defendants and victims, into telemediated forms.

The contributors?Ann Burnett, Patricia M. Ganer, Ann M. Gill, Diane Furno-Lamude, Lin S. Lilley, and Janice Schuetz?describe media spectacles, analyze the opening statements of trial attorneys in both cases, investigate the testimony of Mark Fuhrman in the criminal trial and O. J. Simpson in the civil trial, analyze the summations of trial attorneys in both cases, look at the processes of jury decision making, and identify the unique legal and social outcomes of the trials.

The discussions focus on five "hot button" legal issues sparked by the Simpson trials: the perceived unfairness of the jury system; unprecedented calls for jury reform in both civil and criminal arenas; the fairness issues of jury nullification, wherein a jury disregards the law in a criminal case in favor of leniency; wealth and the question of "buying" justice; and ethical questions about the ways the Simpson trials were conducted, in particular the ways in which Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran and the "Dream Team" repeatedly nudged and occasionally crossed the ethical line.

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My name is Natalie Singer. I was a witness in this trial. In this book I am referred to as "Valerie" Singer. If they couldn't get something as simple as a witness' name correct I would be very concerned about how many other facts they got wrong as well. Buy a better researched book. If there is one. 

About the author (1999)

Janice Schuetz is a professor of communication at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of six books, including The Logic of Women on Trial and (with Kathryn H. Snedaker) Communication and Litigation: Case Studies of Famous Trials, both available from Southern Illinois University Press.

Lin S. Lilley has worked as a trial consultant for twenty-one years. Presently in Austin, Texas, from 1979 to 1990 she was the co-owner of one of the nation's largest full-service trial consulting firms, Starr & Associates, Inc. She is a faculty member of the American Trial Lawyers Association1s National College of Advocacy and a founding member of the American Society of Trial Consultants.

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