Law

John Cochran is a prominent lawyer who achieved global fame in the O.J. Simpson case. The attorney grew up in Louisiana but moved to California in 1949 with his family. He was one of only two dozen African Americans at Los Angeles High School. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959, Cochran attended Loyola Law School, earning his law degree in 1962. For the next two years, he worked as a prosecutor for the city of Los Angeles. After graduating from law school, he began representing minority victims of police brutality.

Johnnie L. Cochran

A legendary Black Panther attorney, Johnnie Cochran was one of the leading attorneys during the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995. The trial lasted from June to October of that year, and it was watched by 100 million people across the globe. It was estimated that four hundred million hours of productive time were lost, largely due to the trial. As a result, Cochran has become a household name, and his case became a source of national media coverage.

A Los Angeles native, Cochran began his legal career in 1963 as an assistant city attorney. He spent a few years in the city’s criminal department before starting his firm. He handled both civil and criminal cases. He eventually became an Assistant District Attorney for Los Angeles County in 1978, and he returned to private practice in 1981. He won big verdicts for the victims of negligence and civil rights violations, and he helped bring about change in landmark cases.

O.J. Simpson trial

As a defense attorney for the O.J. Simpson trial, John Cochran’s personality endeared him to his clients and his audience. He was sincere and engaging, challenging the district attorney’s evidence and the racism of the investigating police officer, Mark Fuhrman. Cochran’s winning strategy led to the conviction of the accused murderer and the resulting settlement of the case with the city and the police union.

Johnnie Cochran is a native of Louisiana. His mother sold Avon beauty products, and his father was an insurance salesman. The Cochran family moved to Los Angeles in 1949, and Cochran graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955. After earning his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA, he enrolled at Loyola Marymount University and received his Juris Doctorate in 1962.

Ron Settles case

In the wake of the Ron Settles case, many people are wondering what makes Cochran a standout attorney in the area of wrongful death. John Cochran is an attorney who has won several high-profile cases, including the one involving the death of a woman who was beaten by police. He is known for helping victims of police abuse and his work in the field helped win the acquittal of Todd Bridges.

The city of Signal Hill declared the date June 2 as Settles’ Day of Remembrance. In honor of his death, the city council had approved a memorial space for the Settles family at the library. The city had previously talked about erecting a street marker in his name at Orange Avenue and Hill Street. It was a step forward in the family’s quest for justice.

Work with Black Panthers

In the 1970s, Cochran specialized in criminal law and was frequently involved in police brutality cases. He then abruptly changed course, joining the district attorney’s office in the Los Angeles area in 1978 to broaden his political network and remake his image. It was not the ‘good guys’ time to be a criminal defense lawyer. But Cochran’s experience in the Black Panthers’ fights and experience working in the criminal justice system motivated him to change course.

In the early 1970s, Cochran helped defend Geronimo Pratt, a former Black Panther who had been sentenced to 27 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Cochran fought for his freedom and he has described the day he was freed as one of the “happiest days of my legal career.” He has since become a Senior Partner in the law firm Cochran, Cherry, Givens, and Smith. Cochran’s firm has offices in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

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