For His Defense, Simpson Assembles Legal `Dream Team' Series: O.J. Simpson Confers with His Attorney, Robert Shapiro, at a Preliminary Hearing in Los Angeles July 5., REUTERS

Article excerpt

WHEN O.J. Simpson appears in Los Angeles Superior Court today to be formally charged with two counts of murder, he will be accompanied by Robert Shapiro, the L.A. lawyer in charge of Mr. Simpson's defense. Mr. Shapiro, in turn, will have behind him - though most of them won't be present in the courtroom - a small army of lawyers, forensic scientists, expert witnesses, investigators, and other support workers mobilized on behalf of the accused celebrity.

Some of the lawyers on what has been dubbed this defense dream team are celebrities in their own rights. Other members, while they are not public figures, are recognized as stars within the criminal-law community.

"Simpson's defense team has what can only be called enormous legal firepower," says John Henry Hingson III, a defense lawyer in Oregon City, Ore., and president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

These legal Patriot missiles don't come cheap, of course. The cost of Simpson's defense may reach $2 million, and it could be substantially more depending on the length of the expected trial and whether there are appeals.

On Wednesday, the attorneys offered a $500,000 reward for information leading to the "real killer or killers."

Simpson, the former football star turned actor and sports broadcaster, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman on June 12. Simpson has denied the charges and is expected to plead not guilty at today's arraignment.

Here is a scorecard of the major players on Simpson's team.

* Shapiro. He has defended other entertainment notables, including Marlon Brando's son, Christian, in a homicide case.

* Gerald Uelmen, a former federal prosecutor and former dean at Santa Clara (Calif.) Law School who worked with Shapiro on the Christian Brando case. An authority on search-and-seizure, Mr. Uelmen undoubtedly has focused on the propriety of police conduct in obtaining some evidence at Simpson's home.

* F. Lee Bailey. The renowned Boston defense lawyer and author brings vast experience to the team, but he is not expected to have courtroom duties. …


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