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Lawyers go to court, but Simpson does not

Simpson January 17, 1997
Web posted at: 9:30 p.m. EST

SANTA MONICA, California (CNN) -- O.J. Simpson was not in court Friday, but his lawyers were, and so were the lawyers of the people suing him.

They arrived together, looking unusually amicable as they entered the courthouse, but that didn't last long.

Once inside, they argued and argued over how the judge will instruct the jurors next week before they begin their deliberations in the wrongful death suit brought by the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of the murders in a criminal trial in August, 1995.

They were arguments only an attorney could love, many of them niggling and picayune over such things as whether the judge should use the word "the" or "a" in an instruction.


Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki did make one important ruling, however. He will allow the defense to argue that evidence may have been contaminated, and that it can also argue what it has long maintained, that police planted evidence to frame Simpson.

Simpson's lawyers had earlier asked the judge to declare a mistrial, but the judge has not announced a ruling on that issue. It was not clear what ground they were basing their motion on, but it is not considered a serious possibility by courtroom observers.

The judge did make another decision Friday, and that was to deny a news organization's request to allow television cameras in the courtroom.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Tuesday.


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