November 16, 1995
Web posted at: 1 a.m. EST
From Correspondent Anne McDermott
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- One might have thought that O.J. Simpson was there, but it was just the press and the attorneys involved in the wrongful death civil suits against him who gathered Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom.
The families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson are suing O.J. Simpson for financial damages over the murders of their loved ones on June 12, 1994.
Throughout the football hero's murder trial, Fred Goldman said that he wanted to hear from Simpson. He'll get that chance when Simpson give his deposition, a legal question-and-answer session that could last days.
Judge Alan Haber ordered Wednesday that the depositions not be sealed over the objections of Simpson's attorney, Robert Baker. The attorney argued that Simpson's testimony would further taint a jury pool already awash in the flood of coverage surrounding the murder case. "People in Rwanda know about this trial," Baker said.
Simpson's attorneys were also denied their request that the deposition not be videotaped. Haber said that he would allow the taping, but it would be immediately taken into court custody to prevent leaks to the press and public.
Baker said he doubted the tapes would remain sealed. "It will be on the evening news," he said.
The judge also consolidated the separate civil suits brought against Simpson by Goldman, his former wife Sharon Rufo, and the father of Nicole Brown Simpson.
Attorneys for the families were given two weeks to inspect property confiscated from Simpson after the murders. The judge did not say whether the property would be returned to the former football star afterward.
The confiscated items include the fake beard and mustache found in Simpson's Ford Bronco.
"Mr. Simpson needs a goatee and mustache tomorrow?" Goldman family attorney Edwin Medvene asked the judge,
"It's my client's property and he has a right to it," Baker argued.
Wednesday's hearing was attended by Ron Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, his sister Kim, and stepmother Patti.
The ever-vigilant Goldman family plans to be a constant presence in this case, just as they were in the double-murder trail which ended October 4 with Simpson's acquittal. "This lawsuit is the only opportunity left for our family to get justice," Fred Goldman said. (88K AIFF sound or 88K WAV sound)
The Brown family did not appear in court Wednesday. Their lawyers said that they were too busy raising their daughter's two young children by Simpson.
The Brown's attorney said his clients, like the Goldmans, have no intention of settling the case. (103K AIFF sound or 103K WAV sound)
The matter is expected to go to trial April 2.
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