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A Lawyer's Life

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0756779115
ISBN-10: 0756779111
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Johnnie Cochran had been famed as a folksy oratory in Los Angeles courtrooms since the 1960s, but the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial catapulted him to international fame--a status he gladly acknowledges in this bare-knuckles memoir of his years in court.

Cochran doesn't spend much time revisiting the Simpson case (except to proclaim O.J. innocent). Cochran devotes most of his account to less-celebrated cases that address repeated themes--police negligence and outright perjury; the difficulties minorities face in securing impartial justice; the inherent unfairness of racial profiling. Cochran describes his methods, and explains the reason for his rhyming summations ("If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit"): "Juries enjoyed them, understood them, and, more importantly, remembered them."

Readers may not be won over by Cochran, but his book will be widely enjoyed and remembered. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

As Cochran freely concedes, his representation of O.J. Simpson transformed him from a lawyer into a celebrity. In this memoir of his professional life, he tries to put that case in perspective. Although a fierce critic of the racism he sees in the legal system and among the L.A. police, Cochran says the common perception that he is anti-law enforcement is wrong; he began his career as a prosecutor, but he is on a mission to eradicate racism wherever he finds it. Long before the Simpson case, he made a name for himself (and a small fortune) by successfully bringing police brutality cases on behalf of African-Americans like Barbara Deadwyler, whose husband was shot dead for no apparent reason while rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital. Cochran lost that early case and many others because, in his view, white juries refused to believe that police officers would lie under oath. Unfortunately, this memoir reads as though it was dictated to co-author Fisher (My Best Friends, with George Burns): it drifts from one legal war story to the next, often repeats details and occasionally leaves thoughts dangling. And that's a shame, because Cochran's experience gives him the authority to utter some uncomfortable truths, among them that justice is often reserved for the wealthy. Worse yet, he says, racism permeates the entire system, from the cop on the beat to the judge on the bench. Cochran musters case after case in support of these conclusions. This revelatory, often dismaying account provides a cogent explanation of why many African-Americans have such a jaded view of our legal system. (Oct.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (April 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756779111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756779115
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,965,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read Johnnie Cochran's first book JOURNEY TO JUSTICE so I wondered what new material could be presented in his latest book. I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, there's some material regarding the O.J. case which I skimmed over because I felt it was covered thoroughly in the first book. In LAWYER's LIFE Cochran talks about the cases he has been involved with since the OJ case (P.Diddy, Abner Louima, Patrick Dorismond, Reparations for slave descendents). He talks about his son's work as a highway patrolman which often surprises those who assume he is against all cops -- when he's really against "bad" cops. He gives insightful opinions on the law and explains why he's made it his lifelong passion. The influence of his family and of his religion is obvious (he was expected to excel in life; his father was the valedictorian of his high school class). Also obvious is the amount of time he puts in working as a lawyer -- around the clock oftentimes, balancing many cases at once daily. And he gives insight into the cases that have most affected him (no not O.J.)-- rather the Leonard Deadwyler and Geronimo Pratt case, to which he devoted 27 years of attention. His musings on the differences between the cultures of NY and LA, on having had his own show where he had to ask questions as opposed to answering them, and even his take on Clarence Thomas and why he's not good for the Supreme Court are enlightening. I had not been aware of the Disney case which I found riveting. This is a book for those who have interest in the inner workings of the law and in the behind-the-scenes life of a leading practitioner of the craft. Many readers will be moved and inspired by this lawyer's life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm so glad that I read this book. It gives a wonderful, rounded view of what Johnnie Cochran was really like. And how much he has done for people. He is someone who has given so much of his life to make this a better world to live in.
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Format: Paperback
This is by far one of the greatest books even written by a true legal legend. This book reads like he speaks; Smooth, precise, and intentional. Leaving you something to think about as well as a clear understanding.
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By A Customer on March 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
...And I know you well, because I am a Black Republican - far to the Right - libertarian even. This book is not the typical liberal drivel from a neck bone-eatin' preacher. This is a good treatise on recent Black history, and an expose' on the justice system - in my view, the last vestige of true racism.
While I had to hold my nose in reading the very last chapter of the book (where he goes liberal), I could not refute the notion that that I was reading the words of a "wise old man." Such an opportunity should not be ignored, regardless of your race or political persuasion. If you can read this extremely pleasurable book, and still not at least understand the pov of the other side, then you truly don't have a heart.
It is enjoyable reading, unoffensive to all, and a good lesson on life in America from one of its premier insiders. Further, it advances the cause of racial harmony.
BUY THIS BOOK. You won't regret it.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for African American lawyers or if you are considering a degree in either law enforcement or any other legal profession. Cochran is candid and tells the facts. It is a real eye opener about the US legal system.
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Format: Paperback
one of the Greatest Lawyers ever who brought things all together. so much to learn and how it all comes together
and so many incredible lessons. i ain't asscociated with no Politics, however I truly applaud a Soul Brother who
took it directly and didn't back down. he is missed and he breaks down the Racism and other legalitys that were done back in the day
and still now. He is Gone but never forgotten.
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Format: Hardcover
Great reading; in depth information from a perspective other than the media of true life events as told by an intelligent, compassionate individual that was truly interested in the well-being of all mankind.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Awesome book. He really delves into the U.S. justice system and how it works, as well as the long standing issue of police brutality, and the misuse of policing powers. It's a very entertaining read.
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