Though 'Dream Team' has become synonymous with US olympic basketball teams, not too long after the time in which that use originated, it was similarly applied to the collection of superstar attorneys
assembled in the legal defense of O.J. Simpson
, charged with the murder
of his wife and waiter Ron Goldman.
All-star advocates who made the grade included:
* F. Lee Bailey
, known for his snub-nosed blistering cross-examinations
* Johnnie Cochran
, with a reputation as a smooth and convincing talker
* Alan Dershowitz
, a Harvard
professor and appellate expert
* Robert Kardashian
, who had been friends with Simpson for over a decade before the murders; Kardashian has since sadly died, and even more sadly has been eclipsed by the media antics of his daughters Kourtney, Khloe, and Kim
* Barry Scheck
, a specialist in DNA cases who later founded the Innocence Project, to use new DNA technology to free the wrongfully convicted
* Robert Shapiro
, known for representing movie stars and athletes
The general consensus is that these lawyers ran rings around the prosecution. At the end of the day, O.J. was acquitted of the murders, and the only person convicted of a crime in relation to the case was LAPD officer Mark Fuhrman
, convicted of perjury
for lying on the stand about his use of racial slurs.
Notably, when O.J. was tried for armed robbery
a decade and a half later (when he tried to forcibly retrieve memorabilia from some dealers in a hotel room), none of his Dream Team lawyers participated in his defense. O.J. was convicted of this crime, and now sits in jail at least until 2017.
Incidentally, before the term was used for either lawyers or basketballers, a 1989 movie titled "The Dream Team" starred a just-pre-Batman Michael Keaton
, along with Christopher Lloyd
, Peter Boyle
, and Stephen Furst
(almost unrecognizable from his most famous role, that of Flounder in Animal House
), with the four playing psychiatric patients with various delusions stranded in New York
after witnessing a crime while on a field trip to see a baseball game. The film was critized as being underwhelming, and performed accordingly.