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Cochran's Cases

July 23, 1994|NONA YATES

Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., who has joined O.J. Simpson's defense team, has been involved in several high-profile cases. Among them:

* Leonard Deadwyler: He was rushing his pregnant wife to the hospital when he was shot and killed by a Los Angeles police officer in a routine traffic stop in 1966. Cochran, representing the man's family, contended that the officer had grossly overreacted. Cochran's firm lost the case.

* Ron Settles: In 1981, the Cal State Long Beach football star was found hanged in his cell in the Signal Hill jail after being arrested on speeding charges. Signal Hill officials maintained that Settles hanged himself. A coroner's jury found that Settles' death had come "at the hands of another." His family was awarded $760,000 in a wrongful death suit settled in 1983.

* Todd Bridges: In 1990, Cochran successfully defended the actor, who was acquitted on charges of shooting a drug dealer eight times in a South-Central Los Angeles house used for cocaine sales.

* Michael Jackson: In 1993, Cochran joined the defense team representing the pop star, who was facing a civil lawsuit and criminal investigations stemming from allegations that he had sexually molested a boy. The lawsuit was settled in January, reportedly for $15 million to $24 million.

* Reginald O. Denny: The trucker's lawsuit alleges that the city violated the civil rights of Denny and two others by pulling police forces out of a neighborhood where rioting erupted April 29, 1992. The case is still pending.

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