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The O.j. Simpson Murder Trial

Arenella, Levenson & Co.: The Legal Pad

July 15, 1995

UCLA Law School professor Peter Arenella and Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson, offer their take on the Simpson trial. Joining them is defense lawyer Gerald L. Chaleff, who will rotate with other experts as the case moves forward. Today's topic: The doctor makes a court call.

PETER ARENELLA

On the defense: Another mixed-bag witness. That O.J. had no bruises appears inconsistent with someone who two days earlier had overcome two young vigorous adults in a violent struggle. But Dr. Huizenga's conclusion that O.J. was physically capable of committing the murders made his medical condition appear to be another defense red herring.

On the prosecution: Like Barry Scheck's exam of Dennis Fung, Brian Kelberg's cross of Dr. Huizenga showed how a well-prepared attorney can dismantle an expert. Showing his own considerable medical knowledge, Kelberg used Huizenga's lab tests to demonstrate that O.J. showed no signs of any arthritic flare-up at the time of the murders.

LAURIE LEVENSON

On the defense: Who says doctors won't make house calls? They will if you are O.J. Huizinga saw O.J. twice to evaluate his mental and physical state. If you believe the doctor, O.J. may look like Tarzan but actually is a cripple. He said O.J. cut himself on glass, not a knife, but as a friend of Bob Shapiro and athletes, his findings are suspect.

On the prosecution: Kelberg loved showing that defense experts are no better at keeping records than the coroner. He got Huizinga to admit that O.J. was physically capable of committing the murders even if he was not at top form. As to whether they were knife or glass cuts, Kelberg's just getting started, and he's not known for rushing things.

GERALD L. CHALEFF

On the defense: Huizenga cleary demonstrated that O.J. was not bruised. This supports the defense argument that if he was the killer, he should have been injured. But the defense may have tried to do too much with his recitation of O.J.'s numerous ailments, especially when he is not a specialist and only saw O.J. twice at Shapiro's request.

On the prosecution: A brilliant and well-prepared cross-examination. Kelberg forced Huizenga to admit that O.J. was physically able to kill two people and even created the image of O.J. with Tarzan-like strength. The day ended with Kelberg beginning to demonstrate that numerous cuts on O.J.'s left hand could have been caused by a knife.

Compiled by HENRY WEINSTEIN / Los Angeles Times

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