Simpson lawyers ordered to turn over evidence Plaintiffs in civil case have long sought items

July 29, 1996|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Sounding increasingly exasperated, a judge has ordered O. J. Simpson's defense team to turn over potential evidence -- from diary entries to dark sweat suits to answering-machine messages -- that plaintiffs in the civil case have been requesting for weeks.

Superior Court Judge Jack Newman scolded a defense lawyer for complaining that it would take her team too long to sort through the fat stack of requests and dig up, for example, every pair of gloves that Simpson owned as of June 12, 1994, the date his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald L. Goldman were killed.

Newman noted that the victims' families may request information that could help them craft a case against Simpson.

"You'd serve your client much better by dealing realistically with [these requests] rather than in some fanciful way," Newman told Simpson lawyer Melissa Bluestein on Friday.

Bluestein protested that the plaintiffs' repeated demands for information are "part of their tactic of getting us to spend our time focusing on nonsense instead of getting ready for trial." Nonetheless, she promised to comply.

Simpson's lawyers, meanwhile, have filed court papers accusing the Los Angeles Police Department and the district attorney's office of withholding important information, including a computer disk containing more than 500 clues about the slayings and police reports detailing obscene, harassing phone calls Nicole Brown Simpson received in 1992.

Lead Simpson attorney Robert C. Baker has accused the LAPD of sharing information with the victims' relatives and then withholding the same documents from the defense as part of a "sweetheart deal" with the plaintiffs.

But Goldman family lawyer Daniel M. Petrocelli insisted that the defense has access to all the information he has received from law enforcement agencies.

Newman, who is assigned to handle pretrial issues, has scheduled a hearing on the LAPD's cooperation for later this week.

Pub Date: 7/29/96

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