One item I forgot to ask — will Johnnie Cochran decide to argue the case himself? He was represented in the California Court of Appeal by two lawyers from Nemecek & Cole, a fairly small L.A. firm; and he’s not primarily an appellate lawyer or a First Amendment lawyer, though he did argue and mostly win the Parks v. LaFrance Records appeal last year. If all he wanted to do was maximize his chances of winning, he’d probably get a top Supreme Court litigator to argue the case for him. (Such litigators cost a lot of money, but Cochran’s own time is worth a lot of money, and it takes a lot of time to prepare for an oral argument.)
Still, can Cochran pass up what might be his one chance to argue before the Supreme Court, especially when there’s really not that much at stake for him if he loses? I don’t know much about the man, but many is the lawyer who’d jump on that opportunity. Hey, if nonpracticing lawyer Michael Newdow and nonlitigator-CPA-Certified Financial Planner Silvia Ibanez can do it, why not Johnnie Cochran?
The one downside is that it would attract still more attention to the case, which after all is about a client’s allegations of Cochran’s malfeasance. But the allegations have been explicitly found false, and sound not very plausible (they’re mutterings about a conspiracy, by the sort of person who follows his sentences with multiple exclamation points). “Johnnie Cochran argues before the U.S. Supreme Court” is the sort of story Cochran might like. Hey, “Eugene Volokh argues before the U.S. Supreme Court” is the sort of story Volokh might like (not that it’s ever likely to happen), so why shouldn’t Cochran?