The Bard of Brentwood | Year In Review | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Year In Review

The Bard of Brentwood


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." With that historic rhyme, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran instantly replaced the Reverend Jesse Jackson as the country's most quoted poet. Since then, more Cochran compositions have come to light. . .

"If the pants had a crease, you must release."

--Tog Cleaners v. Los Angeles County, 1979

"If Cowlings was in the car, they weren't going far."

--To reporters before the Simpson trial

"Cut the crap, you were takin' a nap!"

--To Simpson before start of trial

"If they ask about the flight, say you're tired, all right?"

--To defense witness Rosa Lopez before her testimony

"He was shaggin' balls, so no thumps on the walls."

--Discussion with Kato Kaelin

"That sure was a smear, you should buy him a beer."

--To Barry Scheck after eight days of grilling crime-scene investigator Dennis Fung

"If the money's right, I'll fly there tonight."

--To unnamed man asking Cochran to represent families of the Oklahoma City bombing victims

"I've cleared up that fog, on to Snoop Doggy Dogg."

--To a friend following the acquittal of O.J. Simpson

"I saw the spark 'tween Darden and Clark!"

--Referring to alleged affair between the two prosecutors

"This is my life! You can't prove I beat my wife!"

--On allegations that he abused his ex-wife

"The point is moot, I got the loot."

--On the phone with Christopher Darden, posttrial

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Jeff Heller.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →