OJ Simpson Adviser Alan Dershowitz Is A Law Ace
So far, FX's American Crime Story has only shown part of O.J. Simpson's legal "Dream Team" of lawyers from his 1994 trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, of which he was found not guilty. But as seen in Episode 7, Simpson also had law scholar Alan Dershowitz on his side as an appellate adviser. So, where is Alan Dershowitz now? The law scholar is still speaking about and advising high profile cases and civil liberties, in addition to writing many books. The website Legal Crossing calls Dershowitz "the best known criminal lawyer in the world" and he has called himself "a lawyer of last resort," taking on the most challenging cases, according to the book Great American Lawyers.
After the Simpson trial, Dershowitz continued to take on difficult cases, teach at Harvard Law School until he retired in 2013, and provide political commentary on everything from the 2016 election to the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. In a recent episode of American Crime Story, Simpson's team suggested getting Dershowitz (played by Californication and Sex and The City vet Evan Handler) on the payroll so he wouldn't keep providing critical TV commentary on the case.
According to an interview with the NY Daily News, Dershowitz thinks American Crime Story — which is based on Jeffrey Toobin's 1996 book The Run of His Life — is inaccurate. "It's totally inaccurate and Jeffrey Toobin's book contains many inaccuracies that were fed to him by [Simpson attorney] Bob Shapiro," Dershowitz claimed. The Run of His Life is considered nonfiction and has been praised for its "comprehensive" approach. American Crime Story writer Scott Alexander spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the accuracy of the series in January:
I think we’re very proud to how close we stayed to the truth while creating drama out of recent history ... If we’re gonna get dinged, it’s because we have to consolidate things. It’s a dramatic retelling. We’ve consolidated time. We’ve consolidated characters. But in terms of the truth of what happened, I feel like we’ve been really honest.
Here's what else Dershowitz has been making headlines for lately.
Dershowitz has spoken a lot about GOP Presidential candidate Trump and his political views. In a December 2015 interview with Newsmax Now, Dershowitz said that Trump's proposal to ban Muslims was "probably not" legal. "There are many people who, in a bigoted way, generalize about Muslims and that's always wrong to generalize," he said in the above interview. "You cannot constitutionally — consistent with our system of tolerance that our government pronounces — make decisions of exclusion based on religion. You just can't do it."
The Death Of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Dershowitz has spoken to many media outlets about friend Scalia's recent death and whether President Barack Obama will get the chance to appoint Scalia's replacement. "Nino and I bonded over our mutual respect for his father [Brooklyn College professor Salvatore Scalia]," Dershowitz told Fox News Talk Radio. The younger Scalia and Dershowitz debated each other for years, including at Harvard Law while Dershowitz was teaching there, according to the above interview.
As for the appointment of a replacement in the Supreme Court, Dershowitz said Obama would be violating the constitution if the president left the open seat to be determined by his successor. "The president must fill a nomination in a reasonable period of time and the senate must consider that nomination," Dershowitz said in the above interview. "They can't just refuse to accept this responsibility."
Dershowitz's Own Controversy
Last year, Dershowitz encountered his own controversy. Virginia Roberts Giuffre accused Dershowitz's client Jeffrey Epstein of soliciting sex from her as a minor in 2006. In 2014, Giuffre accused Dershowitz of allegedly having sex with her while she was underaged in Epstein's plane, according to the New York Times. Dershowitz says this is an "outrageous lie." Epstein plead guilty to "procuring an underage girl for prostitution" in 2008 and served a year in prison, while Dershowitz denied the claims and last year, a federal judge removed allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct against Dershowitz from a lawsuit brought against Epstein by a woman who filed the suit anonymously, according to Newsmax.
This week, Dershowitz has decided to put some of his Judica collection up for auction in March, according to Jewish Business News. This collection includes 232 "rare and valuable objects" and the auction will take place at J. Greenstein & Co.’s Auction House in Cedarhurst, Long Island. Among the items is a Silver Torah Shield from Poland from the 1800s, which is estimated to be worth $12,000-$15,000, according to Jewish Business News. Sounds like he has quite the collection.
Triumph The Insult Comic Dog's Election 2016 Special
And now for something completely different. Dershowitz appeared on the cigar-loving puppet dog's Hulu show in a very random roundtable discussion that includes YouTube's Chocolate Rain singer and American Idol's Sanjaya. It's just as bizarre as it sounds, but it seems like Dershowitz was having a good time and was able to play along. But I have a feeling we won't see that side of him on American Crime Story.