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Producer Lawrence Schiller declares that Alan Dershowitz told an actor that during an early defense strategy meeting O.J. Simpson had expressed the view that Barry Scheck was “too New York” and “too Jewish” for a Los Angeles jury.’ Court documents in the O.J. Simpson-CBS contest suggest that, at the least, the network’s upcoming miniseries will benefit from all the real-life lawyers whispering in the ears of their TV counterparts. The series, which producer Lawrence Schiller is promoting as showing the inside machinations of the Simpson defense, is set to run during the big rating sweeps week in November. One person who clearly believes the advance billing is Simpson, who sued to stop the production or, failing that, to collect damages for violation of his attorney-client confidences. Schiller gave Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe a declaration that on Aug. 16, the day after Yaffe denied Simpson a temporary restraining order, Harvard quotemeister and Dream Team member Alan Dershowitz had a phone conversation with his portrayer, actor Richard Cox, producing some last-minute dialogue. Schiller declares Dershowitz told Cox that during an early defense strategy meeting “O.J. Simpson had expressed the view that Barry Scheck was ‘too New York’ and ‘too Jewish’ for a Los Angeles jury.” What turned out to be enormously valuable DNA testimony by Scheck was rescued, according to Cox’s scribbled notes attached to the declaration, only when Dershowitz told his colleagues, “If there’s a way out of this thing through the blood, he’ll [Scheck] find it in the voodoo dots.” Schiller’s declaration says other lawyers who are meeting with their doppelgangers “to discuss their portrayal” include Johnnie Cochran Jr., Shawn Chapman, Carl Douglas and Robert Shapiro. This is relevant legally, according to the attorney representing Schiller and CBS, because Scheck, Chapman, Douglas and five other Dream Team members gave Simpson declarations swearing they were snookered into revealing confidences. They say, and Schiller denies, that Schiller promised to let Simpson vet the final draft. So if they’re still cooperating with the miniseries, “there’s some powerful hypocrisy here,” says Gary Bostwick of the Los Angeles office of Davis Wright Tremaine. He’s defending Schiller and CBS on First Amendment grounds. But stop the cameras. Dershowitz’s latest declaration says Cox called him and tried to draw information out of him and that Dershowitz advised him to consult the public record and/or Dershowitz’s own book. While branding Schiller’s overall account “completely inaccurate,” Dershowitz is a law professor walking on eggshells regarding whether Simpson actually said Scheck’s Jewish New Yorkness wouldn’t play well. Dershowitz’s declaration states: “I told Mr. Cox that I did not believe there was any support in the public record for Mr. Simpson making such statements.” However, Dershowitz unequivocally denies ever saying “voodoo dots” because he considers that “a racist term.” Noticeably absent from the dueling decs is anything signed by Cochran or Shapiro. “We didn’t try to interview them because they had their own books,” says Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky, representing Simpson. “They tried to interview me, of course they did. And I said ‘no,’ ” says Shapiro. Attorney-client privilege concerns kept him from talking to Schiller, regardless of who promised what to whom, he adds. “I don’t breach confidentiality, conditionally or otherwise.” If Simpsoniana historians are counting on a trial to sort out the truth, they should know Bostwick made a motion last week to strike under the state’s anti-SLAPP law. Enacted in more than a dozen states, an anti-SLAPP law lets a defendant apply for early dismissal. The tactic shifts the burden to the plaintiff to show that a lawsuit isn’t a frivolous attempt to chill critics. The classic SLAPP — Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Policy — scenario has a wealthy developer suing a homeowner who voices environmental concerns, ostensibly for defamation or interference with economic advance but in reality to scare any critics into silence. The pool of potential players, like those to whom the RICO statute can be applied, just keeps getting broader. “We’re supposed to believe O.J. Simpson is chilling CBS’ speech?” Gross asks rhetorically. He adds that he’s confident the suit will survive and notes that during oral arguments Wednesday, the judge who is now presiding, Fumiko Wasserman, reminded Bostwick that Simpson has to show a prima facie case on only one cause of action to keep Schiller and CBS from qualifying for SLAPP protection. Wasserman continued the proceedings to Oct. 24. And, yes, Shapiro confirms having numerous social meetings with the actor playing him, Ron Silver. He says they don’t discuss the script, and the only accuracies he’s insisting on are “the size of my bald spot” and “any [prize]fight scenes.”

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