Game is almost over, but O.J. keeps running
The game is about over for O.J. Simpson. Despite his claims to have no money, Simpson is still able to hire top-notch attorneys, so don’t count him out, but there is little running room for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
As the creditors search for assets, O.J. remarkably has misplaced his Heisman Trophy. I guess when you win a lot of trophies, it is easy to lose one – not a problem I have.
Even as his Brentwood house is being foreclosed upon, Simpson is pursuing the purchase of an estate in Florida, where bankruptcy laws favor debtors. How bankruptcy laws in Florida could favor debtors more than in California, I can’t imagine, but that’s the word.
What is intriguing about the potential of filing a bankruptcy is that Simpson’s principal debt, the $8.5 million wrongful death judgment, is not dischargeable. Intentional-act debts are not extinguished in a bankruptcy.
The mere filing of a bankruptcy stops creditors from pursuing claims against O.J., but in this case the Browns and Goldmans will only be delayed from attaching assets.
Simpson can transfer his assets offshore, but that is complicated and expensive, and it’s not like no one is watching. Justice is catching up with O.J. Simpson.
Simpson has filed an appeal of the plaintiffs’ huge award, but in order to stop the Browns and Simpsons from seizing assets pending the appeal, he must post an appeal bond equal to 150 percent of the judgment, which would be $12.75 million. If he had that kind of money, he’d pay off the judgment.
There is no shortage of onlookers trying to cash in on the Simpson debacle. The latest is a Dr. Seuss “The Cat in the Hat” parody entitled “The Cat NOT in the Hat! A Parody By Dr. Juice.” The clever parody uses the Dr. Seuss rhyming and repetitive language. Unfortunately for the would-be authors, Dr. Seuss Enterprises succeeded in stopping distribution on a narrow legal ground: while a parody uses the copyrighted work (“The Cat in the Hat”) as a target and is protected under the law, satire uses the copyrighted work as a vehicle to poke fun at another target, and is not protected under the law.
I received a copy of the Dr. Juice piece from the Internet, but not knowing its source and whether consent for republication was granted, I did not republish. As part of a news story, however, here is a portion of “The Cast NOT in the Hat,” which describes the hiring of Simpson’s lawyers:
“A plea went out to Rob Shapiro
Can you save the fallen hero?
And Marcia Clark, hooray, hooray
Was called in with a justice play.
Johnnie, won’t you join the crew?
The Dream Team needs a victory.”
Jim Porter is an attorney with Porter Simon, with offices in Truckee and Reno. He is also a mediator.
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