UCLA law professor Peter Arenella and Loyola University law professor Laurie Levenson offer their take on the Simpson trial. Joining them is Santa Monica defense lawyer Gigi Gordon. Today's topic: Rosa Lopez and defense discovery violations.
On the prosecution: "Marcia Clark snapped victory from the jaws of defeat by pointing out how severely the prosecution's case would have been disrupted had Rosa Lopez testified before the jury Monday. Having rescued the prosecution's case from interruption, Clark then successfully argued that the defense had engaged in a second egregious abuse of discovery obligations by failing to disclose Lopez' initial statement."
On the defense: "There are times when one wonders whether anyone is running 'The Dream Team.' It's hard to believe the defense's failure to disclose Lopez' initial statement was anything but deliberate. The significance of the misconduct was aggravated by Carl Douglas' insistence that the defense had finally complied, only to have it revealed later that there is a tape of that statement."
On the prosecution: "Asking for Lopez' testimony to be videotaped and not presented live before the jury was a smart move. If she had been taken out of order, the defense would have been able to disrupt the prosecution's case and again force the prosecutors to go on the defensive and rebut defense evidence. Because the videotape of Lopez' testimony will not be shown, if at all, for many weeks, the prosecution has time to develop more rebuttal evidence."
On the defense: "I think the defense is losing credibility by the minute with Judge Ito. Not only were they caught in another discovery violation, but even after they said they had turned over all the statements regarding Lopez, their own investigator was forced to admit under oath they had even more notes and a tape recording they had not yet produced."
On the prosecution: "They used the weekend well and they had a good day. They thought it through, and they got the judge to refocus on what got us to this point in the first place. Clark made some very good points that were not discussed on Friday about what would happen to the orderly process of the case if Lopez' testimony was taken out of order."
On the defense: "One of the most difficult areas for the defense is that she admitted she was not wearing a watch, which is very important because she claims she saw the Bronco in front of O.J.'s house at about the time the prosecution says the murders were committed. But Cochran had her say she was in and out of her bedroom many times that night and the reason is she had a clock on the night stand and she said she looked at it often."
Compiled by HENRY WEINSTEIN / Los Angeles Times