Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Ex-O.J. Simpson Prosecutor Christopher Darden Seeking Judgeship
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Christopher Darden, a member of the team of prosecutors that tried, but failed, to convict O.J. Simpson of murdering his ex-wife and a friend, is under consideration for appointment as a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, the MetNews has learned.
Darden, who is now in private practice, did not return calls for comment, but several lawyers, including members of the Simpson defense team, reported receiving questionnaires from the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. By statute, the governor must send the name of a prospective appointee to the commission before that person can be appointed.
Simpson defense lawyer Carl Douglas said he was surprised to have received a JNE questionnaire yesterday morning, because he didn’t know that Darden, whom he has known for over 20 years, had aspirations to sit on the bench.
Darden, he commented, would be a “fine selection for the governor.”
Douglas said that Darden may have been “a little off balance” after Simpson was acquitted. Darden left the District Attorney’s office soon after that and taught at Southwestern Law School for a time before going into private practice.
In the 12 years since the trial, however, Douglas said, Darden “has grown as a person and a lawyer, and has served many years as a criminal and civil defense attorney” whose “broad experience” would make him a good judge.
Another Simpson defense attorney, Robert Shapiro, said he had rated Darden “extremely well-qualified” on the questionnaire he returned to the JNE commission.
He noted Darden’s “balanced” experience as both a prosecutor and a defense lawyer, and pointed to Darden’s experience as a law professor, saying that Darden has the requisite knowledge for the position. He also said that Darden has an “excellent demeanor,” and that his temperament was “well-suited” for a position on the bench.
“I would be happy to appear in front of him,” Shapiro said.
If appointed, Darden would be the third Simpson prosecutor to become a judge, following in the footsteps of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hank Goldberg and San Diego Superior Court Judge George “Woody” Clarke, neither of whom could be reached for comment yesterday.
Marcia Clark, who headed the prosecution team, said through a spokesperson that she was “delighted for Chris” and thought he would “be a gift to the bench.”
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company