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The First Trial – Where My Dogs at

“And where was your dog at this time?” The prosecutor asked the complaining witness, knowing that was my entire defense, “Tied up on the other side of the house.”

Then the prosecutor asked the next witness, “And was there a dog involved” “Oh yeah, Sally-girl was between them.”


“Sally-girl was jumping up with her front paws on her, like stomach I guess, and she bit [COMPLAINANT] on the arm.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, she was trying to help [COMPLAINANT] out. Lead her away from the fight. Y’know.” And then on his own, he volunteered the next part, “It was a light bite.”

Johnnie Cochran had this thing he did to Christopher Darden. He dared Darden to put the bloody gloves on OJ Simpson in front of the jury. Cochran knew this much: if he put the gloves on OJ, it would mean nothing when they didn’t fit. For it to work, Darden had to present that evidence. You still remember how that closing argument went.

“Play the 911 tape. I won’t object,” I told the prosecutor. If the prosecutor played the tape before the jury they’ll hear what I want them to. And he did. I forget the words on the tape, but no one was listening to the words, they were a another sound, louder than words:

“Arf Arf Arf ARF ARF

ARRRRRRRRR Ar-woop Arf arf”

Then the jury heard it was undisputed that all her injuries were to her stomach, arm/elbow area, and the tops of her feet. They heard nothing consistent with being repeatedly beaten around the head as they claimed. This was highlighted when a very good attorney gave me very good advice I often still follow: “Act it out!”

So yes, the first defense I ever ran in front of a jury was “The Dog did it.”

Good girl.