Home News Famed trial lawyer F. Lee Bailey, whose clients included O.J. Simpson, dies...

Famed trial lawyer F. Lee Bailey, whose clients included O.J. Simpson, dies at 87


Bailey was part of the so-called “dream team” of famous local and national lawyers, including civil rights attorney Johnnie Cochran, defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, and DNA expert Barry Scheck, defending Simpson at his 1995 murder trial. Simpson was acquitted of killing Nicole Brown Simpson, his former wife, and waiter Ronald Goldman in 1994.

“I lost a great one. F Lee Bailey you will be missed,” Simpson tweeted Thursday, along with a video of himself talking about the lawyer, who he described of “one of the great lawyers of our time.”

Bailey also successfully defended Army Capt. Ernest Medina against court martial charges related to the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War.

Among Bailey’s other prominent clients were Samuel Sheppard, a doctor who was accused of murdering his wife, and who became the inspiration for the television series and movie “The Fugitive.”

F. Lee Bailey (C),  pictured here surrounded by newspeople and their equipment on his arrival for morning session of the trial for Patricia Hearst.
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In 2001, Bailey was disbarred by the state of Florida after The Florida Bar filed a complaint alleging that the mishandled some $6 million in stock owned by a former client, convicted drug dealer Claude Duboc.

The court in its ruling concluded that “Bailey is guilty of the most serious and basic trust account violations,” the court said. Bailey also spent 6 months in federal prison for contempt of court over his handling of Duboc’s stock.

In 2000, he told Greta Van Susteren, then a CNN Legal Analyst, that he initially was going to pursue a career as a writer.

“I was going to Harvard, majoring in English,” he said. “I went to flight school, became a marine. They ran out of lawyers. My name begins with B, then A, and I got volunteered a lot. When the legal officer resigned, they called me in and said you’re now the legal officer, here’s a book, go read it. And I found that I enjoyed it.”

When asked about the “low point” of his career, Bailey told Van Susteren it was when his wife died.

“It was a difficult thing to watch over a 13-month period,” he said. “I literally shut my practice down, rejected almost all new cases in order to chase around the world trying to find a solution to a disease that has no solution. But those things happen. And then, of course, my mother passed right after that. It was kind of a double hit. And the federal courts and the bar have tried to sweeten the pot, and I just have to keep thinking of Winston Churchill, who said, ‘never give in.'”

CNN’s Saba Hamedy contributed to this report.