“To Evict Or Not to Evict” & the OJ Simpson Trial

“If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” (Johnnie Cochran- OJ’s lawyer)

“If the tenant doesn’t submit (payment), you must evict?” (Anxious Landlords)

From a drama perspective, OJ Simpson’s (first) trial was great theater. It had a thrilling beginning (who could forget the white Bronco chase on the interstate?) and it immediately captured the nation’s attention. The story was televised 24-hours a day and reporters energetically followed every lead and generated hundreds of side stories (the “Dancing Ito’s” anyone?). The public was excited, and then the trial got past its first week (which turned out to be the first of around 60 weeks). Whew!

The hundreds of days of the actual trial were equally tedious. The evidence was presented at length and the jurors were tired. The lawyers knew whoever could boil down the countless hours of testimony into something mentally palpable to the jury would win. Marcia Clark, the DA, tried to take the large preponderance of evidence against OJ and appeal to each juror’s common sense; unfortunately, this was a lot for the jury to process as OJ’s lawyers poked holes into the validity of some of the evidence, creating even more confusion. On the other hand, Johnnie Cochran (with a grand visual presentation), boiled the decision of OJ’s guilt or innocence down to one statement: “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Above the din, Jaylewis the jurors finally had something simple that they could cling to; this easy statement helped them cut through the cacophony of the trial and make the final decision of “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. And on 10/3/95, the Juice was loose.

When tenants don’t pay, there is usually a lot of drama. “I’ll have a payment coming to you next week now”, “I have a lot of family issues”, and “I thought you said you needed it next Tuesday.” Countless calls and e-mails are meant to appeal to you socially, emotionally, and mentally; it is tough not to sympathize (or empathize)! This type of interaction (some call it “gaming”) has one purpose- to convince you not to evict. Much like the OJ trial with all of the drama and grandstanding, you sometimes need a simple statement to help guide your decision. Fortunately, there is one.

This statement, with style points coming courtesy of the late Johnnie Cochran: “If they do not submit (FULL payment), you must evict”. Very simple!

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