SHAPIRO, ROBERT (1942– ), U.S. lawyer. Shapiro, who was born in Plainfield, n.j., received his undergraduate education at the University of California at Los Angeles and his law degree from Loyola of Los Angeles. He was admitted to the bar in 1969 and served as a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles from 1969 to 1972. For the next 15 years he was a solo practitioner. Beginning in 1995 he was a partner in Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, a firm with 120 lawyers and a major litigation practice, as well as corporate, transactions and real-estate practice. Throughout the course of his career, Shapiro defended a number of well-known clients. But none of them, who included the pornographic movie star Linda Lovelace, the television personality Johnny Carson, and the son of the actor Marlon Brando, achieved the notoriety of the case involving O.J. Simpson, who stood trial in 1994 for the murder of his wife and her friend. Shapiro, by then a well-known criminal defense attorney, replaced Simpson's original lawyer on the case, but he was forced to play a secondary role behind others on the defense "dream team" group of lawyers, headed by F. Lee Bailey and Johnnie Cochran. Shapiro bristled at his co-counselors and, when Cochran took over, he often criticized them. Simpson was cleared of the murders in a startling verdict. After the trial, Shapiro told reporters that he viewed with disgust some of the tactics employed by the defense team. "Not only did we play the race card," he said on national television, referring to the defendant, who was black, "we dealt it from the bottom of the deck." He was the author of The Search for Justice, A Defense Attorney's Brief on the O.J. Simpson Case (1996).
[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]