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Perfect Pitch: The Art of Selling Ideas and Winning New Business by Jon Steel

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CHAPTER TWO

• Imperfect Pitch

– The People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson

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The Case for the Prosecution

More than ten years have passed since I, like millions of others in the United States, watched the bizarre CNN coverage of O.J. Simpson driving slowly down a Southern California freeway in a white Ford Bronco, accompanied by a phalanx of law enforcement and television vehicles, being cheered by members of the general public from every shoulder, exit ramp, and overpass. This was just the beginning. In the months that followed, the nation was gripped by the trial; it became perhaps the most public, the most talked-about, in legal history. The principal characters became household names—not just the accused, whose legendary status was already assured thanks to his strength and speed when carrying a football, but the judge, the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the victims, and key witnesses. Overseas, people who knew O.J. Simpson only as an actor in the Naked Gun movies became caught up in the excitement. It was rare for me to talk to a friend in Europe without being asked, “What's going on in the trial?”

While others were interested because they thought Kato Kaelin was cute, or because they liked to gossip about Marcia Clark's dress sense, I was drawn for another reason. To me it was a new business pitch in all but name. The prosecution and defense were ...

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