An African-American attorney is suing the Los Angeles law firm founded by the late Johnnie Cochran over alleged racial discrimination.
The Los Angeles Times said Saturday that Shawn Chapman Holley has said that after Cochran's death in 2005, the firm's leadership was turned over to "white men who began to discriminate against black lawyers and black clients."
Prior to Cochran's death, the law firm gained notoriety for the acquittal of 1994 double murder charges against O.J. Simpson. The lawsuit has stunned members of the city's black establishment, the Times said.
Public affairs consultant Kerman Maddox, told the Times, "I'm shocked; if true, that would be a devastating blow to the legacy of Johnnie Cochran."
Randy McMurray, a black partner in the firm, denied Holley's charges. "We probably have the most diverse law firm in California; I don't know what race we would be discriminating against," he said.
Holley worked for the firm for some 17 years before she says she was demoted by Caucasian males and then fired in January of 2006, an allegation the firm has denied.