It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
MIAMI (AP) - A federal judge has ordered former football star O.J. Simpson to pay $25,000 in damages for pirating satellite television signals from DirecTV.Let me get this straight:
U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard awarded the damages, plus attorneys' fees and other costs, after granting a motion for summary judgment in a civil suit filed against Simpson.
In a raid on Simpson's Miami home in 2001, federal agents seized illegal devices known as "bootloaders" that authorities said were used to steal television programming.
The judge "basically denied us our right to a jury trial," said Simpson's attorney, Yale Galanter, reached late Tuesday while driving home in pelting rain. (Hey Jimmy Olsen! Nobody cares what the weather was like. -Ed.)
"This was a decision made by a judge in chambers," he said. "They say he did it; we say he didn't. A jury should be able to make that decision."
But DirecTV executives were pleased with the long-awaited ruling.
"The evidence was overwhelming, since the devices seized in Simpson's home were connected to his TV and in operation and receiving unauthorized signals at the time of the raid," said Dan Fawcett, executive vice president, legal and business affairs, of the El Segundo, Calif.-based DirecTV, Inc.
"The judge has made the proper ruling based on the evidence and the fact that Simpson did not dispute the evidence," he said.
Civil trial? Check.
No material facts in dispute? Check.
Motion for Summary Judgment? Check.
What makes O.J. think he's entitled to waste the time of six law abiding citizens to sit in a jury box just to come to the same conclusion as the judge? In fact, if a jury came to any other conclusion the judge would enter a judgement notwithstanding the verdict. That is because a reasonable person could not have possibly come to such a conclusion based upon the unrefutted evidence.
Go ahead and file your papers, attorney Galanter. Run those hours up.
But don't hold your breath. Your client is toast.