Just like many other high profiled and televised trials, a book deal or movie will usually follow. We have seen it after the OJ Simpson trial and Ira Einhorn murder case. However, even though all three of these cases have totally different facts, theories and outcomes, one thought remains the same….Should one be able to profit off of a tragedy?
Ira Einhorn, a guru, and fugitive murderer of Holly Maddux, was rumored to have signed a book deal. Einhorn, after being released on bail and before his trial, managed to flee the country. He then married and lived in France for decades until he was finally convicted in absentia for the murder of Holly Maddux, his girlfriend, twenty years prior. After Holly’s family heard of the news that Einhorn was going to profit off of the death of their daughter, they contacted attorney James E. Beasley Sr., of the nationally known Beasley Law Firm, to help stop Einhorn from ever profiting from any movie or books deals about the high profile murder case. Jim Beasley was quoted as saying, “We hear rumors that people were looking to write a script, make a movie. It is a well-known case after all.”
The Maddux family was determined not to allow Einhorn to make money off of their loss. Beasley argued in court, “We seek to seize any earnings of Ira Einhorn or his wife. If he can spend it, we want it.” In his closing argument, Beasley told the jury that the punitive award against Einhorn “has got to be so substantial that it will be a shot heard around the world.”
After only about an hour of deliberations, the jury agreed with Beasley and awarded the Maddux family $752 million in punitive damages and $155 million in compensatory damages. It was the largest judgment ever against one person. The $907 million dollar verdict holds the record for the highest jury settlement ever in Philadelphia. Einhorn never made a penny off of his story. Read more about our Firm’s record breaking case against Einhorn.
Just like Ira Einhorn, OJ Simpson, after he was acquitted in the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, was also was planning on writing a book titled, If I Did It. Just like the Maddux family, the Goldman’s, who were the parents of Ron Goldman, did not want Simpson to profit off of his book sales. After OJ was acquitted in the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, he was later found liable in a civil trial and was ordered to pay $33.5 million in damages to both the Brown and Goldman families. Little, if any of that money, was collected. David Cook, the Goldman’s attorney, argued that any potential profits from Simpson’s book should go to the Goldman family. Once again, a jury agreed.
Unfortunately, many of the accused or acquitted can go on with life and attempt to profit off of their high profile cases. For the Maddux and Goldman families, they were not going to let that happen after the deaths of their loved ones. In one way or another justice had to be served.
So what will happen with Casey Anthony after her acquittal and sentencing is over? No one knows. Will she write a book? Will there be a movie made about her? Only time will tell.
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