Christopher Darden is a lawyer, author, actor, lecturer, and practicing attorney. He was a 15-year veteran of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, where he was assigned to the prosecution of O. J. Simpson, a role in which he gained a great deal of national attention.
Darden took and passed the California Bar Exam in the summer of 1980. He was subsequently unemployed for four months before taking a job with the National Labor Relations Board in Los Angeles. Dissatisfied with the work, he applied for and got a position with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, and was initially assigned to the Huntington Park office before moving on to Beverly Hills, and finally to the Criminal Courts Building (CCB) in downtown Los Angeles in late 1983.
During his tenure as a prosecutor at the CCB, Darden served in the central trials and hard-core gang units before transferring to the Special Investigation Division (SID), which investigates criminal activity by public and law enforcement officials, in February 1988. It was in this position that Darden first met Johnnie Cochran, who would represent the victims of alleged police violence.
Darden initially became involved in the O.J. Simpson murder case after being asked by Deputy District Attorneys Marcia Clark and William Hodgman to lead the prosecution of Al Cowlings, Simpson's friend and the driver of the white Ford Bronco during the infamous car chase. Although that particular case fell through due to lack of evidence to prove criminal intent, Clark requested Darden join the Simpson team as case manager since she and Hodgman were bogged down by various motions and filings from the defense. Darden was also tasked by Clark to prepare for testimony, among others, Detective Mark Fuhrman. After Hodgman's medical incapacitation shortly before opening statements, Darden was named co-prosecutor.
Darden resigned after the O.J. Simpson case and joined the faculty at California State University, Los Angeles, where he taught undergraduate criminal law. That same year, he was appointed Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern University School of Law. Darden taught and specialized in criminal procedure and trial advocacy.
Darden is a former legal commentator for CNBC, CNN,Court TV, and NBC and a frequent guest and commentator on CNN, Court TV and Fox News Network. He has made guest appearances on Touched by an Angel, Girlfriends, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Howard Stern Show, Muppets Tonight, Roseanne, the movie Liar Liar, and the TV movie One Hot Summer Night (in which he plays a disgruntled policeman). He is the former principal attorney in the syndicated legal show Power of Attorney.
Darden is also a writer. In addition to In Contempt, which chronicles his experiences with the O.J. Simpson trial, he co-authored (with Dick Lochte) a number of crime novels, including The Trials of Nikki Hill , LA Justice , and The Last Defense.
He appeared on the cover of Newsweek in 1996 with an article "My Case Against O.J." which addressed his involvement and prosecution of OJ Simpson.
Darden left the law school in 1999 and started his own firm, Darden & Associates, Inc., specializing in criminal defense and civil litigation. In 2007, he was considered for elevation to a judgeship by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In an interview by Oprah Winfrey that aired February 9, 2006, Darden stated that he still believes Simpson is guilty. He added that he was nearly as disgusted with the perjury of Mark Fuhrman as by the murders of Goldman and Simpson.
Darden also accused deceased Simpson defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran of "'manipulating' one of the infamous gloves."