It took three members of O.J. Simpson's Dream Team to present the apology.

Carl Douglas offered the excuse. Lawyers failed to turn over information, he said, because they were confused, because of an office move, because of the breakneck speed of the trial. He called it "falling through the cracks."Gerald Uelmen submitted the plea for forgiveness. "We appear before the court as penitents," he said. "We screwed up."

Robert Shapiro shouldered the blame. "If there are sanctions to be imposed," he said, "those sanctions should not go towards Mr. Simpson because of his choice of lawyers, but should go to his lawyers who, in fact, are responsible."

Late Friday, Johnnie Cochran Jr. and Douglas each were fined $950 for withholding from prosecutors videotaped testimony of potential alibi witness Rosa Lopez. If they try to introduce that testimony later, Judge Lance Ito said he would tell jurors the lawyers broke the law and caused a delay in the trial.

In January, Cochran was reprimanded for hiding other witnesses. The judge told jurors to ignore what Cochran said about them in his opening statement and gave prosecutors a rare opportunity to postscript their opening statement.

The offenses raise an important question for the judge: If the lawyers make a mistake, should the client pay?

Prosecutors say yes. After all, it's the client who benefits from lawyer misconduct. Defense lawyers argue if defendants suffer because their lawyers goofed, innocent people will be convicted.

"The first time someone makes a mistake it's easy to give them the benefit of the doubt," said Loyola Law School professor Laurie Levenson. "But this is the second time."

"Give me a break," lawyer Harland Braun said. "You can't tell me there wasn't one lawyer who sat there while Carl Douglas told the judge there was no tape that didn't know there was a tape."

But even if lawyers intentionally hid the tape, it was they - not Simpson - who are responsible, Braun said.