Only one month before their bitter custody dispute with O.J. Simpson goes to trial, Nicole Brown Simpson's parents have had to fire their attorneys because they can't afford the legal fees.

This means that, for the moment, Louis and Juditha Brown are representing themselves as they fight to be legal guardians of the Simpson children, Sydney, 10, and Justin, 8. The ex-football player and sometime actor was acquitted one year ago yesterday in the June 1994 murders of his estranged wife and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

Los Angeles attorney and family friend Gloria Allred held a press conference Friday, appealing to the public to help pay the Brown's legal expenses. Separate legal funds already exist to help Nicole Brown Simpson's estate and the Goldmans pay for the wrongful death lawsuit against O.J.

"Nicole cries out from the grave to protect her children," Allred said. "For all who care about justice, stability and security for these children and for them to be able to enjoy and benefit from the continued love, care and protection that their grandparents, the Browns, have provided and will provide to them in the future, I ask your help at this turning point in these children's lives."

Standing outside the Santa Monica courthouse, the site of the current O.J. Simpson civil trial, she presented a $1,000 check as the first official donation. Allred said checks should be sent to the Browns, designated for guardianship costs.

Prominent custody attorneys Eleanor Stegmeier and Saul Gelbert were removed from the case Thursday after ringing up a $100,000 bill for a pretrial hearing that resolved nothing, according to today's Orange County Register.

The pretrial hearing was only supposed to last one day. But it dragged on for nine days and cost taxpayers more than $81,000 in court fees, the Register reported.

With jury selection beginning in Santa Monica, the hearing was halted. The Browns retain custody of the children until the November 12 trial.

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