Jeremy Irons met the real Claus von Bülow three years after the release of the film. Irons commented "he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know." Irons recalled that von Bulow asked him if he was aware that the real Alan M. Dershowitz was (at the time) representing Leona Helmsley and Mike Tyson. Irons replied that he was aware of that, to which von Bulow quipped: "I don't suppose you've been asked to play either of them, have you?"
The two brothers that Alan Dershowitz is trying to save from death row are in fact based on the 1980 case of the Tison brothers in Arizona. The brothers assisted their father in escaping from prison, shortly after which he murdered four people. The two brothers were charged with murder but Dershowitz got this commuted to life in prison. The brothers were white but are black in the film.