O.J. Simpson May Get New Trial for Robbery-Kidnapping

Filed under: Criminal Law, News by Contributor @ October 31, 2012

O.J. Simpson may be getting another trial for his role in a 2007 robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas. In September of 2007, Simpson led five other men to a Las Vegas hotel room to retrieve memorabilia that Simpson says was stolen from him. In 2008, he was found guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping, among other charges, and was sentenced to 9 to 33 years in state prison. Last May, Simpson and his current lawyer, Patricia Palm, raised 22 questions to Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell, who agreed to hear evidence relating to 18 of the questions.

The crux of Simpson’s arguments is that the head lawyer on his legal team, Yale Galanter, had a conflict of interest that should have precluded him from representing Simpson. Simpson alleges that he asked Galanter for his advice relating to getting his stolen memorabilia back. Galanter allegedly advised him that the confrontation would be legal as long as there was no trespassing and no use of force. During the trial in 2008, Galanter said, “Judge, I tell you…I wasn’t there…I had nothing to do with it.”

Yale Galanter was not the only attorney to represent Simpson for the robbery-kidnapping. Galanter is a Florida-based attorney who is not licensed to practice in Nevada, so he was not able to actually defend Simpson at trial. Nevada-based attorney Gabriel Grasso was supposed to be paid a large sum of money for representing O.J. Simpson during the trial, but was only paid $5,000 … a fraction of what he was promised. Galanter, on the other hand, was paid $400,000 during the trial phase and $125,000 during the appeals phase. Simpson maintains that Galanter purposely gave bad advice so he would lose the trial and receive even more money for his representation during the appeal. The ineffective advice that Simpson is alleging is that when he wanted to testify as a witness during trial, Galanter advised him not to and would not allow Grasso to advise to the contrary. Also, the Clark County district attorney offered Simpson a plea bargain that would put him in prison for two to five years, but Galanter allegedly never informed him of this opportunity that he now asserts he would have taken.

In addition to the possibility of a new trial for Simpson, his lawyers are also suing each other. Galanter is suing Grasso in Miami for defamation, and Grasso is suing Galanter in a federal court in Nevada for breach of contract.

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