LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge agreed Friday to reopen the armed robbery and kidnapping case against former football star O.J. Simpson to determine if the former football star was so badly represented by his lawyers that he should be freed from prison and get another trial.
Simpson wasn't in a Las Vegas courtroom while Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell agreed to hear evidence and consider 18 of 22 questions cited in a May appeal by Simpson appeals lawyer Patricia Palm.
The judge dismissed four other grounds on which the 65-year-old Simpson seeks release from state prison, where he is serving nine to 33 years.
The development could put Simpson on the witness stand for the first time. He stood trial in 2008 after authorities said he led five men, including two with guns, in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers and a middleman in a cramped room at a Las Vegas casino-hotel.
The judge also granted a waiver of attorney-client privilege on questions in dispute between Simpson and his trial lawyer, Yale Galanter.
A key question will be whether Galanter had personal financial and business interests that posed a conflict that should have precluded him from handling Simpson's case.
"Galanter was motivated by his own interests, which caused him to materially limit Simpson's legal representation," the appeal states. "Galanter remained on the case until rehearing was denied and denied Simpson the opportunity to raise this issue."
Galanter declined comment Friday.
Simpson trial prosecutor Chris Owens protested that Palm was rehashing issues long settled by Simpson's conviction, which was upheld by the Nevada Supreme Court.
"She's just second-guessing what they did," Owens said. "It's hindsight."
But Palm said Simpson wants a chance to show that Galanter was in Las Vegas and knew in advance about Simpson's plan to retrieve items from the memorabilia dealers that Simpson claimed were stolen from him after his 1995 acquittal in the Los Angeles slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Galanter, a Miami lawyer who represented Simpson in other cases before the arrest in Las Vegas, denied during trial that he had anything to do with the ill-fated Las Vegas caper.
"Judge, I tell you … I wasn't there," Galanter said at the time. "I had nothing to do with it."
Palm noted that Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass made no further inquiry.
The latest appeal states that Galanter was paid more than $400,000 for Simpson's defense in the robbery-kidnapping case and another $125,000 for the June 2010 appeal before the state Supreme Court. The document says Galanter paid Gabriel Grasso, Simpson's trial lawyer from Las Vegas, just $5,000.
Palm specifically exempts Grasso from allegations of ineffective counsel. The document cites accounts from Grasso and Simpson saying Grasso "was not made aware of the pre-incident advice, was not privy to private strategy discussions between Galanter and Simpson during trial, and was rebuked when he attempted to give advice without Galanter's approval."
Simpson claims Galanter advised him that the plan to confront the two memorabilia dealers was legally permissible as long as no one trespassed on private property and no physical force was used.
Simpson wanted to testify at trial, but "Galanter advised Simpson that he should not testify because the state could not prove its case," Palm's appeal says, "and Galanter prevented Grasso from fully advising Simpson to the contrary."
Simpson also claims he was never advised that the Clark County district attorney offered a pretrial deal that could have gotten Simpson two to five years in prison for pleading guilty to robbery. Palm says Simpson would have taken the offer.
Grasso and Malcolm LaVergne, a Las Vegas lawyer who handled Simpson's state Supreme Court appeal, also declined comment.
Grasso is suing Galanter in federal court in Nevada, alleging breach of contract. A lawsuit by Galanter is pending in Miami alleging he was defamed by Grasso, LaVergne and Grasso's lawyer in the breach of contract case.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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