Former OJ lawyer denies OK'ing hotel room plan
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Las Vegas. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison as a result of his October 2008 conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping charges, is using a writ of habeas corpus, to seek a new trial, claiming he had such bad representation that his conviction should be reversed. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jeff Scheid, Pool)
LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson's former lawyer said Friday he was surprised when the former football hero told him over dinner at a Las Vegas hotel that he and several other men were planning a "sting" to take back items he believed had been stolen from him in Los Angeles.
Miami attorney Yale Galanter said he advised against it.
"He said he and some of his boys were planning a sting in the morning," Galanter said after coolly stepping into the witness stand to testify as the state's star witness against Simpson's bid for a new trial.
Simpson and his new lawyers, Patricia Palm and Ozzie Fumo, allege that Galanter botched the trial that led to Simpson's conviction in the 2007 hotel room caper involving two sports memorabilia dealers and five Simpson pals, including two who testified they brought guns.
Under questioning by H. Leon Simon, attorney for the state, Galanter said Simpson mentioned the sting plan while they were having dinner with several other people at Simpson's hotel the night before. Galanter said he was in town on another, unspecified, legal case and he met with his longtime client to catch up as friends.
Galanter denied giving Simpson the go-ahead to try to retrieve personal items — a key contention among 19 claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and conflict of interest that Simpson hopes will convince a judge to grant him a new trial.
"When he first mentioned it, it just went over my head," Galanter said of Simpson's plan. "About a minute or two later, I leaned over and said, 'What are you talking about? What are you doing?'
"He told me he finally had a lead on some personal pictures and memorabilia that was stolen from him years earlier," Galanter testified. "I said, 'O.J., you've got to call the police.'"
O.J. Simpson, center, talks with defense attorneys Ozzie Fumo, left, and Josh Barry during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court, Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Las Vegas. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine to 33-year sentence in state prison as a result of his October 2008 conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping charges, is using a writ of habeas corpus, to seek a new trial, claiming he had such bad representation that his conviction should be reversed. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Pool)
According to Simpson, Galanter advised the former football star that it was his legal right to retrieve personal items; told Simpson not to testify in the subsequent trial; failed to tell Simpson that prosecutors offered plea deals; and failed to raise the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.