O.J. Simpson's new lawyer has convinced a Nevada judge to reopen the armed robbery and kidnapping case that's had the disgraced former football star behind bars since 2008.
Patricia Palm is arguing that the original lawyer, Yale Galanter, so badly represented Simpson, that's what led to his conviction with its nine to 33 year sentence.
That conviction has already been upheld by the Nevada Supreme Court, but Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell still agreed to hear evidence on the issue of Simpson's legal representation and how that impacted the case.
A key question is whether the Miami-based Galanter -- who had represented Simpson in a number of matters after his 2000 move to South Florida -- had personal financial and business interests that posed a conflict.
According to the appeal, “Galanter was motivated by his own interests, which caused him to materially limit Simpson’s legal representation. Galanter remained on the case until rehearing was denied and denied Simpson the opportunity to raise this issue.”
Simpson stood trial in 2008 after he was arrested for leading five men, including two with guns, in a September 2007 confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers, and a middleman, in a room at a Las Vegas hotel.
Palm wants a chance to show that Galanter was in Las Vegas and knew in advance about Simpson’s plan to retrieve items from the dealers -- items that Simpson claimed were stolen from him after his 1995 acquittal in the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
In the case that still fascinates the nation, Simpson was accused or murdering his ex-wife and her friend in a fit of jealous rage, slashing Nicole so brutally, she was almost decapitated. Although he was found not guilty in the criminal trial, he was found liable for the deaths in a 1997 civil trial brought by the two families.
But legal troubles were never far from his door for the next decade, right up to when Simpson was busted in the bizarre memorabilia recovery scheme that put him behind bars.
According to AP, the appeal states that Galanter was paid more than $525,000 for Simpson’s defense in the case and that Galanter paid local Las Vegas attorney Gabriel Grasso just $5,000 to represent Simpson in court.
The appeal also assets that Galanter advised Simpson not to get on the stand to testify and never told him of a deal that was offered by prosecutors.
Judge Bell's new hearing may mean that Simpson will take the stand for the first time.