Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

May 17, 2013

Ex-OJ lawyer to testify in bid for new Vegas trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — O.J. Simpson's former lawyer has some explaining to do.

Miami attorney Yale Galanter is scheduled to testify Friday in Simpson's bid for a new trial.

Galanter, according to Simpson, advised the former football star that it was his legal right to retrieve personal items from two memorabilia dealers; told Simpson not to testify in the Las Vegas trial that eventually sent him to prison; 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.

Galanter hasn't been subpoenaed, so he isn't compelled to appear.

He is invited as a key state's witness in a hearing that, since Monday, has revolved around Galanter's promises, payments and performance in the 2008 trial that sent the 65-year-old former football hero to prison for nine to 33 years for armed robbery and kidnapping.

H. Leon Simon, the chief deputy Clark County district attorney handling the case, said he and Galanter have what amounts to a gentleman's agreement for Galanter to come to Las Vegas.

"I take him at his word," Simon said. "He has assured me he wants to come and testify, as an officer of the court."

Galanter faces some uncomfortable questions about his trial preparation, the nearly $700,000 he was paid but allegedly didn't share with the Las Vegas lawyer at his side and why he didn't try to block prosecutors from playing for the jury secret recordings that amounted to a soundtrack of Simpson and his five pals confronting two sports collectibles brokers and a middleman in a cramped casino hotel room.

Jim Barnett, owner of a Las Vegas home where Simpson stayed during trial in September 2008, said he asked Galanter why he wasn't hiring an expert to analyze the recording.

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