Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

May 20, 2013

OJ Simpson lawyers say he is closer to freedom

(Continued)

If Simpson "can succeed in showing that there has been an actual conflict, he need not show that that conflict caused the verdict. Merely showing the conflict is sufficient to show his right to counsel was violated," Carr said.

Simpson's testimony was pivotal on this point. Even with his hair gray and thinning, and his finely chiseled features lost under the burden of years and weight, the 65-year-old Simpson was an impressive witness.

He was still O.J. Simpson, a man used to the spotlight. He shuffled to the witness stand in shackles but spoke with confidence. He told of dining with Galanter the night before the hotel caper and telling him the plan.

"I talked to Yale about it two or three times," Simpson said. "The overall advice he was giving was, 'You have a right to get your stuff.'"

Galanter told a different story.

"He said he and some of his boys might be doing a sting in the morning," said Galanter.

He added that Simpson said, "he finally had a lead on some personal pictures and memorabilia that was stolen from him years earlier. I said, 'O.J., you've got to call the police.'"

As it turned out, someone called the police but it wasn't Simpson. The memorabilia dealers claimed they were robbed at gunpoint. Simpson was arrested.

"It obviously didn't go the way I hoped it would," Simpson said with a touch of irony.

Las Vegas lawyers Gabriel Grasso and Malcolm LaVergne, who also participated in the case, testified that Galanter had a conflict because he could have been called as a witness. There was a trail of phone calls between Simpson and Galanter before and after the Sept. 13, 2007 confrontation.

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