Trials & Litigation

OJ Simpson: I gave $500K to lead lawyer for costs; he was supposed to defend me for free

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Testifying this week at a hearing in which he hopes to win a new armed robbery trial, O.J. Simpson said he gave $500,000 to his lead defense lawyer, Yale Galanter.

But that was for expert witnesses and other costs, Simpson contended—Galanter was supposed to defend the former football great for free, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The Miami-based attorney is expected to testify himself Friday in the Clark County, Nev., case, when he has been called by prosecutors as a witness. Meanwhile, he has been portrayed by Simpson and others as cavalier about the case and a source of poor advice to his client.

Simpson testified that he relied on advice from Galanter when he went with a group to take back sports memorabilia that belonged to him from a room at a Las Vegas casino-hotel in September 2007, the Associated Press reports.

“It was my stuff. I followed what I thought was the law,” he said of the incident that resulted in his armed robbery conviction. “My lawyer told me I couldn’t break into a guy’s room. I didn’t break into anybody’s room. I didn’t try to muscle the guys. The guys had my stuff, even though they claimed they didn’t steal it.”

Shuffling to and from the witness stand in leg irons, the 65-year-old former NFL star and actor once known for bounding through the airport over various obstacles to get to his vehicle in a Hertz rental car commercial also blamed Galanter for advising him not to take the stand in his own defense in the 2008 trial of the armed robbery case. Most of the items taken were later determined by a California court to belong to Simpson, according the the newspaper and the AP article.

And, Simpson said, he was never advised by Galanter of a 30-month plea deal offered by the government.

He is presently serving a nine- to 33-year prison term.

See also “OJ Simpson is allowed to have one hand free as he argues for new armed robbery trial”

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