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September 1, 2014

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O.J. Simpson files new appeal of Las Vegas robbery conviction

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Steve Marcus

O.J. Simpson arrives at an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court Thursday, May 16, 2013.

Updated Wednesday, June 4, 2014 | 6:33 p.m.

O.J. Simpson Trial, verdict

O.J. Simpson, right, with his lawyer Yale Galanter wait for a verdict of guilty on all counts to be read following his trial at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. The verdict comes 13 years to the day after Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Launch slideshow »

O.J. Simpson's lawyers resubmitted a Nevada Supreme Court appeal Wednesday seeking a new trial on grounds that the imprisoned former football star was misled by his lawyer and didn't get a fair trial in his Las Vegas kidnapping and armed robbery case.

The 102-page document asks the seven justices to reconsider whether Simpson's lead attorney at the time, Yale Galanter, had advance knowledge of the ill-fated September 2007 confrontation involving Simpson, several other men and two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas casino hotel.

Evidence at trial "tended to indicate that Galanter was involved in the alleged conspiracy," current Simpson lawyers Patricia Palm, Ozzie Fumo and Tom Pitaro say in the appeal. "Galanter's personal interest in hiding his pre-incident involvement is sufficiently substantial to indicate the existence of an actual conflict."

Palm declined additional comment about the appeal, which was initially stalled by size and formatting issues after she submitted it May 21. Since last week, Palm double-spaced the document according to Chief Justice Mark Gibbon's instructions and re-filed it.

The justices haven't decided if they will hold hearings on Simpson's latest appeal and didn't immediately set a date for a decision, court spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said. The court is Nevada's only appellate bench and cases can take months or longer to decide.

The high court in September 2010 rejected a previous appeal by Galanter on behalf of Simpson.

The new effort alleges that Galanter had a conflict of interest that skewed his representation of Simpson in a trial also tainted by the sports, television and movie star's notoriety stemming from his acquittal in the June 1994 slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

The 20th anniversary of the slayings is next week.

Simpson, now 66, is serving nine to 33 years at a Nevada state prison in Lovelock in the Las Vegas robbery case. He's not eligible for parole until late 2017.

Galanter on Wednesday defended his performance on Simpson's behalf.

The Miami-based lawyer pointed to Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell's ruling in November — after five days of hearings last May and several months reviewing the case record — that Simpson failed to demonstrate how Galanter's actions led to Simpson's conviction.

Bell denied Simpson's request for release and a new trial. She said also that evidence was overwhelming that Simpson orchestrated the September 2007 armed kidnapping and robbery at the Palace Station hotel.

"Judge Bell saw through his and his lawyers' charade and kicked him to the curb," Galanter said.

Simpson continues to say he was trying to retrieve items that had been stolen from him after a 1997 civil case put him on the hook for a $33.5 million wrongful-death judgment.

He testified last year that he thought he had a right to get his belongings back, and that he never knew any of the men with him were carrying guns.

The NFL hall of famer didn't testify at trial in Las Vegas. He told Bell that Galanter advised him not to.

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