OJ Simpson hoping for new trial in return to Las Vegas court

LAS VEGAS - Former U.S. football star and film actor O.J. Simpson is going back to court for the first time since he was sentenced to prison, hoping to be granted an appeal of his conviction and sentence of up to 33 years.

On Monday, Simpson intends to argue that his lawyer at the trial in 2008 for armed robbery and kidnapping had a conflict of interest and gave bad advice. Simpson and a co-defendant were convicted of 12 felonies.

Simpson is now represented by Patricia Palm, who contends claims against John Galanter, Simpson's former lawyer, "are solid."

Galanter is due to testify at the new hearing and has declined to comment on the case.

Simpson now says that Galanter knew ahead of time about Simpson's plan to retrieve what he thought were personal mementoes, and that the lawyer met Simpson in Las Vegas to discuss the plan the night before the athlete and five other men confronted two sports memorabilia dealers and a middleman in a casino hotel room in September 2007.

Simpson still says he had no idea two of the men were carrying guns.

Simpson claims he sought to retrieve what he thought were family photos and personal belongings stolen after his 1995 acquittal in the slayings of his wife and her friend in Los Angeles.

Galanter blessed the plan as within the law, as long as no one trespassed and no force was used, Simpson said.

During the trial, Simpson contends Galanter "vigorously discouraged" him from testifying, and never told him that prosecutors were willing to let him plead guilty to charges with a minimum sentence of two years.

"He consistently told me the state could not prove its case because I acted within my rights in retaking my own property," Simpson said in a sworn statement outlining what he plans to say in court this week.
 

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