LAS VEGAS -- O.J. Simpson has switched lawyers on the eve of
his appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court to reverse his conviction in
an armed hotel room heist, his former attorney said Friday.
Las Vegas attorney Gabriel Grasso said he had been replaced by
Malcolm Lavergne, a move he attributed to an unspecified rift with
Simpson's longtime Miami-based lawyer, Yale Galanter.
"There's been an ongoing disagreement between Yale and I over
the last few months, and I've decided to withdraw from the case,"
Grasso said. He declined to elaborate.
Simpson, 61, is serving nine to 33 years in Lovelock State
Prison, northeast of Reno, for his conviction in October for
kidnapping and robbing two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint
in September 2007 in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Galanter said he remains in charge of the case but needs a
Nevada lawyer to appear with him before courts in that state.
Lavergne, who had sought to represent Simpson after his arrest,
said he was retained to "help handle the appeal." He said appeals
were not one of his specialties, but that he once worked as a clerk
in the New York Court of Appeals.
Galanter said that Simpson's appeal will be filed with the state
Supreme Court by Tuesday's deadline.
Four other Simpson co-defendants testified against him and
co-defendant Clarence "C.J." Stewart. They received probation for
convictions on various felony charges.
Stewart, 55, was convicted with Simpson and was sentenced to 7½
to 27 years in prison. He was expected to file a separate appeal by