Galanter Throws O.J. Simpson Under the Bus

O.J. Simpson's former attorney, Yale Galanter, threw O.J. under the bus today, testifying O.J. told him he knew others were bringing guns to the hotel room where O.J. planned to retrieve his possessions. He even said O.J. told him he asked the others to bring the guns (called "heat.")

He also testified he told O.J. not to engage in the plan.

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

Things aren't looking good for O.J., even though other lawyers involved in the case have supported O.J.'s claim of ineffective assistance of counsel: [More...]

The most damaging testimony about Mr Galanter's performance came from three other lawyers involved in the case: Gabriel Grasso and Malcolm LaVergne, who represented Simpson, and Brent Bryson, who represented a Simpson co-defendant who also was convicted. Each said Mr Galanter seemed more interested in what he was paid and protecting himself from having to testify than in fully representing his client.

Galanter also denied not discussing plea offers with O.J.

The trial judge in the case is also taking to the media, defending the sentence she imposed and Galanter's defense.

"I watched that trial because I was the judge that presided over it and I saw the legal work that was done," explains Glass. "Yale Galanter is a fine lawyer and did an outstanding job. The evidence in that case was overwhelming."

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    Here's the real question (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri May 17, 2013 at 02:45:52 PM EST
    Testimony has shown that Galanter pocketed about $500,000 from Simpson while representing him in the robbery case. The lawyer was supposed to use part of the money to provide for a proper defense, which included hiring investigators, experts.

    Where did OJ get $500,000 and how much has he paid in restitution to the Brown and Goldman families?  Not anywhere near the $33.5 million he owes.

    Hmm....whom to believe here?  A professional actor who, while acquitted of murder, was found civily liable for the brutal deaths of two people, and who obviously has a lot riding on the court actually believing his side of this story to try and get out of prison, or 3 attorneys, all of whom have great financial stakes in the outcome?

    Don't Forget ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:50:48 PM EST
    Which can now be had on Amazon ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:29:37 PM EST
    ... at an 81% markdown from its original price of $24.95, or probably for 99 cents in the remainder rack at your local used bookstore.

    it wasn't his money (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:21:30 PM EST
    his family and others raised it for him. Nice try though.

    If this ruly was his memorabilia (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:56:42 PM EST
    That he was trying to get back, then he should have sold it years ago to pay the Browns and Goldmans.

    Nice try in spinning it another way, though.


    Evidently OJ has a (none / 0) (#39)
    by Natal on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:48:47 PM EST
    $25,000/month NFL pension which I understand can't be touched by the civil suit.

    Ethics (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Cylinder on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:07:31 PM EST
    Is it unusual for a previous judge to make statements in during a pending appeal? That seems a bit questionable. I can understand some measured remarks about a high-profile case after the thing is decided, but come on...

    Seems logical though unusual (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:20:33 PM EST
    for the trial judge to weigh in when the competency of one of the trial attorneys is questioned via the legal process.

    I think a judge should refrain from (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:11:49 PM EST
    making extrajudicial comments about the merits of a case that another judge is now hearing. I think she should have at least waited until the decision was rendered.

    I agree completely (none / 0) (#20)
    by bmaz on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:07:03 AM EST
    In fact I would be a little harsher than that, I think it is outrageous for a lateral judge in the same court to take actions directly telling her fellow judge how he should rule, both commenting on the facts and law, and putting pressure on to support the prior decision. It is simply unacceptable.

    Jon Turley went after the judge in the Casey Anthony case for the same type of conduct. I actually think in many ways, the lateral actions here in OJ are worse.


    Just my observation here, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:13:05 PM EST
    ... I believe that Mr. Galanter's competence is being called into question by his former client.

    I'm not taking sides, and I know you said that you're not passing judgment on what he did today -- but has Mr. Galanter not the right and indeed, the obligation to defend himself against such serious allegations, which would amount to professional misconduct were it found to be true?

    Further, Jeralyn, would you not do much the same as Yale Galanter, were it your professional reputation on the line here, rather than his?

    Honestly, I consider you to be someone with a very high bar of professional and personal integrity. No doubt, you certainly didn't get to where you are today by playing the part of fool, chump or dingbat, for anyone or anything.

    And as such, I can hardly perceive you to be the type who would, as you stated, "opt for falling on [your] sword while still answering truthfully so as not to damage [your former] client's chances of a new trial even in the face of an ineffective claim." I'd like to think it's because doing so would perhaps constitute a serious betrayal of your own concept of self-worth, both professionally and personally.

    And really, while none of us are perfect and we're all fully capable of making mistakes -- even egregious ones -- in both our lives and our careers, if we project an aura of self-doubt about either ourselves or our abilities, then it would further stand to reason that anyone else's longstanding confidence in us would be shaken, and their belief in our capability would soon become problematic.

    Personally, I'd also like to believe that while you would undoubtedly be meticulously truthful in answering whatever questions which might be posed to you during any such public hearing, and that you would further take scrupulous care to not betray the attorney-client privilege, you would also bristle mightily at anyone's suggestion of personal incompetence and / or unprofessional conduct on your part, and you would not hesitate to push back -- and push back very hard -- against any and all such allegations and / or accusations.


    Attorney client privilege (none / 0) (#40)
    by ackbarsays on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:43:46 AM EST
    OJ waived attorney/client privilege to allow his attorneys to testify.

    Miami attorney Yale Galanter contradicted much of Simpson's earlier testimony while under questioning at a hearing in which his former client is seeking a new trial on grounds of ineffective legal representation.

    Galanter testified the former football hero confided to him that he had indeed asked two men to bring guns to the hotel room confrontation and "he knew he screwed up."

    Galanter hesitated and spoke only after he paused, breathed deeply and was reminded that Simpson had waived attorney-client privilege.

    "I'm very uncomfortable doing this," Galanter said.

    He said that based on conversations with Simpson, his then-client had asked the two others to bring guns.

    "He said, 'The other guys had guns and I didn't,'" Galanter said.

    On the basis of that, Galanter said he made the decision not to claim at trial that Simpson couldn't see the guns in the hotel room.

    "To argue that he had tunnel vision and didn't see these guns was absurd to me," Galanter said.


    What's (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:50:43 PM EST
    weird, and even definitive for me, is that OJ has been quoted as saying that Yale Galanter, his former attorney whom he now maligns, told him that he had a right to claim his things, but not to trespass, and not to use force.

    From every account I have read, OJ used force ("heat"  - guns among his coterie) and trespassed upon the premises of the person allegedly selling his memorabilia.

    Maybe I have the story wrong... but if I have it right, he ignored the council of the attorney he is now accusing of not being an adequate representative.

    I must admit that I have been totally unconvinced of OJ's innocence regarding the murders of his wife and Ron Goldman - and that may influence me in some regard --- but I also will say that seeing him testify in this current hearing I felt some sympathy for him in spite of myself.

    Nevertheless - I don't see that he has a leg to stand on vis a vis this appeal.

    While not excusing anything that OJ has allegedly (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:46:26 PM EST
    done, assuming he did it, I wonder if the repeatedly concussed brain syndrome so many football players suffered was part of the problem. I wonder how long before that syndrome is used as a defense.

    My (none / 0) (#9)
    by lentinel on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:09:59 PM EST
    personal opinion is that whatever knocks to the brain he may have suffered has no bearing on the situation.

    He seemed, and seems, very lucid, very intelligent and with as much recall of events as he wishes to have.

    My personal feeling has been, and continues to be, that he contracted a gigantic ego due to the adoration of the fawning media. He thought he could do absolutely anything. Have you ever seen anything like that "chase"? He was treated as a superior being. A God. Anybody else would have been blockaded or shot down. I don't wonder that he was perplexed that he would be charged with a crime.

    But all that is secondary or irrelevant to the current case - in which he is asking for a new trial based on the incompetence of his representation.

    I just don't see that he has a case.


    Bad Headline For the Post (none / 0) (#6)
    by Michael Masinter on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:25:09 PM EST
    Like every witness, Yale Galanter has an obligation to tell the truth, and if the truth happens to injure his former client, then telling the truth does not seem to me to be throwing O.J. under the bus.  How would you have had him answer the question posed assuming the answer he gave was truthful?  Surely not by lying under oath.  Perhaps the law respecting waiver of privilege should be different, but given that law I'm at a loss to understand what Mr. Galanter should have done differently.

    ISTM OJ threw OJ under the bus (none / 0) (#7)
    by RonK Seattle on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:42:33 PM EST
    If counsel is called to testify in a case alleging ineffectiveness of said counsel, does any atty/client privilege or ethical consideration even allow him to refrain from giving such testimony?

    no the privilege belongs to the client (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:41:24 PM EST
    and the client is deemed to have waived the privilege when he claims his lawyer was ineffective.

    That certainly clarifies things. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 17, 2013 at 08:23:46 PM EST
    Thank you for that. I was envisioning some sort of "Catch 22"-type of professional nightmare, in which ethical considerations would otherwise prohibit attorneys from responding truthfully and assertively in their own defense, with due regard to any allegations of incompetence or misconduct on their part.

    How does this work in practice? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Belswyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:01:13 PM EST
    For example, in a death penalty case, if the appeal is based on ineffective assistance of counsel, and the case were remanded for a new trial, can the old, ineffective counsel be examined to see if the client ever told the old counsel that he did it?

    Thanks in advance!


    probably not (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:29:57 PM EST
    Here's an ethics opinion on it. And an ABA article.

    Under Rule 1.6(b)(5), a lawyer may disclose information without the client's consent only to the extent the lawyer reasonably believes is necessary to "respond to allegations in any proceeding concerning the lawyer's representation of the client."

    But the committee concluded that disclosure of client information, even in those circumstances, can rarely be justified. "A lawyer may be concerned that without an appropriate factual presentation to the government as it prepares for trial, the presentation to the court may be inadequate and result in a finding in the defendant's favor," states the opinion. "Such a finding may impair the lawyer's reputation or have other adverse, collateral consequences for the lawyer. This concern can almost always be addressed by disclosing relevant client information in a setting subject to judicial supervision."

    In a post-Strickland environment, notes the opinion, "there is no published evidence establishing that court resolutions have been prejudiced when the prosecution has not received counsel's information outside the proceeding. Thus, it will be extremely difficult for defense counsel to conclude that there is a reasonable need in self-defense to disclose client confidences to the prosecutor outside any court-supervised setting."

    also see (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 11:42:21 PM EST
    here, p.6

    Judicial decisions addressing the necessity for disclosure under the self defense
    exception to the attorney-client privilege recognize that when there is a legitimate need for the lawyer to present a defense, the lawyer may not disclose all information relating to the representation, but only particular information that reasonably must be disclosed to avoid adverse legal consequences

    Also see this case.


    it sounds like he volunteered (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:08:36 PM EST
    that rather it being in response to a direct question like "Did OJ tell you he knew guns would be brought to the hotel room." I'd have to see the transcript.

    The headline is accurate. It's what he did. Whether he was justified in doing so is another matter and I didn't opine on that.

    Many lawyers opt for falling on their sword while still answering truthfully so as not to damage their client's chances of a new trial even in the face of an ineffective claim. Galanter isn't one of them. Again, it's not a judgment.


    Yeah, a lot of lawyers (none / 0) (#23)
    by bmaz on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:11:10 AM EST
    actually are willing to have some ineffectiveness alleged if they believe in the case of their client, so long as it doesn't rise to bar problem level. Galanter was awfully strong for the prosecution for my taste, but heck I don't really know the underlying dynamics well enough to really say.

    Was Galanter subpoenaed?


    So question... (none / 0) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:38:32 PM EST
    Shouldn't the lawyer have advised OJ that he (the lawyer) might be under obligation to call the police given the fact that OJ told him that he (OJ) intended to take his possessions back by threatening these people with a gun?  Did OJ's lawyers privy to that information then become obligated as officers of the court to prevent the crime beyond just "advising" a client not to commit the crime?

    I understand that I am not asking an easy question, but I find this testimony (if it has been accurately reported) to be a bit troubling - like this attorney is trying to preempt being hit with questions about why he would not have stopped his client from going to retrieve his property while armed with guns.  Imagine if there had been some sort of bloody gun battle during that encounter.  How could the attorney not think about that possibility?  Maybe he honestly thought that OJ wasn't a real threat with a firearm, but how could he know that anyone else involved was not?  Seems terribly irresponsible particularly for an officer of the court.


    I was (none / 0) (#21)
    by lentinel on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:50:11 AM EST
    reading Galanter's testimony. Very damaging to OJ.

    I was wondering how that could be possible - how could he ethically testify against his former client?

    Then I read, in the report, that OJ had "waived attorney-client privilege".

    According to the report, Galanter testified reluctantly, going against all of his instincts. But what choice did he have?

    Now - why in the world would OJ waive attorney-client privilege?
    What was he thinking?

    I wondered about that, too (none / 0) (#24)
    by Zorba on Sat May 18, 2013 at 01:18:59 PM EST
    He must have thought, for some strange reason, that having Galanter testify would help his case.  Who the heck knows?
    He was a running back.  How many times did he get tackled?  I always wonder about brain damage among football players because of the pounding they take.  Or maybe he is following advice from his current lawyer/lawyers.  Whether he/she/they are giving him good advice, I have no way of knowing.
    In any case, at least IMHO, he is a jerk, he may be a murderer (although I acknowledge that he is not one legally, since he was found "not guilty"), and he may also be suffering from what a lot of famous people (whether in sports, acting, politics, or whatever) do.  It's the "I can do what I want because I'm famous/rich/popular/etc." syndrome.  Or, as Mr. Zorba calls it, "My sh!t don't stink" syndrome.

    That's what I think, too. (none / 0) (#27)
    by lentinel on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:59:48 PM EST
    It's the "I can do what I want because I'm famous/rich/popular/etc." syndrome.

    One who think that these years in the can would have altered his perspective somewhat, but I don't get the impression that it did.

    And - if he is following the advice of current attorneys in waiving attorney-client privilege - he'll have to try to get another hearing based on the fact that his attorneys for this hearing are incompetent.

    I don't get that he has the slightest sign of diminished intellectual capacity. But, on the other hand, this sure is stupid.


    This blog would have been a hoot to read (none / 0) (#28)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:05:23 PM EST
    during OJ's big trial.

    First of all, (none / 0) (#25)
    by NYShooter on Sat May 18, 2013 at 01:59:50 PM EST
    I don't think you can get any kind of accurate conclusion about Galanter unless you were there, in person.  Just look at what happens right here at TL with the rapid "typing-trying-to-substitute-for-talking" conversations.  Body language, inflection, nuance, decibels, real or snark? etc, etc, etc. It just doesn't come across many times the way you meant it to be.

    Not to be misogynist or anything, but women are better than men in "seeing through" people. My mother, and my wife, were uncanny in that regard. My wife could go into a party, or some gathering, and she, not having met anyone there before, would instantly  poke me in the ribs and say, "he hates your guts (abut a stranger) or "that girl over there, she`s got the hots for you," about a female I didn't know existed.

    And, my mother, The Russian Cossack?   Fuhgeddaboudit!" She would scare the crap out of you with what she could "see" in people. And, I don't mean gossip either.

    What I'm trying to say is that we can't come to any conclusions about "if," or "how far," he threw O.J. under the bus. Also, without the facial, or body language, we simply can't determine to what degree it was vindictive, or reluctant.

    Anyway, I hope you get my point. I only used about a thousand words when someone who knew how to write could've done it in a dozen.

    Geez, how embarrassing.

    Okay, Shooter (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Zorba on Sat May 18, 2013 at 02:13:02 PM EST
    You have not only uncovered, but have spoken about, the heretofore secret ability of women to "see through" people.
    Your days are numbered, my friend.  Disclosing this female ability of ours is absolutely verboten.  Nice to have known you.     ;-)

    My dear sweet Soul Sister, Ms. Zorba (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:26:47 PM EST
    I started writing a story about an event that took place in late 50's/early 60's that was so fearfully, jaw-dropping, scream inducing weird, that I had to throw it into my documents.....my fingers were shaking so much. I will finish it, but I have to write it in stages.

    But, I'll tell you one thing, after witnessing the powers that women have, we don't need no high tech drones. Just put a woman into an airplane and fly her over a country like China. Tell her to look down at the teeming masses and ask her to point out the one person who wants to do us harm. M'lady, that dude is Dust...wasted....vaporized. Don't need no weapons neither. Just that stare. O'migod, that stare.

    I gotta go.....outta here!


    You men (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Zorba on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:21:20 PM EST
    just think that you are in charge.  We allow you to think this.
    We women have vast powers unknown to you.  And when we finally decide to unleash them all..........well, all I have to say is, poor men!  We are just biding our time.         ;-)

    You know something, (none / 0) (#32)
    by NYShooter on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:05:57 PM EST
    And, now I'm serious.........you're 100% right. Back in my dating days, I figured it out. "I'm going to become (figuratively, anyway) a woman." Don't laugh, it's totally true.

    What do men hate, fear, the most regarding the dating scene? Rejection, of course. And, I was no different there. The white-knuckle fear of putting your.......ahem, out there on the chopping block for the lady to either embrace......or.....whack!! is about the scariest thing a guy can do. Many, of course, fear it so much they never even try. Rejection is so painful because it not only hurts physically and personally, it hurts you so deep down it can cripple one emotionally for life.  A broken arm will heal eventually; a broken self esteem may never heal.

    So, back to my story.....and me. I figured, "you know what?" screw this." It's just not fair; it shouldn't be so one sided. So, I adopted the "Michael Jackson, Moon Walk" method of courting. Toss out a little bait (charm) and then go after them backwards. Pretending not to care, but staying within close proximity, worked like a charm. When the girl's first comments to me changed from, "get lost," to " how come you never talk to me?" I knew I hit the holy grail.

    But, you chicks know that at birth. Dontcha?


    If you read Manhunt (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:04:14 PM EST
    The people who lived, ate, and breathed Osama bin Laden and got all the real goods and put it all into diagrams and profiles that made sense were mostly women.

    One of the female analyst talked about stress in the documentary, and under extreme stress men throw chairs she said and women cry.  She speaks candidly about more than one spell of crying.  They got him though.

    I found it fascinating that someone with many wives, and who in my opinion had a low opinion of women in general had several women very successfully tracking for and seemingly tirelessly hunting his arse until they got him.  I think in the end they knew him better than he knew himself.


    Translated (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Dadler on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:39:30 AM EST
    Women deal with emotional stress in a non-violent, directly emotional way; Men, on the other hand, tend to suppress what they see as weaker or inferior ("female" in their eyes) emotionsm, and instead fall back on misdirected violence and rage.

    Pretty much the experience I've had observing people in this life. That said, I do cry more than any dude you will ever know. I practice the kind of thing Jim Valvano talked about in his famous ESPY speech when he was dying from cancer:

    To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.

    Mr. Angel swears I have special powers (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Angel on Sat May 18, 2013 at 03:33:10 PM EST
    in this regard, and I honestly think I do as well.  One of his former colleagues calls me The Prophetizer.

    Mr. Zorba says (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Sun May 19, 2013 at 03:40:39 PM EST
    much the same about me.
    I think it 's a "woman" thing (although there are some men who can do this, as well).  I think, whether it is as a result of heredity or environment, or both, women tend to "read" emotions better than men, as well as subtle behavioral and physical clues.  
    Maybe it is something inherent in all of us, but men have been conditioned by society to ignore emotions and feelings and such.  How many men do you know, when their wives or female friends start to talk about a problem or conflict or something, immediately jump in with some "solutions," when all we want to do is vent and perhaps get some validation for our feelings?  We mostly know what we want to do about it, we just want to talk about it to someone sympathetic.  Pretty much all the men I have ever known are the "immediately jump in with a solution" types.

    of course, it's a (none / 0) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:38:15 PM EST
    "woman" thing.

    Who is the linchpin holding a family together? How did cavewomen (before video cams) "know" what their brood of rug rats were doing while they were outside taking care of the fire?

    Evolution...They "knew" then, and, boy, do they "know" now.