Former OJ Simpson lawyers reach settlement
- Article by: KEN RITTER
- Associated Press
- June 26, 2014 - 2:35 PM
LAS VEGAS — O.J. Simpson's feuding former Las Vegas trial lawyers have settled a breach of contract lawsuit in federal court in Nevada and their slander claim in Florida state court.
But the imprisoned former football star's ex-lawyer from Miami, Yale Galanter, and one of Simpson's current attorneys in Nevada still have one dispute remaining.
Galanter confirmed Thursday that a Miami defamation case remained active against Simpson attorney Malcolm LaVergne in Las Vegas.
LaVergne said his lawyer in Miami was trying to resolve the case.
Terms of agreements between Galanter and attorneys Gabriel Grasso and Joshua Tomsheck weren't disclosed.
Each noted that a June 4 filing dismissing a breach of contract dispute in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas and a May 29 filing voluntarily dismissing the defamation and slander claim against Grasso and Tomsheck in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court contained confidentiality clauses.
The Miami case alleges that Galanter's reputation in the Florida legal community was harmed by comments in April 2012 about Grasso's allegations that Galanter failed to pay him promised legal fees in the Simpson case.
The root of the dispute between Simpson's lawyers was Grasso's contention that Galanter stiffed him of a promised $250,000 fee for serving as local attorney following Simpson's arrest in September 2007 and through his trial in 2008.
Simpson, now 66, was convicted and sentenced to nine to 33 years in state prison for leading a group of men in an armed confrontation with two sports memorabilia dealers in a room at a Las Vegas casino hotel.
Simpson maintained that he was trying to retrieve from the collectibles dealers family photos and mementoes that he thought had been stolen from him after his 1995 acquittal in Los Angeles in the slayings of his ex-wife and her friend.
Grasso and Galanter parted ways on the Simpson case in 2009, before Galanter lost an appeal for Simpson's freedom to the Nevada Supreme Court that included oral arguments in June 2010.
Galanter was no longer part of Simpson's case when LaVergne lost a bid for a hearing before the entire seven-member state high court.
Grasso later hired Tomsheck to handle a breach of contract claim filed in April 2012 in Nevada state court against Galanter. The case was moved to federal court the following month.
Galanter denied failing to pay Grasso and filed the Miami lawsuit against Grasso, Tomsheck and LaVergne.
A Nevada state court judge last year denied Simpson a new trial based on claims that Galanter and Grasso botched his defense at trial.
A new team of lawyers is appealing that decision to the Nevada Supreme Court.
© 2014 Star Tribune