LAS VEGAS (CN) – Yale Galanter, O.J. Simpson’s lead defense attorney in the 2008 robbery trial, did not pay a local lawyer the $250,000 flat he promised for helping to represent Simpson, the attorney, Gabriel Grasso, claims in Clark County Court.
Gabriel L. Grasso and his law office sued Yale L. Galanter and Galanter’s Florida-based law office, in an 18-page complaint.
Grasso claims he wasn’t paid a cent during the trial, which lasted from Sept. 15, 2008 to Oct. 3, 2008. Simpson was found guilty of all 12 felony charges against him stemming from a hotel room heist to retrieve sports memorabilia at gunpoint.
The verdict came 13 years to the day after Simpson was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison, with parole possible after 9 years.
Grasso claims he “spent literally hundreds of hours preparing Simpson’s defense”.
He says he did much of the heavy lifting in pre-trial work because he was familiar with Nevada law and lives in Clark County, while Galanter is based in Florida.
“Because of the massive effort necessary to defend Simpson from the charges he was facing, Grasso was forced to hire additional staff and incur large amounts of costs related solely to defending Simpson in the case,” the complaint states.
On Sept. 17, 2008, Galanter made his first and only payment to Grasso, for $15,000, the lawsuit states, “to cover a small portion of the costs incurred.”
Grasso says he learned in March 2009 that Galanter had been paid about $500,000 from Simpson, but that “none of these fees have been provided” to Grasso.
Grasso says in the complaint that when he confronted Galanter, “Galanter advised plaintiff Grasso that he was ending their professional relationship and that plaintiff Grasso would be paid nothing for his services.”
Grasso says he “expended in excess of 1,000 hours of legal representation during the investigation, researching, motion drafting, trial preparation, trial sentencing preparation and the initial stages of appellate preparation related to the case.”
Grasso wants $250,000, costs, and punitive damages for breach of contract, constructive fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, money due and owing, and breach of faith.
He is represented by Joshua Tomscheck with Hofland & Tomscheck.