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October 31, 2014

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5 things to know about O.J. Simpson’s Las Vegas court date

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AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, Pool

O.J. Simpson, left, listens to his attorney Yale Galanter during his sentencing hearing at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas Friday, Dec. 5, 2008.

O.J. Simpson Trial, verdict

O.J. Simpson, right, with his lawyer Yale Galanter wait for a verdict of guilty on all counts to be read following his trial at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 3, 2008. The verdict comes 13 years to the day after Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Launch slideshow »

WHY IS O.J. SIMPSON IN COURT?

The 65-year-old former football star is serving nine to 33 years in a Nevada prison after a jury found him guilty in 2008 of leading the gunpoint robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson wants a new trial because he says his longtime lawyer from Miami, Yale Galanter, failed to disclose that he knew about the plan in advance, told Simpson it was legal and provided bad advice at trial.

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

The proceeding, called a writ of habeas corpus, is not trial. Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell plans to hear five days of testimony beginning Monday on 19 separate claims of ineffective representation of counsel and conflict of interest. Simpson has to prove his lawyers botched his trial and the outcome could have been different. Bell may not make an immediate decision Friday.

WHAT ABOUT SIMPSON'S EARLIER APPEALS?

The Nevada Supreme Court denied Simpson's appeal in 2010. Simpson now maintains that by Galanter handling his appeal and oral arguments, the lawyer blocked Simpson from claiming Galanter had conflicted interests.

WILL SIMPSON TESTIFY?

Simpson is expected to testify Wednesday. Simpson didn't even take the stand during his infamous 1995 murder trial in Los Angeles. It would be his first public account of the Las Vegas caper that led to his arrest. He still maintains he didn't know that two of the five men with him that night at the Palace Station hotel brought guns.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OTHERS?

Four co-defendants pleaded guilty to felonies, testified for the prosecution and got off with probation. Clarence "C.J." Stewart was convicted with Simpson and served more than two years in prison before the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that Simpson's fame tainted Stewart's conviction. Stewart was granted a new trial but avoided retrial by pleading guilty to two felonies and was freed. He's now living in Louisiana.

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