TODAY   |  May 18, 2013

Simpson’s ex-lawyer: I could not have fought harder

He was once O.J. Simpson's attorney, but on Friday, it was Yale Galanter who was on the defensive, saying he could not have fought harder for his client. “I put every ounce of blood, sweat and soul I had into defending him,” Galanter said, as O.J. Simpson asks to be granted a retrial. NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reports.

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>>> is in the hands of a judge as he awaits his bid for a new trial. the former football star wants a new trial for the armed robbery conviction that landed him behind bars, and we report that his appeal centers around his former lawyer.

>> reporter: he was once o.j. simpson 's defense attorney , on friday, it was yale galanter on the defensive.

>> i don't think i could have fought harder, done more, or -- i mean, i really did. i put every ounce of blood, sweat, and soul i had into defending him.

>> o.j.'s current defense lawyers requesting a new trial for him. saying galanter botched the 2008 trial where he was convicted of armed robbery of memorabilia from two las vegas dealers. lawyers argued galanter mismanaged the defense funds, failed to adequately challenge key prees pieces of the prosecution evidence and gave o.j. bad advice. assertions galanter denies.

>> i advised him i didn't think he should testify.

>> reporter: galanter says it was the best advice he could give and dismisses claims by o.j. that he told him about the plan to get the memorabilia.

>> mr. simpson never told me he would go into the palace station with a bunch of thugs, that he asked to bring guns, keep people in a room and forcibly take his property back, and the insinuation that i would have blessed it or anybody else with a license to practice law would have blessed it is insane.

>> reporter: the prosecution says galanter defended simpson fairly.

>> did you feel you were adequately prepared for trial?

>> yes.

>> reporter: the exchanges in the courtroom were at times contentious.

>> is that your testimony?

>> yes.

>> i guess it is.

>> reporter: outside the courtroom, simpson 's lawyers struck a more positive tone.

>> the petition had merit and every single day we had testimony, we scored points.

>> reporter: now it's up to the judge to decide whether or not o.j. simpson 's previous conviction stands or if he's entitled to a new trial, which could also mean he could be set free. for "today," nbc news, las vegas .