LAS VEGAS - O.J. Simpson won a small victory on Tuesday when he returned to court for Day 2 of his attempt to win a new trial in his robbery case: A judge said he could have one hand unshackled to drink water and take notes.
Simpson managed a smile and a waist-high wave with his shackled hand as he entered the courtroom and found friends and family members in the audience.
Simpson's attorneys then persuaded Clark County District Court Judge Linda Marie Bell to let the former football star and TV pitchman have his right hand free. His left hand was still cuffed to the arm of his chair.
Lawyers for Simpson are claiming that his trial lawyer, Yale Galanter, gave such bad legal advice and had such conflicted interests that Simpson deserves a new trial.
The 65-year-old Simpson is serving nine to 33 years in prison for leading five men in the armed robbery of two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007.
Galanter's former friend and cocounsel, Gabriel Grasso, returned to the stand on Tuesday with criticism about Galanter's performance during the 2008 trial and conviction and later appeal.
Galanter needed Grasso as local counsel, because Galanter wasn't licensed to practice law in Nevada. But Galanter was in charge of the defense, Grasso said.
"I could advise O.J. all day long, and he was very respectful of me," Grasso testified. "But if I advised him of something different from what Yale said, he would do what Yale said."
It was Galanter's decision not to have Simpson testify, Grasso said.