January 16, 1996
Web posted at: 12:30 p.m EST
From Reporter Jim Hill
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The conflict of interest accusation that is delaying the civil wrongful death lawsuit against O.J. Simpson is going before a judge Tuesday.
Simpson's attorneys say Daniel Petrocelli, the attorney representing the family of murder victim Ronald Goldman, should be disqualified because his law firm once represented Simpson in negotiations to sell six Honeybaked Ham franchises. Simpson is a partner in the company that owns the stores.
At a recent fund-raiser for the Goldman's legal war-chest, Petrocelli denied there was any conflict of interest, and said the accusation is designed only to delay Simpson's deposition, which has been rescheduled a number of times. ( 85K AIFF sound or 85 WAV sound)
Honeybaked Ham told CNN that Simpson's business partner only considered using the law firm and never retained it.
Letters released by Honeybaked Ham reveal Simpson's partner told the company in March 1995 that "a new law firm will be chosen once an offer is accepted."
Simpson's sworn deposition in the wrongful death suit is being awaited with interest because he did not take the stand in his murder trial.
The former football star has talked about the night of the killings on a videotape that is to be released February 1. Advertisements already are soliciting orders for the tape. Gerald Uelman, one of Simpson's former criminal attorneys, called the move ill-advised. (119K AIFF sound or 119K WAV sound)
The videotape's producer said there has been no plan to get the tape out in an effort to influence potential jurors.
"I don't deal with his attorneys and get into their strategies and what they're doing," said producer Tony Hoffman.
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