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Simpson lawyers file for new trial

O.J. Simpson's lawyers said Tuesday that he wants a new civil trial, claiming legal errors such as jury misconduct and saying the $33.5-million in damages he was ordered to pay is excessive.

In a two-page "notice of intention" to move for a judgment setting aside the verdicts, the attorneys gave an outline of how they will attack the case.

Attorney Daniel Leonard said the full motion will be filed April 4.

Simpson was acquitted of murder in the death of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Their survivors won a wrongful death lawsuit against Simpson.

A jury awarded $8.5-million in compensatory damages to Goldman's family, then assessed $25-million in punitive damages for Goldman's parents and Mrs. Simpson's estate.

"The damages awarded by the jury were excessive both as to compensatory and punitive damages," the notice filed Tuesday said.

Leonard said the full motion to set aside the verdict will include motions that Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki erred in admitting lie detector evidence and permitting a battered women's counselor to testify about a call never fully authenticated as coming from Mrs. Simpson.

It also will cite jury misconduct based on the dismissal, during deliberations, of a juror who failed to disclose that her daughter worked for the district attorney's office that pursued the criminal case.

Other jury problems cited include an effort by two jurors from Simpson's criminal trial to contact the panelists in the civil trial before they had returned a verdict.

The defense notice listed 12 areas of law in which it said that erroneous rulings "affected the substantial rights of the defendant and prevented him from obtaining a fair trial."

Leonard said Fujisaki scheduled a hearing for April 25.

Leonard said in a phone interview that financial evidence presented by the plaintiffs at Simpson's trial was insufficient to show that he has a positive net worth. Simpson said last week that he has no money and that plaintiffs' estimates that he could make millions by selling his autograph and memorabilia haven't proven true.

A bank served notice of foreclosure last week on Simpson's home in Brentwood after he missed $86,000 in payments.