Shakeup in Bob Lee murder trial: Suspect in Cash App founder's death has a new attorney

Nima Momeni's attorney, Paula Canny, filed a motion to withdraw herself from the case, citing a conflict of interest

Melanie Woodrow Image
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Shakeup in Bob Lee murder trial: Suspect has a new attorney
Nima Momeni, the man accused in the stabbing death of Cash App executive Bob Lee, has a new attorney.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The man accused of stabbing and killing tech executive Bob Lee has a new attorney. Paula Canny withdrew from representing Nima Momeni Tuesday saying she had a conflict of interest.

Canny would not say what the conflict of interest is, citing attorney client privilege. But, Nima Momeni's new attorney is talking and sharing the reason he says the relationship ended.

"Sh** happens in representing people, it's just like that," said Canny.

The announcement came on a day that had been scheduled for Momeni's preliminary hearing.

"Energetically I have my way, clients have their way," Canny continued.

"Pretty much every case that has one of these high profile things the first lawyer always gets dumped," Canny said.

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While Canny would not say what conflict of interest existed she did say she withdrew, not that Momeni fired her.

"It is super interesting, but I'm not ever gonna tell you," said Canny.

Momeni's new attorney is Saam Zangeneh, who is based in Florida.

Zangeneh tells the I-Team Momeni's family contacted him last week about taking over the case.

"I just don't think that they were happy with her," he said during a phone interview with ABC7 News I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow.

RELATED: Suspect in fatal stabbing of CashApp founder Bob Lee pleads not guilty, held without bail

Thirty-eight-year-old Nima Momeni pleaded not guilty to murder charges for the stabbing of tech executive Bob Lee.

He says he couldn't be in court on Tuesday due to another hearing.

Tony Brass was supposed to stand in for him.

"My understanding is Mr. Zangeneh let Paula Canny know that I was on my way but the court did not wait," Brass told Woodrow.

"You really think that I wouldn't if I was the new lawyer I wouldn't have had somebody be here for him," said Canny.

"I represent a lot of high profile individuals and take a lot of high profile cases and you don't get that client list and those cases if you're a sub par attorney," said Zangeneh.

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Zangeneh says he will be in court at Momeni's next appearance in June.

"Pro Hac Vice means that as long as I'm an attorney in good standing in my jurisdiction and I find an attorney in California that will sponsor me for a case specific like this one then we put together that application and present it to the judge," he continued.

He says he'll be taking the case on with Bradford Cohen, also out of Florida.

As for Canny who has previously said Momeni stabbed Lee in a combination of an accident and self defense --

"Any statements that she made are no longer attached to this case, we'll make the appropriate statements after we do our own independent investigation and do our own due diligence," said Zangeneh.

Canny said it was with great disappointment and relief.

"I'm going to Nepal in October and going up to the Himalayas and taking a group of friends on a trek and that will be way more spiritually fulfilling than what this has been," said Canny.

Meantime, Momeni remains in custody. ABC7 News reached out to the District Attorney's Office for comment. We have not yet received a response.

Momeni is due back in court on June 13.

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