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Appeal of Contempt Ruling to No Avail; Will Phil Spector Lawyer Go to Jail?

Posted Jun 25, 2007 8:17 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A former defense lawyer for music producer and murder defendant Phil Spector may soon be headed for the slam.

Sara Caplan had been held in contempt by the trial judge for refusing to testify about missing evidence she allegedly saw an expert collect from the murder scene, at Spector's home in Los Angeles. But while Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler sentenced her to jail, he also stayed the sentence pending an appeal of his contempt ruling. That ruling was upheld today by an intermediate appeals court, the Los Angeles Times reports, so jail may now be in Caplan's immediate future.

Caplan contends it would be inappropriate for her to testify, because her impressions are confidential under attorney-client privilege. However, the judge says attorney-client privilege is not applicable to the destruction of evidence, and also has found that no privilege applies in this case because Caplan waived it in previous testimony, AP reports.

Spector, 67, whose murder trial is nearing a conclusion, is accused of shooting Lana Clarkson, 40, a restaurant hostess and former movie actress to death, in his Alhambra home, in the wee hours of Feb. 3, 2003. He contends that she shot herself.

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