Attorney Fees

Phil Spector Wants Return of $1 Million Legal Fee

Updated: Music producer Phil Spector is asking for a refund of a $1 million legal fee in a lawsuit against the first lawyer he hired to defend him on murder charges.

The suit claims the lawyer, Robert Shapiro, performed inadequate legal work for the $1 million retainer he was paid in 2003, the Associated Press reports. Spector claims he was being treated for mental problems and had not been able to take his medication for several days when he signed the engagement letter with Shapiro. Spector fired Shapiro the next year.

The suit claims Shapiro “took unfair and unscrupulous advantage of his friendship and position of trust with Mr. Spector, and decided to use Mr. Spector’s arrest as an opportunity to make a financial windfall and garner publicity for himself.”

Spector had filed an earlier suit against Shapiro that also sought a refund, but he dropped it in December 2005 with the provision that he could file again, E!Online reports. At the time of the first suit, Shapiro, known for his work on O.J. Simpson’s “dream team,” said his work in the Spector case had been “impeccable.”

Spector’s trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson ended in a hung jury earlier this year. He has hired a new lead lawyer for the new trial, San Francisco attorney Doron Weinberg.

Story updated at 1:33 PM to correct the incorrect statement that Shapiro had sued Spector in an earlier suit over fees. It was the other way around: Spector sued Shapiro.

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