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Wanted: New Spector Defense Lawyers

Posted Oct 3, 2007 3:11 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Although Phil Spector's defense counsel deadlocked the jury at his Los Angeles murder trial, he wants another legal team to represent him at retrial.

Six attorneys are interviewing for the job of lead counsel, according to the Associated Press. Many of Spector's current lawyers are stepping aside after months defending the 67-year-old music producer's second-degree murder case.

"Attorney Roger Rosen, who headed the often-fractured defense team during the long trial, asked the judge to relieve him and attorney Bradley Brunon from further representing Spector," writes AP, referring to Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler. "The judge agreed and said he had also been informed that New York lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden was leaving the case."

Says the Los Angeles Times: "Only Christopher J. Plourd and Dennis Riordan are expecting to stay on the team, though Plourd told the judge the status of any holdover attorneys will depend on the wishes of Spector's new lead counsel."

Spector effectively dismissed former lead lawyer, Bruce Cutler, on the eve of trial, and selected Kenney-Baden to close, as earlier ABAJournal.com posts discuss. Cutler spent time during the trial filming a reality television program in which he plays the judge.

Fidler expects Spector to appear in court Oct. 23 with new counsel, and hopes to begin a new trial early in 2008. "Fidler warned that Spector had better choose a lawyer with an open calendar, saying he will require the lawyer to represent that he can be ready to go to trial without undue delay," the AP article notes.

The Times reports that may not be easy: "Good lawyers are going to be busy," Plourd says.

Spector is accused of having shot and killed Lana Clarkson, 40, at his suburban Los Angeles home on Feb. 3, 2003 after she allegedly curtailed a sexual encounter. The defense says she shot herself, either accidentally or in a suicide effort. A jury deadlocked 10-2 on Sept. 26, with most reportedly voting to convict him, according to AP, the Times and Court TV.

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