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Judge won't dismiss Spector legal fee dispute

December 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A Los Angeles judge refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by imprisoned record producer Phil Spector against his former attorney.Spector, who was convicted in the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, says attorney Robert Shapiro owes him $1 million.

Shapiro says Spector paid him the money as a retainer and signed an agreement to make it non-refundable.

Shapiro performed the equivalent of $186,000 worth of work on the case, his attorney said, but that didn't matter because the agreement he signed with Spector guaranteed him the $1 million.

The judge questioned Shapiro's attorney, asking if the producer received enough of Shapiro's services to warrant the fee.

"You think a million dollars worth of services was done here?" the judge asked attorney Joel Klevens.

"Absolutely," the attorney responded, noting that Shapiro secured Spector's release on bail and that he remained free until his 2009 conviction.

A judge ruled a jury must decide which man is right.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.