- Associated Press - Friday, March 4, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Imprisoned music producer Phil Spector has settled his lawsuit against attorney Robert Shapiro over a $1 million retainer days before a trial was scheduled to begin.

Lawyers for the two men reported the settlement on Thursday to a judge, who ordered all discussions and the settlement’s terms sealed.

Spector had been seeking a refund of the $1 million retainer he paid Shapiro after his arrest in 2003. The “Wall of Sound” producer was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting of Lana Clarkson after two trials and is currently serving 19 years to life in prison.

Shapiro was a member of O.J. Simpson’s defense team during his murder trial and represented Spector for about a year.

Spector had been fighting for years to get the money returned, claiming Shapiro took advantage of him.

A trial was scheduled to begin on Monday. Many of Los Angeles’ top criminal defense attorneys, including Mark Geragos and former Spector attorney Leslie Abramson, were expected to testify.

Spector is known for his work with musicians such as The Beatles, The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes. He would not have been released for the trial, but attorneys planned to play his videotaped deposition for jurors.

“It was a case we were absolutely convinced we were going to win,” Spector’s attorney, Michael Dempsey, said. But he said any verdict likely would have been appealed all the way to the California Supreme Court.

Shapiro’s attorney, Joel Klevens, did not return a phone message seeking comment.



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