Jury to rule if Phil Spector will get a $1m refund

A JURY is set to rule on whether jailed record producer Phil Spector should be refunded $1 million (£633,000) he paid to his former criminal defence attorney after his 2003 arrest.

Los Angeles superior court judge Malcolm Mackey last night rejected a bid by Robert Shapiro's lawyers to have Spector's claims dismissed, saying jurors would decide whether the fee was non-refundable.

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The producer and Mr Shapiro have been sparring over the money for years, with Spector contending Mr Shapiro took advantage of him while he was facing charges for shooting a woman at his mansion.

Mr Shapiro has countered that it was clear that the fee was non-refundable. Mr Shapiro says he completed equivalent of 118,000 hours of work on the case, but the agreement he signed with Spector guaranteed him 633,000.

Renowned for his work with musicians such as The Beatles, The Righteous Brothers and the Ronettes, Spector is serving 19 years for second-degree murder.