Thursday, September 27, 2007

Spector Dodges a Bullet

The LA Times photo above shows Phil Spector leaving the courtroom after a mistrial was called on his 5 1/2-month long murder trial.

For several days there have been signs the jury was firmly deadlocked. It even caused the judge to intervene in their deliberations by withdrawing an instruction he had given in his charge to the jurors.

The verdict - guilty, 10-2. Good but not good enough. The prosecution has announced it will refile the charges and start over.

"Money makes a difference. This comes down much more to money than fame," Loyola law professor Laurie Levenson said.

Unfortunately, Levenson is absolutely right. As a former litigator I know that, in far too many cases, a litigant gets as much justice as he/she/it can afford. As a lawyer, the better you are, the more you charge. The more you charge, the more upscale becomes your clientelle. There are, of course, exceptions - just not nearly enough exceptions.

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