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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Jackson splits with his lawyers
Michael Jackson
Jackson was found not guilty of child abuse charges 14 months ago
Michael Jackson has parted from lawyers representing him in a court action, with the law firm claiming it quit but the pop star saying he fired them.

A New York judge allowed law firm Wachtel & Masyr to quit the case after it said it had not been paid and had difficulty contacting Mr Jackson.

But a letter from Mr Jackson said he had fired the lawyers last month.

Finance company Prescient Acquisition Group is suing the singer, saying it is owed $48m (26m).

The firm alleges it helped Mr Jackson find investors to help pay off a $272.5m (145m) debt, and arrange $537.5m (287m) in financing to secure the Beatles' back catalogue.

In a letter to the court on Tuesday, attorney William Wachtel said his law firm had dealt with Mr Jackson through a series of intermediaries who repeatedly quit or were fired.

Mr Jackson had promised to be in better contact after the sole face-to-face meeting in June, the letter said.

"Unfortunately, Mr Jackson has failed to respond to every e-mail and telephone message left for him over the past four weeks," it said.

US District Judge Kevin Castel said he wanted the parties back in court on 5 September, and that Mr Jackson had to hire a new lawyer or appear himself.

A California court last month awarded $900,000 (480,000) to an ex-business associate of Mr Jackson who sued for $3.8m (2m) he said he was owed.

The court awarded Mr Jackson $200,000 (107,000) in a cross-complaint.

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14 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
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13 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
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27 May 06 |  Entertainment
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18 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Jackson strikes deal over loans
14 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Jackson shuts down Neverland home
17 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Jackson sued by finance company
12 Jul 05 |  Entertainment
Michael Jackson cleared of abuse
14 Jun 05 |  Entertainment


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