[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
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.


SEE ALSO
Jackson jury orders joint awards
14 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Michael Jackson sued by ex-wife
13 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Jackson thanks fans on Tokyo trip
27 May 06 |  Entertainment
Jackson 'abuse' action dismissed
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

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific