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Convicted MurdererJames Raphael Mitchell and His Lawyer Get Into It Over Money

from www.sfgate.com – Convicted murderer James Mitchell, the scion of a porn empire, isn’t only getting 35 years to life in prison – he’s on the hook to his ex-lawyer, former San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan.

Mitchell, who was sentenced this month for killing the mother of his young daughter with a baseball bat in 2009, fired Hallinan as his defense lawyer last year. Hallinan, who spent seven months on the case, has declined comment, but there were reports that Mitchell was frustrated over not being able to have Marin County jailhouse visits with his daughter.

Mitchell objected to having paid Hallinan $125,000, which the two had agreed was to be half of his fee, said Hugh Levine, who represented Hallinan in a fee arbitration before a Marin County Bar Association panel.

The panel found that Hallinan had proved he was entitled to the $125,000, as well as another $10,000 that Mitchell paid to another attorney who assisted Hallinan, Levine said.

“Mitchell’s claim against Terence was entirely groundless,” Levine said.

Mitchell, 29, is the son of the late porn mogul Jim Mitchell, who fatally shot his brother and business partner, Artie Mitchell, in 1991. James Mitchell inherited the Mitchell Brothers porn empire with other family members, and until his arrest he held the title of director of film operations.

Now, however, he says he’s broke.

Levine noted that Mitchell has the right to take his dispute with Hallinan to civil court. But given that he claims to be indigent, Levine said, Mitchell might want to save what he has for “an education fund for the daughter whose mother the jury found he murdered.”

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