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Harvey Weinstein sues lawyer, seeks return of $1 million in fees

NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein wants his money back.

The convicted rapist is suing his one-time lawyer Jose Baez for breach of contract and is seeking a refund on $1 million in legal fees he says he paid the high-profile attorney for a short stint on his legal team.

Weinstein alleges Baez was regularly preoccupied with other matters, pawned off important work on other lawyers, was often unavailable to speak with him about his New York City rape case and later provided fraudulent billing records.

Baez, a Florida-based lawyer best known for representing Casey Anthony, joined Weinstein’s defense in January 2019 and left six months later, saying the former movie mogul had tarnished their relationship by communicating only through other lawyers and by failing to abide by a fee agreement.

Weinstein, in the lawsuit, claims he agreed to pay Baez and another lawyer $2 million in $200,000 monthly payments for their defense work on the landmark #MeToo case but that Baez violated New York law by stating in his agreement that his retainer was non-refundable and non-negotiable.

Messages seeking comment were left for Baez.

Weinstein, 69, was convicted in February 2020 of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on a production assistant in 2006. He is serving a 23-year sentence in state prison. Last month, his lawyers filed appeal paperwork demanding a new trial.

Weinstein also faces a likely extradition to California, where he is charged with assaulting five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013.

Details of Weinstein’s lawsuit against Baez were reported by Law 360.

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