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Larry Birkhead countersues former Anna Nicole Smith lawsuit attorney


UPI News Service, 06/04/2007 

California photographer Larry Birkhead countersued the lawyer suing him for payment for her work during the custody battle for Anna Nicole Smith's daughter.

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In his complaint filed in Los Angles Superior Court late last week, Birkhead alleged that attorney Debra Opri presented him a project from NBC Universal for which he'd be compensated no "no less than $1,050,000," E! News reported.

Birkhead's action comes just days after Opri filed papers requesting court-ordered arbitration to enable her to collect $650,000 in legal fees she said Birkhead owes her.

He alleged that, without his consent or authorization, at least $865,000 of that amount wound up in Opri's client trust account and possibly other accounts as well. When he asked for the money, she paid him $200,000 and "wrongfully retained possession and control of the balance of the funds from the project," the suit said.

Birkhead is seeking at least $885,000 in damages for funds he said Opri received when she represented him in his custody battle for baby Dannielynn. After the two parted company in March, a Bahamas court-ordered DNA test confirmed he was the child's father.

An arbitration hearing on Opri's suit is scheduled July 9.


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Copyright 2007 by United Press International











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