John C. Taylor of Taylor & Ring represents the family of Lana Clarkson, the actress who was killed by music producer Phil Spector in February 2003 while she was at his home in Alhambra, California. Taylor & Ring filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Phil Spector in early 2005. That lawsuit was on hold until the criminal case against Phil Spector ended in 2009.
The first criminal case for murder against Phil Spector began in late April 2007, and ended several months later in a mistrial because the jury could not reach a unanimous decision, which is required in criminal cases. Ten jurors found Spector guilty of murder; two jurors voted for acquittal.
The re-trial of the criminal case began in late 2008 and concluded in April 2009 with the jury convicting Spector of second degree murder. The prosecution team, led by deputy district attorneys Alan Jackson and Truc Do, did a remarkable job on the case considering the difficulty experienced by the D.A.'s office in prosecuting other celebrities in high-profile cases, such as O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake.
Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison by Judge Larry Paul Fidler. The judge remanded Spector to prison immediately, rather than allow him to remain free on bail while he appealed the conviction. Spector now sits in a California prison while he pursues the criminal appeal process.
Although Spector is appealing his criminal conviction, the "stay" of the civil wrongful death case was finally lifted. Taylor & Ring are now pursuing justice for the Clarkson family in the civil court through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The plaintiff in the civil case is Lana's mother, Donna Clarkson. Lana was also survived by her sister, Fawn. Lana was never married and did not have any children. Lana was a successful actress in Hollywood and, far more importantly, was a wonderful, loving person. As she reached age 40, the roles were not coming her way like they used to, and she was attempting to connect and network with key entertainment figures in Hollywood by working in the VIP lounge at the House of Blues. Unfortunately, it was there that she met Phil Spector.
Phil Spector was viewed as a musical genius in the 1960s when he produced songs that became incredibly popular and remain so today, forty years later. He introduced what became known as the "Wall of Sound" in the recording studio, which was basically the use of many live instruments creating a multi-layered, loud, and all-consuming background sound to the musician's voice. At the time, this concept was unique and precedent-setting. Spector produced the Righteous Brothers, the Ronettes, Tina Turner, the Beatles, and John Lennon, among many others. But, by the early 1970s, Spector's career faded and he largely disappeared from the limelight until the murder of Lana Clarkson in 2003.
The criminal trial highlighted Phil Spector's passion for guns and gunplay, with several women testifying that he threatened them with a gun when he was in a drunken state, alone with them, and attempting to seduce them or force them to spend the night. When each woman resisted and tried to leave, Spector would fly into a rage, pull out a gun, and threaten them.
It is clear what occurred that horrible night in February 2003 when Lana Clarkson decided to go with Phil Spector from the House of Blues, where she worked, to his "castle" in Alhambra. Lana was likely trying to build what she viewed as a solid contact in the music and entertainment world, while Spector had other thoughts on his mind. Spector's driver took them back to Spector's home and waited outside for further instructions. Inside, after some drinks and conversation, Clarkson had enough and was sitting on a chair near the front door with her purse over her shoulder getting ready to leave when Spector became enraged and pulled a gun on her, threatened her, and shot her in the mouth. (Spector kept many guns in his house, and had one in a dresser by the front door.)
Lana was killed instantly. Spector then walked outside in his drunken state and said to his driver, who was waiting just outside, "I think that I just killed somebody." In fact, Phil Spector had killed a lovely young lady who had no idea that Phil Spector was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode on a female companion who wanted nothing to do with him romantically.
Los Angeles lawyer John Taylor and the law firm of Taylor & Ring, along with co-counsel Rod Lindblom, are committed to obtaining justice on behalf of Lana Clarkson and her mother and sister. We will aggressively pursue the wrongful death case against Phil Spector until every stone has been unturned, every asset found, and justice has prevailed.
Earlier this year, Phil Spector settled the wrongful death suit against him. Despite preparing to mount a defense for the civil suit, Spector signed off on the confidential settlement. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, "Donna Clarkson is pleased and relieved that the civil matter is now over," said Donna's attorney, John Taylor. (source)
Please click on the documents below which are related to the case against Phil Spector.
Read the complaint filed in the wrongful death civil lawsuit against Phil Spector.
Read the Los Angeles Daily Journal article on the filing of the wrongful death lawsuit against Phil Spector.
Read the Associated Press article following the mistrial.