LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Phil Spector made a brief court appearance Friday in which his new lawyer said he could not be ready for the music producer's murder retrial until September at the earliest.
The lawyer also filed a writ asking that a neutral judge be appointed to decide if Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler should be disqualified from Spector's second trial because of alleged bias.
Fidler earlier rejected the bid to remove him, saying he was impartial in the case and that it was too late to file such a motion.
Spector's attorney, Doron Weinberg, filed a 44-page motion last week listing numerous alleged acts of bias by the judge. They included the imposition of a gag order limited to Spector's wife and a potential defense witness, as well as his decision to withdraw a jury instruction and craft a new one after jurors first announced they were deadlocked.
Weinberg said in the writ to the California 2nd District Court of Appeal that California law prohibits a judge from ruling on his or her own disqualification motion.
At Friday's court session, Fidler set another hearing for May 22, when a new trial date could be set.
Spector, 67, agreed to the delay.
Spector's first trial ended in September 2007 when the jury deadlocked. Spector, famed for his "Wall of Sound" recording technique, is accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion on Feb. 3, 2003.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.