Killer wife takes lawyer to court

February 20, 2008 5:10:11 PM PST
She's serving time in prison for fatally running over her husband with her Mercedes. Today Clara Harris is back in court ? and so is her former attorney. George Parnham finds himself on the stand answering questions, instead of asking them. These two were once on the same team as attorney and client. Now Harris and Parnham are on opposite sides of a lawsuit.

Clara Harris sat quietly in court as her former attorney took the stand, discussing the behind the scenes details of the murder case that captured national attention. Clara was convicted of killing her husband, David Harris, by running over him after learning he was having an affair in 2002.

She claims now she was overcharged for her legal defense. It's a claim George Parnham's attorney denied in his opening statement.

Attorney Chip Babcock said, "Nothing was done without the consent of this controlling, hands-on, type A woman -- Clara Harris."

In court, both attorneys showed the jury a promissory note and security agreement signed by Harris just after her conviction. It was supposed to help secure money, not only to pay for the trial, but for the appeal. However, attorney Mac Seacrest ended up handling that appeal.

Harris' attorney, Dean Blumrosen, asked Parnham, "This note is only payable to you? "

"Correct," Parnham answered.

Blumrosen continued, "It's not payable to Mr. Seacrest?"

No," said Parnham.

There is much on the line -- for Harris, who certainly needs all available money for her appeal, and for Parnham, there's something money cannot buy.

Legal analyst Joel Androphy explained, "It's reputation. Parnham is a wonderful trial attorney, but this taints him. This hurts him because it suggests he doesn't get along with a client."

Parnham said he would still like to see Clara get another trial.

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