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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Sep 12, 2013

Author of one of the greatest American novels, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee has reached a settlement in her suit against a former literary agent. The man, Samuel Pinkus,who worked for Hastings-on-Hudson was accused of scamming Lee into signing over copyrights. Pinkus is the son-in-law of her former deceased literary agent, Eugene Winick.

The 87-year-old writer attested that the agent took advantage of her old age in 2007. She is currently near deaf, has failing vision, and resides in an assisted living facility. Lee claims that she did not remember any transaction with Pinkus, and accused him of acting in his own self-interest.

The lawsuit called for the forfeit of all commissions which the agent and his corresponding companies made after the alleged deal, and that they reassign the copyrights to Lee. Two years ago, Pinkus created a company called Philologus Procurator Inc. which held the rights in 2011, but assigned the copyright back to Lee in 2012. The thought was that Pinkus created the smaller company so it would be harder for the author to collect the royalties, even though she eventually did get the rights back.

Lee had also named others on her lawsuit, including, Pinkus’ wife, and journalist Gerald Posner, but they were eventually dropped. The parties in the case were said to have come to a settlement, and the papers would be filed in the Federal court.

Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for “To Kill a Mockingbird” and has received millions of dollars in royalties throughout the years. About 750,000 copies are still sold each year, totaling in about 30 million copies thus far. The film adaptation was shown at the White House in 2012 for the 50th anniversary by Barack Obama.