Phil Spector's lawyers asked a judge on Wednesday for an indefinite stay of the music producer's murder retrial so they can appeal the case on double jeopardy grounds.
Defense attorneys Dennis Riordan and Doron Weinberg want an assurance that prosecutors will not ask jurors to convict Spector on lesser offenses of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
Spector's first trial resulted in a jury deadlock on the single charge of second degree murder.
The verdict came after Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ruled the lesser charges did not apply and could not be argued to the jury.
Riordan and Weinberg said the ruling was tantamount to an acquittal on the lesser offenses. Bringing them up at the retrial would amount to double jeopardy, they said.
Prosecutors have not indicated whether they plan such a move, and Fidler has not ruled on whether he would allow it.
A pretrial hearing in the case is set for Thursday. Other issues to be raised include defense opposition to the proposed testimony of six people who allege Spector threatened them with guns.
Spector, 68, is charged with murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra mansion in 2003.
Defense lawyers maintained Clarkson turned a gun on herself and committed suicide.