LOS ANGELES – A lawyer who claims "High School Musical" lead Vanessa Hudgens owes him $150,000 in legal fees can proceed with his lawsuit against the teen star, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Tricia Ann Bigelow said she or a jury should decide whether the actress acted within a reasonable period of time when she waited two years to repudiate a contract she signed when she was 16.
Hudgens' attorney, Evan N. Spiegel, did not immediately return a call to his office seeking comment after the hearing.
Attorney Brian Schall filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit in September that said Hudgens agreed in October 2005 to pay him 5 percent of her earnings in exchange for his legal representation.
Hudgens earned more than $5 million with his help, Schall says in his lawsuit.
Hudgens disavowed the agreement on Oct. 9. She turns 19 later this month.
Her attorney argued that state law provides that a contract with a minor can be voided before the person turns 18 or "within a reasonable time afterward."
Hayes F. Michel, an attorney for Schall, argued in court papers that Hudgens claims "she was too young and innocent to be bound by a legal contract ... and was preyed upon by the very lawyer who helped her make enough money to pay her current lawyers."
The next hearing in the case was scheduled for Jan. 15.