updated 11/24/2005 3:01:57 AM ET 2005-11-24T08:01:57

Scott Peterson is attempting to halt publication of a book written by a lawyer who was kicked off his case for violating a judge’s gag order.

A Superior Court judge declined to grant a request for emergency relief during a hearing Wednesday, likely pushing the case before an appellate court next week, Peterson’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said Wednesday night.

“We’re seeking appellate relief to prevent a lawyer who was employed for the briefest of times from capitalizing on that employment and violating his oath as a lawyer,” Geragos told The Associated Press.

Matthew Dalton was employed with Geragos & Geragos during the early stages of the Peterson case. He was removed after violating a judge’s order not to speak with the media. In an August 2003 conversation with reporters, Dalton floated a human sacrifice theory in the killing of Peterson’s wife, Laci.

Peterson was sentenced to death for the 2002 murder of his pregnant wife and their unborn son. His lawyers did not pursue the human sacrifice defense at trial. His case is on automatic appeal.

Publication set for December
Dalton’s book, “Presumed Guilty,” is scheduled for publication Dec. 13 by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book’s subtitle is “What the jury never knew about Laci Peterson’s murder and why Scott Peterson should not be on death row.”

Messages left after hours for Dalton and Simon & Schuster officials were not immediately returned.

Geragos said Dalton left before Peterson’s preliminary hearing and has not seen many of the documents that were filed in the case. He also does not have permission to reveal any information about Peterson.

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