Tag Archives: Katherine Jackson

Was The Michael Jackson Jury Verdict Wrong In Ruling For AEG?

Last week’s jury verdict sent shock waves through Michael Jackson fans who were hoping to see concert promoter AEG Live held at least partially responsible for Michael Jackson’s death.  Many expressed outrage at the verdict.  At first blush, the jury verdict does seem odd.

The jury was charged with answering 16 questions, in order, given to them on a jury verdict form.  If they answered any one of the first few questions in the negative, then AEG Live would prevail and there would be no need to answer the remaining questions.

The jury unanimously answered the first question in favor of the Michael Jackson heirs:  AEG Live did hire Dr. Conrad Murray, the jury determined.  This was a hotly disputed issue, with AEG Live arguing that Michael Jackson had hired the doctor himself.  Michael Jackson’s legal team cleared that first hurdle.

Question two pertained to whether Dr. Murray was “unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired.”  Based on the criminal conviction and the fact that Read more…

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Top 5 Legal Challenges Facing Michael Jackson’s Estate Executors

Many people never stop to think of how hard a job it is to administer the estate or trust of someone who passes away.  Often, it’s a thankless job, filled with headaches.  That’s certainly been the case for the Michael Jackson Estate executors: entertainment attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain.  Well, at least the headache part.Michael Jackson's Estate Executors

Here are the top 5 legal challenges and complications that the Michael Jackson estate executors have had to worry about in the last few months alone:

1.  The AEG Wrongful Death Trial:  It’s a Thriller!

Now nearing the five-month mark since opening statements, the heirs of Michael Jackson vs. AEG trial has been filled with twists and turns, from Lionel Richie’s ex talking to the King of Pop’s ghost to Jackson’s childhood friendship with a mouse (as revealed by the Rolling Stone).

Where is the case now?  Heading to the jury.  While many in the media were quick to report how the Judge recently dismissed two AEG executives from the case, Read more…

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Michael Jackson’s Death Trial: AEG Vs. The Jackson Family

Jury selection began yesterday for the Michael Jackson death trial. It’s the trial of Katherine Jackson and Michael’s children against concert promoter AEG Live.  The Jackson heirs reportedly will ask the jury for $40 billion in damages against AEG Live.  They blame the company for Dr. Conrad Murray’s ill-fated propofol treatment of the late King of Pop.

What is the Michael Jackson death trial really about?  Can the concert promoter be held legally responsible for Dr. Murray’ criminal mistreatment of Michael Jackson?

The answers are complicated and will be sorted out over the course of the next two to three months in front of a Los Angeles jury.  The trial will turn on two key questions:  Did AEG Live “hire” Dr. Murray to treat Michael Jackson, and if so, was it foreseeable to AEG that Dr. Murray could overdose Michael?  If the jury determines that the answer to both questions is yes, then it would then have to determine how much blame should be laid at the feet of AEG Read more…

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Is Promoter AEG Responsible For Michael Jackson’s Death?

Concert promoter AEG is on the defensive after the Los Angeles Times recently published confidential emails about AEG’s role in the cause of Michael Jackson’s death. The New York Daily News revealed more of the emails in a second article this weekend.  Michael Jackson’s death

Together, the emails paint a picture of AEG demanding that the concert tour go on, despite knowing the extremely fragile state Michael Jackson was in at the time.

But what does it all mean, legally?  Should AEG be found liable for Michael Jackson’s death?

Katherine Jackson and other family members sued AEG, blaming them for controlling and failing to supervise Dr. Conrad Murray, thereby causing Jackson’s death.  AEG denies it controlled or supervised Murray at all.  They say he was Jackson’s personal physician and he alone was responsible.

Whether that’s true or not, AEG was clearly involved in some manner.  The Daily News revealed the most telling of the emails that have been publicly disclosed so far, about AEG’s role in Michael Jackson’s death:

Kenny Ortega

Read more…

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Michael Jackson’s Estate: Siblings Promise New Fight Over His Estate

Michael Jackson’s estate faced a tumultuous beginning three years ago after he unexpectedly died.  First his mother, Katherine, and then his father, Joe, filed challenges against the executors of his Estate, John Branca and John McClain.   Katherine backed off her attack and Joe’s case was thrown out of court.  Michael Jackson's estate
Since then, the Estate has been relatively peaceful, at least on the surface.  Branca and McClain have led the Estate from a debt-ridden start to enormous profits.  They began around $500 million in the red when the King of Pop died.  Three years later, Michael Jackson’s estate reported $475 million in profits.
Of course, Branca and McClain have enjoyed a huge financial windfall from this as well.  They have a special arrangement, blessed by the probate judge who oversees the estate, allowing them to earn 10% from most deals they cut for the Estate.  Branca and McClain are now facing a new attack over their handling of the Estate.

Several of Michael’s brothers and sisters — including Janet, Randy, Tito and Read more…

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Michael Jackson’s Estate Battles Heal the World Charity

A big trial is set to begin in late April, pitting the executors of the Michael Jackson Estate against the operator of the Heal the World charitable foundation. The charity has many supporters, including Michael Jackson’s parents, Katherine and Joe Jackson.

Not only has Katherine supported the charity against the executors, but she did so with a surprising attack against John Branca, the lawyer who is one of two estate executors.

Katherine Jackson has battled with the executors before, but it all seemed resolved in late 2009 after her surprising change of heart. But clearly, there is plenty of fighting left!

What did Katherine Jackson say, under oath, to support this charity? Is this is a sign of more fighting yet to come? What could have been done differently in Michael Jackson’s estate planning to prevent this fight?

Danielle and Andy Mayoras of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! answer these questions and more, including revealing exactly what Katherine Jackson said about how her son felt about John Branca. Read more…

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Michael Jackson Estate’s record deal raises questions

The Probate Lawyer Blog featured this article about the Michael Jackson Estate several weeks ago, posing the question of whether it is ethical for estate executors to seek a 10% fee for certain business deals they reach for such a high-profile estate.  It’s especially problematic when you factor in that one of the executors was Michael Jackson’s attorney.  Michael Jackson Estate

Well, this attorney, John Branca, and his co-executor, John McClain (a music executive), just hit the mother-load.  It was widely reported yesterday that they brokered a deal worth up to $250 million dollars (that’s right — one quarter of a billion dollars!). What was the deal for?  Sony announced a seven-year distribution agreement for unreleased music recorded by the late King of Pop (as well as related video footage).

Yes that means that Branca and McClain earned $12.5 million each for one deal.

Why do we question this?  For several reasons, actually.  First, it’s the job of executors to bring in as much money as possible for an estate that has earning

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Katherine Jackson’s Shocking Change Of Heart

The Michael Jackson Estate has been the subject of regular court hearings as Katherine Jackson battled for control over the last several months.  She routinely objected to the decisions of the co-executors John Branca and John McClain.  Recently, she hired a new attorney with the promise of taking the case in a new direction, as I discussed in this recent article about the Michael Jackson case.

Michael Jackson Trial and Heirs

Her case took a new direction, all right.  She decided to drop her claim.  That’s right, she stopped fighting and agreed to let the executors run the show without her.

Surprised?  I was.  And I was far from the only one.  Here’s what a lawyer in the case said about Katherine Jackson’s change of heart, according to CNN:

“She has now reneged on her obligation to her family.”  This same lawyer then said that it was “one of the most despicable displays” he’d ever seen in court.  He even accused Katherine of colluding with the estate executors in a “secret deal”.

So who

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Katherine Jackson still batting for say in Michael Jackson’s Estate

The Michael Jackson Estate was back in court this week.  The first order of business for the judge was to approve the appointment of Katherine Jackson and the guardian for the children, after she and Michael’s ex-wife, Deborah Rowe, reached a deal allowing it.  Michael_jackson

Doctor Arnold Klein showed up to voice objections to the arrangement, saying he had a “unique interest” in the children’s welfare.  Because he had no legal right to contest the guardianship (he’s not a relative, although media reports suggested he may be the biological father), the judge refused to hear him.  There are rumblings that Dr. Klein may still lodge a fight for the children, so watch out for that.

The judge then ruled that Michael Jackson’s will (which you can read here) was formally admitted to probate.  Katherine removed her petition objecting to it, allowing the two named executors John Branca and John McClain to continue serving in that role.

Think this means the fight to control the estate is done?  Think again. 

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