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.
Michael Jackson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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 Read more...
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.
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...
Michael Jackson at Cannes festival (Wikipedia)
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 Read more...
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.
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:
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.
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...
Legal controversy has surrounded the Michael Jackson Estate ever since he died almost two years ago. Trial & Heirs did a year in review article last year; it’s almost time for year two. You can now add a new lawsuit — over $17.5 million worth of insurance — to the list.
Concert promoter AEG Live took out the large insurance policy over Michael Jackson in case he died and was unable to perform the “This Is It” concert tour. Of course, that’s exactly what happened, showing that AEG was smart to take that precaution. Reportedly, AEG spent some $20 to $25 million on the tour before the King of Pop’s death, and this insurance was supposed to protect that investment. Both AEG and a Michael Jackson limited liability company that is controlled by the Estate were named as beneficiaries eligible to collect that money under the policy.
Michael Jackson Estate Insurance Claim Update
But, AEG and the Estate haven’t collected this money yet … and both are now embroiled in Read more...
Danielle & Andy Mayoras reveal the truth about trusts with Mary Talks Money of ABC’s LiveWell Network:
By Danielle and Andy Mayoras, co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, husband-and-wife legacy expert attorneys, and hosts of an upcoming national PBS special. The charismatic duo has appeared on the Rachael Ray Show, Forbes, ABC’s Live Well Network, WGN-TV and has lent their expertise and analysis to hundreds of media sources, including The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Kiplinger, and The Washington Post, among many others. As dynamic keynote speakers, Danielle and Andy delight audiences nationwide with highly entertaining and informative presentations, dishing the dirt on celebrity estate battles while dispensing important legal information to help people avoid family fights among their heirs. The couple spends their free time with their 8-year old son and seven-year old boy/girl twins.
For the latest celebrity and high-profile cases, with tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients, subscribe to The Legacy Update at www.TrialandHeirs.com
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...