JUDGE: MICHAEL JACKSON’S MOM SHOULD PAY COSTS

Source: Associated Press – By Anthony McCartney

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson’s mother should pay more than $800,000 in trial costs to a concert promoter that she targeted in a failed negligent hiring lawsuit involving the death of her son, a judge said Monday.

Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued the tentative ruling calling on the Jackson family matriarch to pay AEG Live LLC after it won the case.

The five-month trial ended in October with a jury determining that AEG Live did not negligently hire the doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 as he prepared for a comeback tour.

The ruling is expected to be finalized after AEG Live submits an amended list of its costs for items such as court filing fees, court reporters and travel. Attorneys for the company and Katherine Jackson agreed not to argue Palazuelos’ tentative ruling, but it might be appealed.

Katherine Jackson’s attorney Kevin Boyle said a decision on appealing the order would be made after reviewing its final language. The verdict and rulings in the case are currently being appealed.

AEG Live initially sought more than $1.2 million to cover its costs. Katherine Jackson’s lawyers claimed only about a quarter of that amount was justified.

AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam said the court did the right thing “by ordering Katherine Jackson to pay nearly $1 million spent in having to defend a matter that she should have never brought in the first place.”

A motion filed by her lawyers last week stated that the costs would be borne by her and the singer’s three children, all of whom are supported by his estate.

The estate has earned hundreds of millions of dollars since the singer’s death and paid off his debts. It also covers schooling, housing and other costs for his children and mother.

Jackson died in June 2009 after receiving an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, which former cardiologist Conrad Murray was giving the superstar as a sleep aid during preparations for his planned “This Is It” shows. Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_JACKSON_AEG_SUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-04-14-13-54-19

New Trial In Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit Rejected

Source: CNN – By Alan Duke

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Los Angeles (CNN) — The judge who presided over the Michael Jackson wrongful-death trial last year issued a final rejection of the Jacksons’ request for a new trial on Monday.

The six-month-long trial ended in October with a victory for AEG Live, the concert promoter Jackson’s mother and children had claimed was liable for his death because it hired, retained or supervised the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death.

Lawyers for mother Katherine Jackson argued that the verdict form used by the jury was faulty and that the judge erred by refusing to let them pursue a negligence claim independent of the hiring case.

Their motion for a new trial filed in December included sworn statements from four of the 12 jurors saying they feel cheated by the outcome, which they blame on a misleading verdict form.

Jackson died from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009, which Dr. Conrad Murray told police he used to treat the pop icon’s insomnia as he prepared for a tour produced by AEG Live.

Los Angeles County Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued a tentative ruling earlier in January saying she did not err in her decisions on the verdict form or with the dismissal of the negligence claim.

She heard oral arguments on January 3 and filed her final decision denying the request on Monday.

Jackson lawyers have indicated they will appeal the jury’s verdict.

AEG Live lawyers filed statements from seven other jurors saying they were not confused by the verdict form.

The jurors cited by the Jackson motion used the words “stunned,” “upset” and “shocked” when they were told they had to stop deliberations after a majority agreed the answer was “no” to the second question on the verdict form: “Was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired?”

One juror called the question “a trap that prevented us from deliberating on the real issues of the case.”

“After sitting through almost six months of the trial in this case, I believed that Mrs. Jackson had proven her case against AEG LIve,” another juror said. “Despite this fact, I had no way of voting in favor of the plaintiffs because of the way that the verdict form was worded.”

Jackson lawyers, in their arguments for a new trial, contended that Palazuelos erred by denying their request to add the words “at any time” to the second question.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/13/showbiz/michael-jackson-trial-denied/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

 

Jackson Attorney Says Jury In AEG Trial Was Confused

Source: LA Times – By Kate Mather

Attorneys for Katherine Jackson, Deborah Chang and Kevin Boyle (R)

Attorneys for Katherine Jackson, Deborah Chang and Kevin Boyle (R)

A Los Angeles judge heard arguments Friday over her tentative ruling this week denying Katherine Jackson’s request for a new trial against entertainment giant AEG Live in the death of her son, Michael Jackson.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos took the case under submission following the morning hearing, which came three months after jurors decided AEG was not responsible for Jackson’s death.

Palazuelos issued her tentative 44-page ruling Thursday. When the judge makes her final decision, the parties will have 30 days to file an appeal.

In their civil case, Katherine Jackson and her grandchildren claimed AEG negligently hired and controlled Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of giving the pop superstar a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol in 2009. Jurors agreed that AEG Live hired Murray, but they rejected the second question on the verdict form that asked whether Murray was unfit or incompetent, ending deliberations.

The jurors had to answer yes to five questions on the form to find AEG liable in Jackson’s death.

The Jackson family filed a motion seeking a new suit last month, after four of the jurors gave sworn statements saying they found the verdict form confusing.

“I believed that Mrs. Jackson had proven her case against AEG Live. Despite this fact, I had no way of voting in favor of the plaintiffs because of the way the verdict form was worded,” one juror said in a declaration filed with the motion.

Attorneys representing the Jacksons focused much of their arguments Friday on that verdict form, saying it limited jurors from fully considering the evidence at hand. Rather, they said, the second question only allowed jurors to focus on Murray’s competence and expectations when he was hired — not whether they changed after the fact.

Attorney Deborah Chang called it a “major, major problem” that “cut us off at the knees.”

AEG’s attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina kept her arguments brief, saying there was no need for a new trial. It was the Jackson team, she argued, who including the language of the disputed question in drafts of the verdict form and jury instructions.

Chang said there was no way to improve the question, arguing it should have been ignored because the case overall was “too complicated and too strange” for the verdict form used.

Both sides — along with the judge — acknowledged the difficulty of the trial, which stretched nearly six months. They made multiple references to the often-heated back-and-forth, with Chang calling the case a “fight to the bitter, bitter end.”

“There will never be another case like this again,” Chang said. “Maybe part of the reason why is there will never be someone like Michael Jackson and Murray, and the whole situation with AEG Live.”

Judge Tentatively Rules Against New Jackson Trial

Source: Star Telegram – By Anthony McCartney

Michael Jackson's parents Katherine and

LOS ANGELES — A judge issued a tentative ruling Friday against granting a new trial in a negligence case filed by the mother of Michael Jackson claiming a concert promoter was financially liable for the singer’s death.

Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos did not immediately finalize the ruling after hearing more than two hours of arguments from lawyers.

A jury in October rejected Katherine Jackson’s lawsuit claiming AEG Live LLC negligently hired the doctor convicted of giving her son an overdose of anesthetic in 2009.

Her lawyers argued the verdict form didn’t allow jurors to fully consider evidence in the case. Lawyers for AEG Live countered that there was no basis for a new trial.

AEG Live attorney Jessica Stebbins Bina told the judge it was actually Katherine Jackson’s lawyers who included the disputed language in drafts of the verdict form and instructions.

Jackson family attorney Deborah Chang, however, said the question that brought jurors to end the case couldn’t have been corrected and should have been excluded from the form.

Palazuelos did not indicate when she would finalize her ruling. If she stands by it, Katherine Jackson’s attorneys could pursue an appeal with a higher state court.

Jurors heard more than five months of evidence in the lawsuit trial.

Katherine Jackson sued AEG Live on behalf of herself and her son’s three children, accusing the concert promoter of hiring Dr. Conrad Murray and creating a conflict of interest in his care of the pop superstar.

Murray, who was deeply in debt, expected to be paid $150,000 a month to care for Jackson while the singer prepared for a planned series of comeback concerts in London’s O2 Arena. Jackson died on June 25, 2009, after receiving an overdose of propofol, which Murray was giving Jackson as a sleep aid.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 and released in October after serving two years in jail.

The trial offered a close look into Jackson’s personal life as well as his routines as an entertainer and medical treatments for a variety of ailments.

Jurors later said their verdict did not mean they thought Murray was ethical in his care of Jackson, but that he was fit and competent to serve as his doctor.

AEG Live denied any wrongdoing throughout the trial and said there was no way executives could have known that Murray was giving Jackson propofol in the bedroom of his rented mansion.

Michael Jackson Trial Jurors Felt ‘Stunned’ And ‘Cheated’ By Verdict Process

Source: CNN – By Alan Duke

Jackson V. AEG Verdict

Los Angeles (CNN) — Four jurors in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial said they feel cheated by the outcome, which they blame on a misleading verdict form.

The six-month-long trial ended in October with a victory for AEG Live, the concert promoter Jackson’s mother and children had claimed was liable for his death because it hired, retained or supervised the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death.

The jurors, whose sworn statements were attached to a motion for a new trial filed Thursday by Katherine Jackson’s lawyers, said most of the jury wanted to find concert promoter AEG Live liable in Jackson’s 2009 death.

Along with arguing that the verdict form was faulty, the Jackson lawyers contend the judge erred by refusing to let them pursue a negligence claim independent of the hiring case.

Jackson died from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009, which Dr. Conrad Murray told police he used to treat the pop icon’s insomnia as he prepared for a tour produced by AEG Live.

They jurors used the words “stunned,” “upset” and “shocked” when they were told they had to stop deliberations after a majority agreed that the answer was “no” to the second question on the verdict form — “Was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent to perform the work for which he was hired?”

One juror called the question “a trap that prevented us from deliberating on the real issues of the case.”

“After sitting through almost six months of the trial in this case, I believed that Mrs. Jackson had proven her case against AEG LIve,” another juror said. “Despite this fact, I had no way of voting in favor of the plaintiffs because of the way that the verdict form was worded.”

Jackson lawyers, in their arguments for a new trial, contend that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazeulos erred by denying their request to add the words “at any time” to the question.

The four jurors, whose names were redacted from the documents released by the court, agreed.

“I would like the judge to know that we did not have the opportunity to deliberate or render a verdict on the plaintiffs claims that Dr Murray did not become unfit or incompetent until after the conflict of interest was created, Dr. Murray’s duties were changed, pressures were mounting, or even after the contract was prepared and signed by Dr. Murray,” one juror said.

The jury voted “no” only after one member convinced them that the question could have only meant “at the time he was hired,” two of the juror statements said.

“During our deliberations, I asked to send a question to the judge to explain Question 2, but by then the foreman had already answered ‘no’ and followed the instructions to sign the form,” one said. “I feel so cheated because I sat through five months of trial and listened to a lot of evidence on the ethical conflict created — yet I never got to even deliberate at all on that issue or even review the hundreds of exhibits that had been brought in.”

Another juror said they decided not to ask the judge for direction on the second question because “we did not want anyone to know where we were in deliberations.”

“I do not believe that the verdict form was fair or worded incorrectly, and as phrased, Question 2 was a trap that prevented us from deliberating on the real issues of the case,” a juror said.

The same juror described the emotional toll it has caused. “Since the jury verdict, I have been very upset, and initially I was unable to eat or even check my e-mails because I was so sorry about the verdict and the fact that justice was not done in this case, because of how question 2 on the verdict form was worded.”

“I do not think that justice was achieved in this case,” another said.

The affidavits revealed that one of the 12 jurors refused to stop deliberating despite being told it was over. “He insisted that we continue answering the rest of the questions,” a juror said.

Judge Palazeulos will hear arguments on the new trial motion on January 3.

 http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/12/showbiz/michael-jackson-new-trial-motion/

 

 

Randy Phillips Out At AEG Live, Jay Marciano Named Chairman

Source: Billboard – By Ray Waddell

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Randy Phillips is out as president/CEO of AEG Live, the live entertainment arm of Anschutz Entertainment Group.

The company said in a statement that it is “restructuring the management of that live entertainment subsidiary” and that Jay Marciano, Chief Operating Officer of AEG, has been appointed Chairman of AEG Live and will assume a more active role in the management of that division. In his new role, Marciano will oversee an LA-based executive team led by Paul Tollett, John Meglen, Shawn Trell and Rick Mueller. 

Tollett was named CEO and President of Goldenvoice; Meglen as named President of Global Touring for AEG Live; and Trell has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer, AEG Live, taking over for Tom Miserendino who recently relocated to London to assume the role of President and CEO, AEG Europe. 

In February of 2012, Phillips signed a new five-year contract to remain at the helm of AEG Live, the position he has held with the live entertainment division of Los Angeles-based AEG since joining the company in 10 years ago.

The company is now the second-biggest concert promoter in the world, reporting grosses totaling $1.1 billion in 2013 according to Boxscore. With tours by Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney (the latter two with The Messina Group) this year, along with a thriving one-off business, AEG Live put up record gross revenues this year, second only to Live Nation Entertainment.

Under Phillips’ direction, AEG Live has become a force in touring and concert promotion. Among achievements on his watch were Celine Dion’s residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Vegas (spearheaded by AEG Live division Concerts West president John Meglen), arena residencies for artists ranging from Garth Brooks to Prince. On the other hand, Phillips has been a polarizing figure in the industry, and was at the center of the storm in AEG’s recent wrongful death trial relating to the death of Michael Jackson, of which AEG was found not guilty by a jury and Phillips was dismissed from.

Still, on Phillips’ watch AEG Live became a viable global touring deal option with creative marketing and promotion for a wide range of touring artists.  When Jackson’s 50-date This Is It run at the O2 in London didn’t happen, Phillips was a key player in saving the company from a huge financial loss as a producer of the “This Is It” documentary. AEG Live now includes 15 regional and international offices as well as stand-alone divisions devoted to touring, festivals (division Goldenvoice produces Coachella, for one), exhibitions, broadcast, merchandise, ticketing and special events. Additionally, AEG Live and its parent AEG own, operate or exclusively book more than 40 venues from the club to stadium level.
 
Phillips also built a formidable team of savvy touring executives that span the globe, keeping with his early strategy of bringing in key personnel as opposed to acquiring companies or venues. “I decided early on to invest in great people and not pay ridiculous multiples for what ostensibly is a personal service business,” he told Billboard in a 2012 Q&A, ostensibly referring to the promoter consolidation that led to what is now Live Nation. “To me, cash will always be king, but if cash is equal, it’s about relationships. The one thing about AEG, and it’s been my mantra: We invest in people.”
 
Many felt Phillips’ future might be in doubt when Tim Lieweke, the man who hired Phillips and was one of his staunchest supporters, resigned as CEO of AEG in March when the company came off the block. But at that time insiders at the company told Billboard Phillips status at the company was solid.
 
Phillips, a former artist manager for such acts as Usher and Lionel Richie, was a creative dealmaker and clearly loved the game. ‘It’s not all altruistic,” he told Billboard. “I like making money. Like anyone else, I like being rewarded when I do good work. But the other side of it is, I love music, and I love working with new talent, watching people break, helping established artists extend their run. I love being part of a team that surrounds artists. There isn’t a day I walk into the office that I don’t enjoy.”

Read more at http://www.billboard.com/biz/articles/executive-turntable/5800756/randy-phillips-out-at-aeg-live-jay-marciano-named-chairman#5iUKEDpY90UY6b13.99

Jackson Lawyers Will Present Screening Of ‘This Is It’, Following With A Question And Answer Session About AEG Trial

Source: Stratford Patch

The Bridgeport-based legal team who helped the Michael Jackson family in its recent Los Angeles court case will hold a special presentation in the star’s memory, the law firm announced today.

The law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder will celebrate the career of Michael Jackson with a screening of ‘This Is It’ at the Bijou Theatre.  Koskoff attorneys who helped represent the Jackson family will hold a question-and-answer session afterwards to give attendees a glimpse into the Jackson family, the life and death of Michael Jackson, and the recent wrongful death suit against the concert promoter that hired the cardiologist who administered a fatal dose of medication to Jackson.   Also discussed will be scenes from the movie that were not made public.

“Michael Jackson was a legend who was taken from the world far too soon,” said Michael Koskoff, partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder and trial attorney in the case. “This is an opportunity to share the never-before-known truth about Michael Jackson’s death, and the making of ‘This Is It.’”

Several attorneys at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder joined the legal team representing members of Jackson’s family, including his children Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr., Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, and Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II, as well as their grandmother and legal guardian, Katherine Jackson (Michael’s mother).  Their civil suit was brought against entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group and its concert promotion subsidiary, AEG Live Inc., for the death of the pop icon. 

“We were privileged to get to know members of Michael Jackson’s family and, through them, to get a glimpse into his life – the life of a great artist who was widely accepted as the most successful performer the world has ever known,” Koskoff said.

This Is It’ is a behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his final worldwide concert tour.  Chronicling the months from April through June 2009 – just before he went into cardiac arrest and died on June 25 – this film draws from more than one hundred hours of raw behind-the-scenes footage featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show.

The screening of ‘This Is It’ will take place at The Bijou Theatre, 275 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport on Sunday, November 24 at 4:00 p.m.  Doors open to the public at 3:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at www.thebijoutheatre.comor at the box office throughout the day of the event. All proceeds benefit The Bijou Theatre.  For more information, visit www.thebijoutheatre.com or call The Bijou Theatre at 203-332-3228.

For 75 years, Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder has been nationally known for personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, and class actions, concentrating its practice in handling cases for people who suffer serious personal injury or economic harm.  Koskoff attorneys have been responsible for important changes in the conduct of corporate and government defendants. The firm has offices in Bridgeport, Danbury, New Haven, and Stamford.    

http://stratford.patch.com/groups/announcements/p/michael-jackson-lawyers-to-screen-this-is-it

The Jacksons Interview With OMG Insider’s Kevin Frazier

Source: OMG Insider/ MJ-Upbeat

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OMG! Insider” co-anchor Kevin Frazier was with the Jackson brothers before their performance at the Ebony Power 100 Gala Monday night and they opened up about the recent wrongful-death trial against AEG and what they have coming up next.

They said, “I think the organization that Michael worked for, and they all know who they are, they should be ashamed of themselves how they treated my brother, how they treated him in his last moments.”

Check out the vid to hear more of Kevin’s interview with the Jackson brothers and be sure to tune in to “omg! Insider” on TV tonight for the latest in entertainment news.

Video link: http://omg.yahoo.com/video/jackson-brothers-open-wrongful-death-025913565.html