Michael Jackson Feed

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.  Michael-jackson

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.

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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_Cannescropped5

Here are the top 5 legal challenges and complications that the 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, a more telling ruling came down at the same time.  As reported by CNN:

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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 Michael Jackson’s final days. The New York Daily News revealed more of the emails in a second article this weekend.   Michael Jackson Trial and Heirs

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 Jackson’s final days:

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Michael Jackson's 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.   300px-Michael_Jackson_Cannescropped3

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, the 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 Jermaine -- signed a letter that they sent to Branca and McClain accusing the pair of fraud, forgery, exploitation and abuse.  The letter was published on a celebrity gossip website recently.

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Top Ten Twitter Accounts of Deceased Celebrities

Let’s face it … Twitter is a social media phenomenon that won’t stop growing any time soon.  Estimates place the number of users at around 500 hundred million.

In fact, it’s getting more and more use even by celebrities who are no longer with us.  Whether it’s attributable to their estates, companies managing their image rights, or other-worldly influences, just because someone is dead doesn’t mean they can’t have an active Twitter account.

This topic got us thinking, and researching.  What are the most-followed official Twitter accounts of deceased celebrities?  Trial & Heirs has the answer.

We’ve done our best to only include actual celebrity accounts.  If you use Twitter and want to follow all of these, we created a Twitter list with all ten.

(All totals are as of March 1, 2012.)

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Pass The Turkey With A Side of Celebrity Estate Planning Stories (Part I)

What family won’t be talking about Kim Kardashian and Michael Jackson at their Thanksgiving dinner? Dishing celebrity dirt is as natural as turkey and pumpkin pie.  But did you ever think that celebrity gossip could actually help your family?   Kim_Kardashian

We use celebrity stories to turn the often-awkward conversation about estate planning into something fun and entertaining.  Let’s face it … no one really likes to think about planning for what happens after they pass away.  But, it’s the family left behind that pays the price when the proper planning isn’t done.

A great way to get the dialogue flowing, and to turn an awkward conversation into something fun and engaging, is with celebrity stories.  What better time to do this than when the family is gathered together for Thanksgiving?

Here is Part 1 (out of 2) to our Trial & Heirs’ Top 5 Celebrity-Based Estate Planning Conversation Starters for Thanksgiving 2011:

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Trial & Heirs' Segment Premiers on FOX 2 News in Michigan

Michigan lawyers and authors, Danielle and Andy Mayoras, will be appearing twice a month on FOX 2 News in Detroit, Michigan to discuss the latest celebrity will, trust and estate cases and what people can learn to protect their own family fortunes.

The premiere segment of Trial & Heirs:  Famous Fortune Fights! included discussions of the Estates of Michael Jackson and Tony Curtis, as well as the shocking turn of events involving 94-year old Zsa Zsa Gabor:

Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights: MyFoxDETROIT.com



By Danielle and Andy Mayoras, co-authors of Trial & Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights!, husband-and-wife legacy expert attorneys, and hosts of the national television special, Trial & Heirs:  Protect Your Family Fortune! For the latest celebrity and high-profile cases, with tips to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your clients, click here to subscribe to The Trial & Heirs Update.  You can “like” them on Facebookand follow them on Twitter and Google+.

For legal help in Michigan, visit Andy and Danielle's law firm's websites, The Center for Elder Law and The Center for Probate Litigation