Joe Jackson's efforts to have the administrators of the King of Pop's estate removed in court have failed. Here's our last article discussing his failed attempts. The probate judge ruled he didn't have legal "standing" (meaning the right to bring the claim in court) to fight against the executors because he was not a beneficiary. In other words, because he wouldn't inherit anything, it wasn't his right to complain about what the executors were doing.
So, of course, Joe appealed. The Court of Appeals has recently upheld the ruling of the probate judge and agreed that Joe had no claim. So, he's most likely out of luck with that claim.
But, wait, he has more! Or does he? Joe had filed a claim seeking $500 million dollars against Dr. Conrad Murray, AEG, and others for wrongfully causing the death of Michael Jackson. Unlike Katherine Jackson's claim for wrongful death, Joe Jackson tried to bring his claim in federal court. He sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, hoping to be have his case heard in the United States district court rather than California state court.
Like the judges in the other case, the federal judge threw his case out of court. But, at least Joe's case isn't dead yet! It was dismissed because it was not a federal case, so he can still refile it in another court. Look for Joe to try to join his case with Katherine's wrongful death claim.
And once he does, you can bet the defendants' lawyers will try to have it thrown out, again. Reportedly, they're prepared to argue that as a non-beneficiary, Joe doesn't have the right to sue for Michael's death. We'll see if he can hang on to that claim or not.
If all else fails, don't be surprised if you see Joe try yet another claim. Members of Michael Jackson's family, including two of his children (Paris and Prince), reportedly said that Sony's new album of unreleased music by Michael Jackson did not really include Michael's voice. They claim it's a fake, contrary to reports that some of the songs were recorded by the King of Pop when he was with his children in New Jersey in 2007.
The estate's lawyer says the executors had the tracks authenticated by a panel of Michael Jackson voice experts, who determined the songs were the real deal. But, if it wasn't really his voice, yet another lawsuit could be coming down the pike.
Think Joe Jackson will try to get a piece of that action too?
While most estates aren't this wild and crazy, court fights involving the assets of those who pass away are all too common, for people with wealth estates and poor ones alike. There is a lesson to learn from stories like these -- good estate planning can help prevent most probate court fights.
Posted by: Andrew W. Mayoras and Danielle B. Mayoras, co-authors of Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! and co-founders of The Center for Probate Litigation and The Center for Elder Law in metro-Detroit, Michigan, which concentrate in probate litigation, estate planning, and elder law. Andrew and Danielle are husband and wife attorneys, professional speakers and consultants across the country. Follow us on Facebook and Google+.