Since the first day of the Jackson v AEG trial began on April 2nd, our founding Angel at Team Michael Jackson has been trekking tirelessly to and from the Los Angeles Courthouse each day – keeping all Michael Jackson justice fighters informed of the proceedings via ongoing live Twitter updates. She has been doing a magnificent, heroic job and we want to thank her for her unyielding love and commitment to Michael and his family in bringing about full truth and justice.
Here is an overview of what MJ’s Angel of L.O.V.E. has reported to us from inside the courtroom, along with some media outtakes.
April 2, 2013 :
— The Michael Jackson Estate (John Branca) has his attorney in court to appose trial on TV. Citing medical records.
Judges response: “Wasn’t Michael Jackson’s medical information made public at the Conrad Murray trial?”
— No ruling from the judge on whether cameras will be allowed in courtroom. States she wants to look at the cameras/setup.
— Team Michael Jackson’s letter to the judge on behalf of Citizens of CA., USA and The World requesting cameras be allowed in the court is read by the judge, then passed to both attorneys to read.
— Court trial hours decided: Monday – Thursday 9:30am to noon, 1:30pm to 4:00/4:30pm and Friday 9:00am to noon, 2.30 to 4:00/4.30pm.
— First 35 prospective jurors bought into Special Events room for hardship
questions directed by judge and Jackson & AEG attorneys.
April 3, 2013 :
— Jury selection today consists of 70 jurors again. Divided into 2 panels of 35, filling in Hardship/Time qualifications, then questioned individually. Yesterday out of 70 only 10 were asked to return next Wednesday. 5 jurors remained to be questioned from yesterday, quick recess then Panel “C” next 35 jurors will b questioned.
— A few prospective jurors having friends or ties with AEG stated their minds were made up. Judge: “Your excused”. A few other prospective jurors stating they believe Michael was killed for money were also “Excused”.
— Total of 19 prospective jurors asked to fill in Jury questionnaire and return Wednesday. (pages numbered 1 onwards)
— Prospective Jurors are asked if they can sit as Jurors for 90 days.
Tom Mesereau on Piers Morgan speaks about Jackson v AEGLive
April 4, 2013 :
— In Dept 28 today, time qualification for 45 Jurors. 7 to return next Wednesday from Panel E. 7 returning Wednesday from Panel F. Back tomorrow at 9.30 for Panel G. So that’s a total of 43 potential jurors so far.
— Total jury selection, out of 220, 43 are coming back.
Sharon Osbourne added to Michael Jackson death trial witness list – By Alan Duke, CNN Los Angeles (CNN) — Sharon Osbourne’s claim that she has information that would help Michael Jackson’s mother and children in their wrongful death lawsuit against a concert promoter has landed the TV host/reality star on the trial’s witness list.
Osbourne made her revelation on Tuesday’s “The Talk,” the same day jury selection began in the trial to decide if concert promoter AEG Live executives played a role in Jackson’s death in the negligent hiring of Dr. Conrad Murray.
“There were certain people that worked at that company that knew that Michael Jackson was not well and didn’t care because it was business,” Osbourne said. “And at the end of the day, whether he performed or he didn’t, they would still make money, and I’ve had conversations with certain people at that company who have said exactly that to me.”
Osbourne then suggested she could be a witness in the Los Angeles trial. “If they would like me to go to court, the Jackson family, I will stand up and tell you who said that to me.”
Jackson lawyers noticed her comments and added Osbourne to their witness list Wednesday.
Jury Selection Continues in Trial on Jackson’s Death – By Ben Sisario, New York Times
A global corporation accused of pushing a beloved entertainer to his death. A family whose internal squabbles have been tabloid catnip for decades. A courtroom crowded with lawyers, but off limits to television cameras.
And, of course, the earning potential of Michael Jackson.
Those are some of the elements in the latest trial over Jackson and his financial legacy: a wrongful-death civil suit, begun this week in Los Angeles, that pits Jackson’s family against the company behind the concerts Jackson had been preparing for when he died in June 2009.
In the suit, Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and his three children accuse the Anschutz Entertainment Group, or A.E.G., of negligence and breach of contract by hiring Conrad Murray, the doctor who administered the anesthetics that killed him.
The company faces risk whether it wins or loses the case. While Jackson’s indiscretions are now well known, and were laid out in Dr. Murray’s televised trial, A.E.G. has less of a public profile and is being cast as a villain. In the court of public opinion, at least, it may find little sympathy.
A.E.G., owned by the billionaire Philip Anschutz, has sports and entertainment properties around the world, including Staples Center and in Los Angeles and O2 Arena in London. The company was put up for sale last year, but withdrawn last month, reportedly because the bids were lower than the $8 billion to $10 billion that Mr. Anschutz wanted.
The civil case against the company hinges on who hired Dr. Murray. The Jackson family says that A.E.G. hired him for $150,000 a month, and pressured Dr. Murray to get Jackson ready for the concerts without regard to Jackson’s health. A.E.G. says that Jackson insisted on Dr. Murray, and that any payment was only an advance that would be paid by Jackson.
Either way, the case highlights how Jackson’s business was conducted differently from that of most stars.
“Outside rarefied artists doing rarefied deals with monolithic entertainment companies, one would not generally see this sort of claim arise from a recording agreement or other engagement agreement with an artist,” said Kenneth J. Abdo, a music industry lawyer who represents artists.
Nearly four years after Jackson’s death, the case and the news media’s coverage of it demonstrate the public’s continued fascination with Jackson, and with the lurid side of the entertainment business.
“The fact that he died in the midst of a redemption narrative not only makes him endlessly fascinating,” Ms. Piazza [author of the book “Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money.”] said, “but has made him much more lucrative in death than he was at the end of his life.”
Jackson’s estate, saddled with more than $500 million in debt at his death, has been stabilized through an array of music deals with Cirque du Soleil, the film “Michael Jackson’s This Is It,” a video game, merchandising and other projects. In a court filing last May, the estate said it had gross earnings of $475 million since Jackson’s death.
The civil case is expected to last three months and may involve testimony from stars like Diana Ross, Prince and Quincy Jones.
The judge in the case, Yvette M. Palazuelos of Los Angeles Superior Court, has barred cameras, but CNN and NBCUniversal have asked her to reconsider, and an order is expected soon.
Jury selection began on Tuesday and may continue through the week. Potential jurors were given a 25-page form that asked them 123 questions, including, “Did you hear, read or see anything in the media about Michael Jackson’s death?”
The trial is being held in a courtroom with a gallery with only 45 seats, with just a few available to the public through a daily lottery. Most of the rest are reserved for reporters and lawyers.
April 5, 2013 :
— Jury Selection Tally so far: Each Panel consists of 35 potential jurors, except Panel E which had 45. Panel A = 10 called back. Panel B = 6. Panel C = 11. Panel D = 1. Panel E = 8. Panel F = 7. Out of 220, 43 coming back Wednesday April 10th.
— Panel G and H today. I and J Monday. K and L Tuesday. = 430 potential jurors. Then Wednesday revisit the selected that filled in the Jury Questionnaires.
— Hardship questions asked of Panels G and H.
— 6 jurors today for a total of 60.
— The perspective jurors coming back will return on Monday April 15th 10 a.m. in room 222. Looking for 80-100 from which to do final selections.
Judge: No cameras in Michael Jackson death trial – By Alan Duke, CNN
Los Angeles (CNN) — The wrongful death trial of concert promoter AEG Live filed by Michael Jackson’s mother and three children will not be televised, a judge decided Friday.
CNN had requested its camera be allowed in the courtroom during the trial, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued a ruling Friday denying the request.
California law leaves the decision to the trial judge’s discretion based on 19 factors to be considered. Palazuelos did not say in her ruling what factors swayed her decision.
AEG Live’s lawyer argued televising the trial could create a frenzy among Jackson fans at the courthouse that could pose a threat to witnesses.
Jackson lawyers argued in favor of having a camera in court, saying it would be the best way for the world to see justice done.
Without cameras, only a handful of journalists will have seats in the small courtroom in downtown Los Angeles.
Opening statements and the first witness could be heard in about two weeks in the trial that is expected to last for two to three months.
The pool of potential jurors reached 60 Friday afternoon after four days of eliminating jurors for hardship reasons. The process will continue Monday and Tuesday or until about 100 potential jurors are identified. On Wednesday, the lawyers will start the voir dire process of eliminating jurors based on cause or their jury strikes allowed under court rules.
Until then, the lawyers are studying their answers to a long questionnaire the potential jurors completed. The process is expected to continue for another week, perhaps ending around April 16 or 17.
It is unclear how soon after a jury is seated that the judge will have lawyers deliver opening statements and call the first witness. Some judges allow the jury a day or so to take care of personal business after being selected.
April 8, 2013 :
— Today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday) 35 per day, new prospective jurors state any hardships they may have in serving 90 days. Wednesday 43 for Voir Dire.
— Panel I of 35 Jurors have just been sworn in, read Jury Rules and are now filling out hardship form. Of the panel of 35 for today, there has been 17 selected so far for 2nd Voir Dire
— Team Michael Jackson has some great news, we hope to be in court everyday during the trial with the Jackson Family if no more then 11 family members attend, or we go as media or via lottery.
— Change of plans, the Voir Dire for Wednesday this week has been scrapped. There will be just one big one on Monday the 15th in room 222.
— All future jury selection is being held in Dept 28 3rd floor. Room 318. We are pleased for the change of bigger court room, 400 seats as opposed to 43. Media advisory stated only 2 media seated would’ve been available in previous room.
— Panel J another 35 prospective jurors now filling in hardship/time qualifications. Another 6 returning, one is a JUDGE from this court. Total of 72 jurors are scheduled to return on Monday to room 222.
— Total of 360 were called so far for Jury service. 288 Excused. 72 Returning. 80 -100 are needed for Voir Dire by Wednesday the 10th.
— AEG attorneys have 10 motions pending to dismiss most of Jackson expert witnesses. Which will be opposed!
April 9, 2013 :
— Court for today cancelled. Reason given “Judge is not here today.” Hope you all have a fabulous day. We will back at court tomorrow. Thanks
April 10, 2013 :
— There were fireworks in the courtroom today! The two attorneys were battling, it was so intense.
— One prospective juror’s management firm manages Evan Ross, godson to Michael Jackson. Son of Diana Ross.
— AEG attorneys are filing motions on every single expert the Jackson attorneys have. Judge stated she thought it was unreasonable.
— The judge stated jury selection is taking too long. Jury commissioners could have done this much quicker. AEG wanted this system.
— The above mentioned conflict was because AEG attorneys do not want to give Jackson attorneys more time to file their response to AEG’s motions.
— Judge granted Jackson attorneys more time to file their response to AEG’s motions.
— Judge questioned why all the motions were being filed by AEG as most parts are sealed. When Appeals Court “unsealed” them: AEG attorneys, “Estate wants them sealed”
— Judge to AEG attorneys, “Why are you trying to seal Medical info made public in the Murray trial?” Jackson attorney, “Its not medical info, it’s AEG EMAILS”
— AEG Attorneys doing lot of double talking. Trying to hide evidence from the public. Appeals Court ORDERED unsealed, then AEG uses Estate as the excuse.
— Trial will be held in courtroom number 318. Dept 28. Max capacity 71. Public Seating 45.
— Jackson attorney wanted to address “Verdict Forms” hearing will be held Monday at 9.30 Dept 28, Prior to Voir Dire at 10 am in room 222
— Trial expected to last 90 “Court days”. That’s FIVE MONTHS!!!!
— Court is out for the day. There are 79 prospective jurors so far. What a day.
Jackson-AEG: Trial hasn’t started, but lawyers are already fighting – By Corina Knoll, LA Times
The legal showdown between Michael Jackson’s family and AEG has yet to begin, but sparks are already flying between attorneys.
For more than a week, jurors have been brought into Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos’ courtroom in groups of 35 and asked whether they had the ability to serve on a trial that is estimated to take as long as four months.
On Wednesday, after Palazuelos mentioned the court could schedule a couple days off to accommodate jurors during the trial, attorney Brian Panish objected to prolonging proceedings in any way.
“I don’t have 1,000-plus lawyers in my law firm and I don’t have 20 lawyers working on this case,” said Panish, who represents Jackson’s mother, Katherine, and the pop star’s three children.
The four filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that AEG negligently hired and supervised Dr. Conrad Murray, who gave the singer a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol. The family alleges that the entertainment firm pushed the singer to go forward with a comeback tour even though he was physically incapable of handling it.
Panish accused AEG’s attorneys of dragging the case out and filing unnecessary motions that forced him to seek additional time to write responses.
Palazuelos said she believed the trial could be whittled down to 60 days if both sides cut down their lengthy witness lists, which total more than 200 names, including Prince, Diana Ross, Spike Lee and Lisa Marie Presley.
At one point, the discussion became heated with attorneys speaking over one another. Panish said he had made efforts to be civil but that the defense was wasting court resources by turning everything into “World War III.”
“Is that part of your civility?” AEG’s attorney Marvin Putnam asked.
“Excuse me?” replied Panish, quickly adding, “You’re the most uncivil lawyer I’ve ever practiced against.”
A pool of potential jurors who have demonstrated that serving on the trial would not cause them hardship is scheduled to be questioned starting Monday.
FOOTNOTE/ CORRECTION on above article: From our Angel On-the-Spot FACT reporter :
— Actually (AEG) Putnam said “Civility”. (Jackson’s) Panish replied, “You don’t even know what that means.”
April 11, 2013 :
— Tally, Total 429. Excused 348. Have 81, not 79. Today we have Panels M, N. 35 each panel. Total 70 today.
— 1 juror from yesterday excused due to family issues. Total from Panel M is 5. Total for Monday stands 85.
— this stage of jury selection is usually done by jury commissioners. Its called “Hardship/Time qualification.” [Again, it was AEG that wanted this protracted process of jury selection].
— Monetary damages come AFTER the truth behind his murder! Millions file such lawsuits, WHY NOT Michaels Mother/Children? WHY? … Billions of “Civil” suits are filed around the world, that’s why we have “Civil” Courts.
— Judge discussed public access to completed jurors questionnaires. Attorneys looking into which can be made available not containing private info.
— Yesterday Panish had urgent email, bought to judge’s attention regarding AEG not allowing Economies expert in depos to answer questions, an issue which was already resolved. Before Judge could address it, second email stated issue resolved. Don’t know whose expert it was, possibly Jackson’s as they are the ones in depos.
— Just read my notes, it was Jackson’s expert AEG would not allow to answer at depos. Jackson attorney said to the judge, “This is unheard of.” We agree.
— For those asking to purchase court transcripts of trial, approximately 200 pages per day at $1.50 per page. $350 per day. $27,000 whole trial 90 days.
[American “Justice” and Freedom of Information Public Access at it’s “finest”].
— Yesterday Jackson attorney said, “The Estate are trying to seal Jackson’s Summary Judgment Order, Memorandum and Points of Authority” via the Appeals Court.
— There is NO reason for the Estate’s filings with Appeals Court as they contain no medical records.
— 1 prospective juror: “My mind is made up. Throw the book at them” he said. AEG are guilty of wrongful death of Michael Jackson. He was excused.
— Jackson attorney complained to the judge that the defense counsel was sitting in the audience, NOT leaving while jurors were filling in the forms. Attorneys must leave the court when ordered to do so. Judge then ordered dense attorney to sit at the table with the rest of counsel.
— Today we had Panels M and N. Total of 93 perspective jurors after today’s hearing.
— It was another fiery day in court today. The plaintiff Jacksons are not happy with AEG filings most of the documents to be sealed with the Court of Appeals. It’s not fair for the Jacksons because they cannot introduce depositions into evidence. The defense is arguing that it the Estate who are asking for a lot of documents to be sealed. The judge has ordered the Estate of Michael Jackson to appear in court on Monday morning.
— It seems like John Branca is holding up this trial. No doubt he will have his reasons but it is not good for the Jackson family!! … The Estate of Michael Jackson is supposed to benefit the beneficiaries – not harm them. John Branca has an obvious agenda. … John Branca has filed with the Appeals Court to seal the Jackson’s Summary Judgment Order. He should have filed with this court! … hmmm What is Branca trying to hide!!!
— Forgot to mention, Branca is actually trying to seal some depos, Jackson attorney argued, “The public have a right to this information.”
— WHY IS BRANCA SPEAKING UP NOW AGAINST MED RECORDS WHEN HE SAID NOTHING WHEN THEY BROADCAST AUTOPSY PHOTOS [DURING MURRAY TRIAL]?? HE’S PRO-AEG!!
April 12, 2013 :
— We have 4 more prospective jurors for Voir Dire on Monday. That’s 97 total so far.
— I have just stepped out while the jurors are filling in the hardship forms to update you on a hearing we have just had.
The judge is considering lifting the protective order and sealing of documents.
For the Estate we had Patricia Millett on the telephone. Marvin Putnam is not in court, so it was Jessica Stebbins for AEG, and Brian Panish for the Jackson Family.
The Estate are saying they want medical records sealed but, they also want depositions sealed which talk about Michael Jackson’s medical condition. They want depositions talking about Michael’s dental and cosmetic work. But it’s AEG who are producing those depositions because it involves anesthetic. While it’s the Summary Judgment the Jackson attorney is referring to only. And Emails.
Estate states it wants to view depositions in view of sealing more of them.
The judge said Michael’s medical condition is part of the case.
Stebbins is saying there are hundreds of thousands of documents she wants to remain under seal.
Stebbins states she is concerned there are hundreds of emails not connected to the case which may be made public. Emails between AEG officials and others. Evidence which she claims may never be used at trial. She said, “Anything given in discovery is not for the public.”
Stebbins was going round and round in circles, then said, “He [Panish] wants to give it to the press.”
The judge said, “No, he did not say that, the public have a right to these documents.”
Panish said they are trying to hide things. The public have a right to ALL documents, except Medical Records. If the Estate continues to seal depositions it will take 10 days to file a motion to unseal. That case will need to be heard which will delay the trial and this is not how a trial should be run.
One of the depositions to be sealed is of UCLA Medical Center.
The judge is not very happy, “You want to file under seal, then file with Court of Appeals. This is delaying the case by 10 days. It is abusive.”
Hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 16th with all the attorneys present in court to lift protective order on all documents except for medical records.
— We have 104 jurors returning on Monday for Voir Dire. Panels A to E will be called into the courtroom first.
— Jurors will be asked if they are familiar with any of the attorneys or those on the witness list then will be questioned about them. … Jurors with privacy issues will be identified, questioned individually. Experiences with drugs, alcohol, or family members/friends with.
— The remaining jurors Panels F onwards will be dismissed to return Tuesday, 10 am in room 222.
— Monday 9.30 prior to Voir Dire will be discussions on Verdict forms. Jurors questionnaires and Witness list.
— Tuesday prior to Voir Dire will be arguments regarding Unsealing and lifting Protective Order with Estate, AEG and Jackson’s attorneys.
Q&A to give unique insight into Michael Jackson jury pool – McCartney, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When 104 people report for possible jury service on Monday in a lawsuit over Michael Jackson’s untimely death, lawyers for the singer’s mother and the concert promoter she is suing will already know them well.
Each person will have filled out a 123-question, 24-page questionnaire probing their views not only on Jackson and his famous family, but the singer’s life, death, the media and how they feel about multimillion dollar jury verdicts.
It’s taken nearly two weeks to collect the potential jurors, who range from a sitting Superior Court judge to retirees and unemployed job-seekers. On Monday, in-person questioning will begin and offer attorneys their final chance to talk to jurors and have them answer back.
Experts say the process known as voir dire — a French phrase meaning to speak the truth — doesn’t win or lose a case but is essential for both sides to start framing the case for jurors and weed out anyone hostile to their side.
Several potential jurors have been excused for having business ties to AEG, while one person who manages the son of Jackson’s close friend Diana Ross, was also excused.
The written questionnaires in the case will give attorneys on both sides a wealth of information about potential jurors — everything from whether they’ve experienced financial problems to their own experiences with doctors. Some have already requested private meetings to discuss their issues.
[John T. Nockleby, director of the Civil Justice Program at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles] said judges ideally want a mix of people from different backgrounds, as long as they can hear the case and decide it on the evidence and law. The selection process generally demonstrates the strength of the jury system.
“You realize that here are a lot of very capable citizens who can make judgments about life and death and yes, lots of money,” Nockleby said.