This is a list about MJ related lawsuits. I added short summary of case description and latest developments in each case for ease of following. I will be updating this list every few months.
January 2015 Update: http://dailymichael.com/news/290-mj-related-lawsuit-updates-january-2015
November 2014 Update : http://dailymichael.com/news/286-mj-related-lawsuit-updates-november-2014
Katherine Jackson v. AEG (Link)
Description:Katherine Jackson is appealing the verdict in the civil wrongful death case against AEG.
Latest developments: After Court of Appeals denied Katherine Jackson's request, she filed a petition for review with California Supreme Court. On May 13, 2015 Supreme Court has denied Katherine Jackson's petition for review. (Note: Federal Surpreme Court may be a possibility, however odds of them even reviewing the case is about 1%).
MJ Estate v. IRS (Link)
Description:This lawsuit is about the estate tax dispute. IRS is demanding $731 Million in estate tax. MJ Estate challenged IRS by filing a lawsuit.
Latest developments: Parties are still in settlement talks. On April 27, 2015 a second stipulation of settled issues were filed with the court - signaling parties continue to settle disputed issues. Next status report is due July 2015.
Noval Williams Films v. MJ Estate (Link)
Description: This is a dispute about “Last Photo Shoot” documentary. The documentary uses footage from two photo shoots from 2007. It also includes some photos. Estate believes some content are owned by MJ and MJ didn’t give consent for release of the footage. Noval Williams is seeking a declaratory relief that they aren’t infringing copyrights.
Latest developments: No new developments since last update. Parties are still waiting for the court's ruling about location issue and Noval Williams Films attorney. (Case has been filed in New York and Estate has filed a motion to dismiss the case or in alternative move it to California. Estate also filed a motion to disqualify Noval Williams Films attorney Markovich who also happens to be a producer of the movie as well as an owner and manager at Noval Williams Films.)
Optimum Productions (MJ Estate) v. Premiere Props and Calson Ventures LLC
Description:Premiere Props auctioned 1984 Victory tour photos. Estate filed a lawsuit claiming Michael Jackson hired the photographers for the tour and MJ owned rights to the photos.
Latest developments: Through initial discovery Estate learned Calson Ventures LLC / Bruce Hutchison is the consignor of the photographs. After Calson Ventures LLC has not filed a reply to the complaint, Estate was granted default order against Calson Ventures LLC. Estate recently has filed a motion asking a declaratory relief and permanent injunction against Calson Ventures. During a recent deposition of Premiere Props, Lee Durst was identified as either owner or representative of Calson Ventures. Estate is planning to depose Durst on June, 2015. Next status hearing is scheduled for June 2015.
(Note: Lee Durst was Howard Mann's lawyer. When Vaccaro declared bankruptcy and auctioned his Jackson memoralibia recently, MJ items were missing. Vaccaro accused Mann of removing MJ items without his permission. Mann responded that he paid and bought MJ items and later gave it to his lawyer Lee Durst as a payment for his legal services.)
Wade Robson v. MJ Estate and Wade Robson v. Doe 1 / MJ Companies (Link)
Description:Robson has made a childhood sexual abuse claims against MJ Estate (in probate court) and Doe1/ MJ Companies (in civil court).
Latest developments: In civil court Robson has been given the chance to amend his complaint and he served his third amended complaint on December 16th, 2014. There has been two extension stipulations between the parties. Estate filed their demurrer on March 10, 2015. Next hearing is June 30, 2015.
In probate court, Estate's summary judgment motion to dismiss Robson's late claim was heard on April 21. Still waiting for judge's decision. Regardless of how the judge rules, it is expected that parties will appeal the decision.
James Safechuck v. MJ Estate
Description:Safechuck have filed a late claim against MJ Estate claiming childhood sexual abuse.
Latest developments:In probate court Safechuck has been given a chance to amend his complaint. Parties agreed to a 30 day extension. Safechuck filed his amended complaint on March 18. The next hearing is July 21, 2015.
Quincy Jones v. MJ Estate / Sony (Link)
Description:Quincy Jones has filed a $10 Million lawsuit for breach of contract and unpaid royalties .
Latest developments:Parties had disagreements about protective order as well as the interrogatory questions. Both parties complain that other party is not responding to discovery requests. As of May 2015, hearings are still ongoing to resolve discovery disagreements. Trial has been delayed to October 2015.
MJ Estate v. Tohme & Tohme v. MJ Estate (Link)
Description: Tohme filed a complaint against MJ Estate asking for fees he’s owed. These were 10% from Neverland refinancing, 10% from any future transaction about Neverland, 15% of income from services he provided (plus interest when applicable). Estate had also filed a complaint against Tohme asking for accounting all actions and transactions done by Tohme, return of any money and property (of Michael) Tohme has and cancellation of the three agreements Michael had with Tohme.
Latest developments:In Tohme's complain against Estate : Estate’s petition with Labor Commissioner based on California’s Talent Agency Act to cancel three agreements MJ had with Tohme was heard in 2013. 18 months later parties are still waiting for the decision of Labor Commissioner. Tohme's request to put Neverland finder’s fee agreement issue on calendar is granted. Tohme filed a summary adjudication stating there are no triable issues and asking the judge to order Estate to pay his finder's fee. Judge denied Tohme's request citing there are triable issues. The tentative trial date is May 2016 but this date can change based on the timing of Labor Commissioner decision. Discovery is starting in regards to Neverland Finder's fee issue. Estate is planning to depose Tohme on May 28, Colony Capital on June 3rd and Earle Goodman (lawyer that represented MJ during Neverlan deal) on June 9th.
In Estate's complaint against Tohme: No new developments. Last information was that Estate withdrew their 9630 motion (asking Judge to allow Branca to act alone in Estate's complaint against Tohme)
Hologram USA v. MJ Estate and Hologram USA v. Cirque du Soleil (Link)
Description:Hologram USA filed lawsuits against MJ Estate (for Billboard awards show MJ Hologram) and Cirque du Soleil (for MJ hologram at MJ One) for infringing patented hologram technology.
Latest developments: Hologram USA has asked to amend their complaint by adding another trademark infringement. Their request was granted and an amended complaint was filed in February 2015. Cirque has filed a review request with US Patent and Trademark office questioning if hologram technology which is originated from Pepper's Ghost technique can be even patented. Defendants in both cases - which include MJ Estate, Cirque in addition to several other parties- have filed a motion to stay the civil trial pending the decision of US Patent and Trademark Office.
Broderick Morris / Quadree El-Amin/ Raymone Bain/ Adean King v. MJ Estate
Description:Parties claim they helped MJ to revive his career after 2005 and in return were given shares from “Michael Jackson Company”. Estate claims MJ was the sole owner of “Michael Jackson Company”.
Latest developments: Hearings are ongoing. Next status conference is at July 2015.
MJ Fan v. MJ Estate / Sony / Cascio / Porte (Link)
Description: A MJ fan has sued MJ Estate, Sony Music, Eddie Cascio and James Porte for 3 songs on “Michael” album.
Latest developments: Parties agreed on a protective order which means majority of the discovery would be confidential. A status report was filed on February 2015. Second status hearing was held on April 2015. Next status hearing is at June 2015.
Sidney Earl Swanson v. MJJ Productions / Sony / Rooney / Timbaland (Link)
Description:Swanson has sued MJJ Productions, Sony Music, Cory Rooney and Timbaland claiming 2014 version of “Chicago” infringes his song “Come Home on the Move”
Latest developments: Parties have been served with the lawsuit and filed their inital apparances / responses. Cory Rooney failed to respond to the complaint in time. Swanson is asking for entry of default against Rooney.