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.
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 in settlement talks. A status report was filed in October 2015. On December 11, parties filed the third stipulation of settled issues - signaling that parties continue to settle their dispute.
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: Case is ongoing at New York court. Estate filed their answer and counter claims to the complaint on September. Estate's counter claims mention 7 instances of copyright infringement of MJ photographs. Estate also stated that they believe the videographer was employed as MJ's staff and/or security detail. Discovery has started and will continue until March 2016.
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: Settled. Parties have filed a copy of a settlement agreement with the court. According to the settlement agreement Durst and Carlson agreed that they do not own the copyrights of the MJ photos. Premiere will refund the buyers who believed they were purchasing copyrights in MJ photos. Buyers who agreed they will not be getting the copyrights will get the photographs and Estate will get the funds from that sale. Estate will also get the approximately 200 photo negatives and all of their rights, title and interest.
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: As Robson's civil case is to proceed to the summary judgment phase, Estate have filed their preliminary response to the Robson's claim. (Link) Next hearing is at February 2016.
James Safechuck v. Doe 1 / MJ Companies
Description:Safechuck have filed a late claim against MJ Estate claiming childhood sexual abuse (in probate court) and Doe defendants (in civil court).
Latest developments: Safechuck have named the Doe defendant companies and have filed an amended complaint.
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 are once again having discovery disputes. Parties have filed motion to compel discovery against each other. There are several hearing scheduled in December 2015 to resolve the discovery disputes. Due to the discovery disputes, trial once again delayed to March 2016.
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: No new developments since last update. Discovery is ongoing. Trial date has been tentatively set for May 2016.
Hologram USA v. MJ Estate (Link)
Description:Hologram USA filed lawsuits against MJ Estate for Billboard awards show MJ Hologram for infringing patented hologram technology. Lawsuits also include several other parties in addition to MJ Estate.
Latest developments: Dismissed. A dismissial request has been filed and granted for MJ Estate and Billboard. Hologram USA's case is continuing against other defendants but the case against MJ Estate has been dismissed.
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: Discovery was to be completed by end of July. Trial is set for December 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: After the mediation attempts failed, case is finally going forward. Defendants are planning to file a motion to strike and demurrer under anti-SLAPP. MJ fan is wanting to get discovery and take depositions to argue against the anti-SLAPP. Defendants are opposing the discovery request stating discovery is stayed pending the outcome of the anti-SLAPP motion. Next hearing is set for February 2016. (Link to latest developments)
(Note: A malicious or frivolous lawsuit that aims to intimidate, censor and silence free speech is referred as a SLAPP. Anti-Slapp is a motion filed against SLAPP cases)
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: No new developments since last update. Rooney and Timbaland filed their initial responses to the complaint. Discovery has started. On the other hand Estate and Sony have been engaing in informal settlement talks and parties also agreed to take part in mediation. Trial is scheduled for June 2016.
Genenis Group v. MJ Estate
Description: Genenis Group and Kevin Kinsey claim they entered into an oral agreement with MJ in August 2007 to find funding for refinancing of Neverland and Michael agreed to pay them 10% finder's fee. Genesis Group claim they found an investor to loan $46 million to Michael but Michael never signed the necessary documents to close the escrow and the money was returned to the investor. Genesis Group is asking for $4.58 M as finder's fee.
Latest developments: Dismissed. Estate has filed a demurrer asking Genesis Group's lawsuit to be dismissed as they failed to timely file a creditor's claim against MJ Estate. Estate succeedeed in their demurrer as Genesis Group knew the deadline but failed to file a timely creditor's claim. Kevin Kinsey can personally try to file a late claim at probate court.
Patel v. MJ Estate
Description: Patel claims his son formed an entertainment company with MJ called Neverland Entertainment to make a movie called "Messages to Michael".Patel is seeking access to materials such as home video footage and music rights to make the movie.
Latest development: Case has just been filed at LA Superior Court.
Previously Resolved lawsuits
Safechuck v. MJ Estate
Dismissed. This was Safechuck's probate claim against MJ Estate. Judge dismissed it on September 2015.
Robson v. MJ Estate
Dismissed. This was Robson's probate claim against MJ Estate. Judge dismissed it on May 2015.
Hologram USA v. Cirque du Soleil
Settled. This was a dispute about MJ hologram at "Michael Jackson One" by Cirque du Soleil. Parties settled.
Katherine Jackson v. AEG
Verdict in favor of AEG. Both Court of Appeals and Supreme Court denied Katherine Jackson's appeal request.
Lloyds v. MJ Estate / AEG (Link)
Settled. This was a dispute about the insurance policy for “This is it” concerts. Parties settled.
Demann v. MJ Estate (Link)
Settled. Demann – former manager of MJ – has sued MJ Estate over unpaid commissions. Case settled.
Michael Amir Williams v. MJ Estate / AEG (Link)
Dismissed. Williams filed a class action breach of contract lawsuit against AEG (and later MJ Estate). Lawsuit is dismissed and Williams was ordered to pay AEG and MJ Estate’s legal costs.
Michael Jonzun v. MJ Estate / Paul Anka / Sony/ AEG (Link)
Dismissed. Jonzun claimed he owns one-third of “This is it” song.
John Landis and Ola Ray v. MJ Estate
Settled. This was about unpaid royalties from “Thriller”. Parties settled.
MJ Estate v. HTWF (Link)
Settled right before trial. Later HTWF tried to rescind the settlement and filed an appeal. Appeal has been denied.
MJ Estate v. Howard Mann / Henry Vaccaro
Settled after Mann/Vaccaro lost at summary judgment. Mann and Vaccaro has been ordered to pay $2.5 Million to MJ Estate. Vaccaro has filed for bankruptcy.
Bain v. MJ Estate (Link)
Dismissed. Bain filed a lawsuit asking for $44 Million from the deals she helped. She lost the case at summary judgment stage. Bain filed an appeal but it was denied.
Bravado v. Rouas
Settled. Bravado filed a lawsuit against Rouas for infringing trademarks/ copyrights in their MJ related perfumes. Case settled with Rouas paying damages to Bravado. Settlement also said Rouas cannot use MJ’s name and likeliness or any MJ trademarks.
LaPointe v. MJ Estate
Settled. This was a lawsuit about cancelled 2009 Julien’s Auction.
October 2015 Update : http://dailymichael.com/news/309-mj-related-lawsuit-updates-october-2015
July 2015 Update: http://dailymichael.com/news/306-mj-related-lawsuit-updates-july-2015
May 2015 Update : http://dailymichael.com/news/299-mj-related-lawsuit-updates-may-2015
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