Raymone Bain has lost her appeal in the $44 Million lawsuit she had filed against MJ Estate.
Appeal court ruling here: http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/E77F64B8A82B80BD85257CD700505946/$file/12-7061.pdf
In a short summary: Bain had entered into an agreement with Michael Jackson in 2006 which gave her 10% from any deal that she brought to Michael. In 2007 Raymone Bain had stopped working with Michael and she had signed a Payment and Release Agreement. Bain was paid $488,820 as "full and final satisfaction of any [and] all monies, known or unknown to be owed" to her.
In 2009 - while Michael was still alive - Bain sued Michael for $44 Million - claiming she's entitled to 10% of several deals such as Thriller 25, This is it concerts etc. Michael Jackson and later his Estate argued Bain wasn't owed any money as she signed the Payment and Release Agreement for any and all money owed to her. District court agreed with MJ Estate and dismissed the case on summary judgment.
A few months after the summary judgment Bain asked for the reversal of the judgment based on a "newly discovered evidence" - a fax that was allegedly sent by Michael stating he wasn't aware of any Payment and Release Agreement. Estate argued against this "newly discovered evidence" on multiple grounds - the main one being Bain hadn't mentioned this fax before. They argued even though she didn't know where the fax was and/or lost it, she should have notified the court of the existence of such fax and ask for time and help of the court to locate it. Court agreed with MJ Estate, stating it wasn't "newly discovered evidence" as Bain knew the existence of the fax and she never brought it up.
Bain appealed the decision and the appeal court has ruled on May 13, 2014. They agreed with Bain that the fax was a "newly discovered evidence" but they sided with the lower court that Bain did not show due diligence in notifying the court about the fax and getting the help of the court to locate the fax. Appeals court stated even though Bain might have lost or couldn't locate her copy of the fax, another copy - the original letter - could probably be obtained through Michael Jackson side by a discovery.
An abstract from The Hollywood Reporter can be found below
In the appellate court's decision on Tuesday, Judge Srinivasan examines the epistemological nature of what happened. He points to Webster's definition of "discover" -- "to obtain for the first time sight or knowledge of" -- as well as added meaning by Merriam-Webster's -- "to detect the presence of."
Evidence lost, hidden or unavailable can qualify as "newly discovered," writes the judge, but on the other hand, "a party’s unannounced awareness of evidence can affect the assessment of whether it exercised the 'reasonable diligence'” required by law. In other words, Bain could have taken steps to find the lost letter if she knew it existed somewhere.
"Bain’s efforts to find her own copy of the letter did not relieve her of all responsibility to undertake reasonable efforts to obtain the original letter (or a separate copy) from Jackson, his estate, or his counsel," writes Judge Srinivasan. "And by failing to apprise the district court of the letter, Bain denied the court any opportunity to assist with locating it."