Jacksons vs AEG - Day 59 – July 30 2013 – Summary
Katherine and Trent Jackson was present in court.
Before testimony resumed, AEG's Kathryn Cahan said last week, when Dr. Saunders' video deposition was played, they didn't read a correction. She said when Dr. Saunders said the only two drugs he know of were Demerol and morphine -- it should be buprenorphine instead of Morphine. (ABC7)
Eric Briggs Testimony
Strong continued her questioning. Briggs said he was tasked to analyze Erk's projection related to MJ's potential work-related income.
1- It is speculative as to whether these projects would be completed;
2- The projection and numbers are speculative (ABC7)
She asked Briggs for his bottom-line opinion in the case. He didn't give a number for what he thought were Jackson's potential earnings. Instead Briggs said that it would be speculative to offer a damages opinion, and reiterated he thought Arthur Erk's numbers were speculative (AP)
Strong finished her questions. Jacksons' attorney Brian Panish did cross examination.
Plaintiff's attorney Brian Panish started his cross-examination, which was pointed and initially focused on Briggs' billings in the case. Briggs' firm has billed between $600-700k for their work in the case. He doesn't have detailed time records for the work done though. Panish spent a lot of time asking Briggs to justify the billings and showed him a binder of items he prepared before his deposition. After numerous questions, Panish showed the jury about a stack of documents about an inch high that Briggs had compiled of his work. Some of it was the Q score data he explained yesterday, and other files were news articles. He compiled notes, but they were bullet points. Briggs also reviewed the testimony of numerous other experts in the case, as well as Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware. Briggs initially identified 15 depositions he'd reviewed, but as his testimony went on he remembered others he had read through. (AP)
Briggs said he's engaged in this matter as AEG and O'Melveny & Myers expert witness. "I'm offering my independent opinion in his matter," Briggs said. As an individual, he's not being paid. Panish asked if his company was being paid, and the expert said FTI consulting is billing fees in this matter. (ABC7)
Panish: You are being paid by this side here, sir?
Briggs: I don't agree with your characterization
Panish: You never worked for us?
Briggs: I'm not performing work in this matter for Mrs. Jackson and Panish law firm (ABC7)
"I'm engaged in this matter as an expert witness," Briggs responded. "My firm has been hired by AEG and O'Melveny & Myers." (ABC7)
Panish: So you are not independent?
Briggs: I'm not sure I understand where you're going with this.(ABC7)
Briggs said he has had between 4 and 6 meeting with AEG's attorneys over the last two weeks. The expert said he worked 40-50 hours approximately since July 18. He said he went to the attorneys' office 5 days last week, 2 this week. Briggs said another member of his firm (Matthew) is helping him in the case. Matthew has been with the company for about a year and Panish says he's the one who has been doing a lot of the work. Briggs said Panish's characterization that Matthew worked the most in this case is concerning. (ABC7)
Panish: How much, sir, have you charged O'Melveny & Myers?
Briggs said the total bill is in the order of $600,000 to $700,000.
Panish: And you say you're independent, correct, sir?
Briggs: I'm offering my independent opinion in this matter (ABC7)
Briggs said his understanding is that there's another person hired by AEG to testify regarding damages in this case. Panish said the expert testified in his deposition he had worked 130 hours in this case. Since his deposition, Briggs said he has worked approximately 200 additional hours, 350 hours total. Panish showed the witness the bill sent by Briggs' company. It does not detail the work done, only the amount of hours spent. (ABC7)
Panish: Do you keep track of the hours you work?
Briggs: Yes, I tell my assistant how much I worked on a case (ABC7)
Bill shows 17.3 hours worked, $13,840 charge. Briggs said he doesn't know specifically what he did on those hours, but did research in connection with the case, preparing for deposition. (ABC7)
Panish held a three ring binder with about 2 inches of documents and asked Briggs if those were all the documents he generated for $650K. Briggs said that binder does not contain everything that he generated. (ABC7)
Panish: Everything contained in this little file is what you generated in this case, correct?
Briggs: By your definition, yes (ABC7)
Panish said the material Briggs generated is about an inch worth of documents. Briggs said that if Panish is defining in printed paper what he generated, then yes. But if he counted deposition and testimony, then no. (ABC7)
Panish: Did you ever make a list of all the depositions you reviewed in this case?
Briggs: I did not put together an exhaustive list. (ABC7)
Briggs said he read thousands of pages of depositions, probably 10K. Panish asked if Briggs made summaries of the depositions. He said no. "I cannot give you an exhaustive list of all the depositions I reviewed in this case," Briggs said. He named about 15/16 people. Briggs said he reviewed the opening statements by both parties, summary judgment and opposition, and the judge's ruling. Briggs said he has only testified once in UK related to a tax case. He has never testified before in a court in the US. The expert didn't summarize the trial testimony he read either. He named about 7 people from whom he read testimony. (ABC7)
Panish: Did you review Billboard Magazine regarding this case?
Panish: You never promoted a concert, have you?
Briggs: I'm not a concert promoter (ABC7)
Briggs also said he has never produced concerts. People in the music industry are his clients, Briggs said. (ABC7)
Panish: And the highest selling album in the history of the world is "Thriller," correct, sir? Briggs: I believe that's correct. The chart stated it sold 65 million. (ABC7)
Panish: You understand the defendants say they are not responsible for anything in this case, right? Briggs: I'm not entirely sure what the defendants said they are responsible for . (ABC7)
"I don't believe the defendants are admitting they owe anything" Briggs said. He said he was asked to opine on plaintiff's damage analysis. Panish: MJ would earn no money in the future had he not died? Briggs: My opinion is that it is speculative to project that he (MJ) would earn money related to work. (ABC7)
Panish: Your opinion, had MJ not died, he would have earned no money, correct?
Briggs: That's not my opinion
Panish: How much would he have made working in concerts?
Briggs: My opinion is that it is speculative to project earnings for future work
Panish: Could he have made money working?
Briggs: Sure, anything is possible (ABC7)
Briggs: My opinion related to Mr. Erk's analysis, which has earning capacity in it. Briggs said his understanding is that future earning capacity is what someone is expected to receive for future work. Panish asked if Briggs has ever testified regarding loss of income in wrongful death or personal injury cases. The expert said no. "I've not done projection of loss of earning capacity," Briggs said. (ABC7)
Briggs said he's worked an average of 50 weeks per year over the past 15 years. Panish calculated it to be about 750 weeks of work. Panish: So you worked on 1300 project in 750 weeks? Briggs: Approximately (ABC7)
Panish showed a document Briggs wrote that was basis for opinion on not getting endorsement is debt. Briggs notes: Challenges with major advertisers given history (drug usage, child abuse, litigation, debt); also negative publicity. Briggs: MJ history of significant debt figured in my opinion that MJ would encounter challenges in securing endorsements. Panish asked if Briggs considered MJ's Sony ATV catalogue, which is one of his assets, to offset the debt. (ABC7)
Panish: How do you know he was in debt?
Briggs: There were extensive testimony in this case about MJ's debt (ABC7)
Panish asked if Briggs knows that MJ had assets with value. Briggs said yes. Panish asked if Briggs knows that MJ's asset, especially one, exceeded the amount of his debt. Briggs said he's concerned about confidentiality agreement in answering this question. Panish: You know, through your own knowledge, that MJ's assets far exceeded his debts when you wrote that on the sheet, don't you sir? (Judge gets mad with Strong for not stopping the objections, tells her to abide by her rulings. Strong continued, judge called a sidebar.) Briggs said he does not know that MJ had assets worth more than 300 or 400 or 500 million when he wrote his opinion . Briggs said he had knowledge of some of MJ's asset.(ABC7)
Panish: Did you value that asset (Sony's catalogue)?
Panish: It's well in excess of $500 million, isn't it, sir?
Briggs: I'm sorry I'm having a trouble here, but I don't want to disclose any confidential information. (ABC7)
There were three sidebars in the afternoon session, one of which was called after Strong repeatedly objected to a line of Panish's questions Panish asked Briggs whether he had done any work valuing Jackson's assets outside of the AEG case. He had, but he didn't want to answer who he had done the work for. He said the work was the subject of confidentiality agreements and he didn't want to violate them. Panish kept pressing for answers and Strong kept objecting, to the point that the judge told her, "Ms. Strong, I've made the ruling." Panish continued asking questions about Briggs' work on Jackson's assets outside of this case, and Strong objected. The judge told Strong again that she should stop objecting, that she'd overruled them. Strong kept talking, and the judge called a sidebar (AP)
Panish asked if the gross value Briggs put for the Sony catalogue is well in excess of the value of MJ's debt. "I don't remember the number," Briggs said. "I did not believe that's the case." Briggs: I believe the testimony the debt associated with Sony ATV catalogue was $400 million. Panish wants to know if the gross value of the catalogue was in excess of the debt. Briggs said no. Briggs said he performed the evaluation of Sony's catalogue many times, and his response was related to June 2009. Briggs said he was working with someone unrelated to this case regarding the value of the Sony catalogue. Briggs asked the judge to instruct him on what he should answer, since Panish wants to know who he was working w/ regarding the catalogue. (ABC7)
Panish: Do you have a conflict of interest in this case?
P: Have you been clear about your company to testify?
Briggs said he's not comfortable disclosing the names of the companies that hired him before. Judge Yvette Palazuelos ordered him to answer. Briggs: In one particular case, a law firm hired us. It was in late 2009, after Michael Jackson had died. Panish asked if before MJ died if any law firm hired his company to assess MJ's assets. Briggs said he doesn't recall. Regarding this asset, the Sony ATV catalogue, Briggs said he worked on evaluating it between 5-10 times. Briggs said he provided his opinion in those engagements, 5 to 10 times, before MJ died, to 3 or 4 third parties. (ABC7)
Panish: Was one of them Sony?
Sony ATV Music Publishing was one of the companies, not Sony music, Briggs said.(ABC7)
Fortress Capital -- Briggs said it was another company. He recalls law firm and there may have been financial companies.
Panish: Goldman Sacks?
Briggs: It's possible, I work on hundreds of projects a year.
Panish: Goldman Sacks hired you regarding MJ, right sir?
Briggs: I don't recall specifically. (ABC7)
When the attorneys came back, Panish continued his questions about Briggs' other clients on Jackson issues. Briggs said he was still uncomfortable discussing the judge told him to answer the questions with a yes or no answer. There had to be another sidebar before Briggs told jury there had been 5 to 10 "engagements" in which he'd worked on Jackson assets. He said he delivered opinions to 3 or 4 different entities. One of them was Sony-ATV, the massive music catalog MJ has an interest in. Another was Michael Jackson's estate. Briggs said he discussed working on the AEG case with an estate attorney and was told it was OK. Briggs also said the general counsel of his company, FTI Consulting, approved him working as an expert in the AEG Live litigation. (AP)
Briggs never performed an audit for a record company. (ABC7)
Briggs said he watched the testimony of Meglen in the overflow room. He was accompanied by 3 AEG attorneys. (ABC7)
Panish asked if Briggs worked with MJ before being retained in this case. He said yes and that he discussed it with AEG. Briggs testified AEG didn't see the work done in previous engagements as conflict of interest. Briggs said that what was more important to him is what FTI's general counsel thought and they determined there was no conflict of interest. Briggs said he had engagement agreements with a number of entities related to MJ. “I went one step further and told them (AEG) I would not be discussing anything regarding my other work," Briggs said. Panish: Who did you call, have sign waiver in writing about a potential conflict of interest? Briggs said there wasn't anything in writing. "My recollection was the attorneys for the Estate of Michael Jackson," Briggs testified. He said a call took place, doesn't know who called. Briggs was retained on February 8, 2013. He spoke with Jeryll Cohen from MJ Estate and she okay'd him to testify as witness in this case. She was well aware what was going on and approved it. Briggs said he told her he had no interest in sharing the work done for the Estate. Briggs said he spoke with Cohen again about two months ago, and she acknowledged his work on this case. (ABC7)
Briggs receives a salary and bonus based on performance of the division. FTI is a public traded company. Briggs said he thinks the company was approaching $2 billion in revenues last year. (ABC7)
Panish asked Briggs about doing risk assessments, and whether he considered Conrad Murray a significant risk to Jackson's life. The question was based on an expert who testified at deposition that he would have been surprised if Michael Jackson lived another week given Murray's treatments on MJ.Briggs didn't want to say Murray was a risk to Jackson's life, or address medical risks. Briggs said he couldn't offer a medical opinion, but just considered the opinions of other medical experts in the case. Panish questioned whether having a "fit and competent" doctor would have lessened the risk to Jackson's life. Briggs didn't want to say yes. "That one risk would be removed," Briggs said about Murray if he was no longer MJ's doctor. He said other medical risks remained, though. Panish mentioned the coroner's report and testimony and specifically that they found no evidence of problems with Jackson's heart. (AP)
Briggs testified he saw testimony that MJ had one life week to live after June 25, 2009, the day of the artist's death. Panish said Dr. Shimelman testified MJ's life expectancy was one week based on Dr. Murray's treatment of him Briggs: I believe his statement was MJ's life expectancy was one week, and he was taking into effect a lot of things: Dr. Murray, drug use (ABC7)
Panish: Are you aware that IRS is investigating the people who hired you and undervalued Sony ATVcatalogue? Objection: Sustained (ABC7)
Dr. Earley said MJ was essentially playing Russian roulette in the way he was using drugs, Briggs said. Panish: Dr. Murray was a big risk to MJ's health, wasn't he? Briggs: I wasn't focused on the risk, I was focused on a doctor assessing a record after the fact. Panish asked if Dr. Murray was a risk to MJ's health. Briggs: It appears in determining his life expectancy Dr. Shimelman took in consideration Dr. Murray. Panish: If Dr. Murray isn't in the question, there's no risk, right, sir? Briggs: There are all kinds of risks, like risk of relapse, risk of the manner he's taking the drugs. Briggs: This is not my opinion, I'm not a doctor, I was relying on Dr. Shimelman's testimony (about one week to live). Briggs' note says Dr. Shimelman -- Die any night. Briggs: Dr. Earley said the way MJ was taking drugs was like playing Russian roulette. Panish: Isn't it true Dr. Earley never blamed MJ for his addiction? Briggs: That's what I recall from the testimony. Briggs: I was asked to assess forecast earnings, not blame. Briggs: To a lay person, Dr. Earley's testimony that MJ was playing Russian roulette is talking about life expectancy. Panish said Dr. Earley wasn't asked to opined on MJ's life expectancy. Briggs read Dr. Earley's deposition and that's what it reads. Briggs: Just to be clear, I can't assess anyone's life expectancy. (ABC7)
Briggs said he relied on AEG's attorney to give him all the relevant materials related to what he's been asked to opine. The expert said he didn't review MJ's autopsy report, since he has no ability to read it. Briggs said one of the experts he reviewed stated the normal actuary doesn't apply to MJ's life and behavior. Briggs relied on Dr. Earley's testimony. He was unable to give a life expectancy to MJ because he wasn't hired for that. Dr. Shimelman said if Dr. Murray remained in the picture, MJ would live only another week. Dr. Schnoll said MJ could've been treated by a fit and competent doctor and remove the risk. Briggs: Dr. Shimelman stated a life expectancy of one week, I don't know how someone could perform for 9 months. (ABC7)
Panish: AEG thought MJ could do 50 shows, didn't they, sir? Briggs: AEG had a plan for 50 shows, they had a budget for 50 shows, they were interested in doing 50 shows. (ABC7)
Panish asked who was more knowledgeable in concerts, if Briggs or Paul Gongaware. Briggs responded it depends which aspect of the business. (ABC7) Briggs has never worked as a concert promoter, and toward the end of his testimony Panish asked him if he knew more than Phillips, Gongaware. Briggs said he couldn't say who knew more about concert touring, promotion _ him, Phillips or Gongaware. (AP)
Panish: Did AEG ever hire you to see if the show would happen or not?
Brigss: AEG did not hire me before February of this year.
Briggs: If I were hired, I'd have told my opinion that it's speculative that the 9 months would have been completed. "It appeared they (AEG) believed the shows would've gone forward," Briggs testified. (ABC7)
Panish: Was AEG fraudulently selling tickets for the shows?
Briggs: I can't opine on that, I'm not an expert in fraud. (ABC7)
Panish asked if AEG only hired him 3 and half years after MJ was dead. Briggs said yes. Panish: Live Nation hired you to assess concert and feasibility? Briggs: No (ABC7)