Jacksons vs AEG - Day 60 – July 31 2013 – Summary
Katherine and Trent Jackson was present in court.
Eric Briggs Testimony
It was very slow going again today, with plaintiff’s attorney Brian Panish continuing to try to get more details about Briggs' work. Panish spent more than 25 minutes this morning trying to get more details on Briggs’ billing records. He didn’t get any more info. Briggs also continued to be very circumspect about what other work he’d done on valuing Jackson’s signature asset, the Sony ATV catalog. Outside the presence of the jury this afternoon, Judge Yvette Palazuelos allowed Panish to question Briggs about his connection to estate. Palazuelos also asked about the other
entities Briggs had done work for analyzing Jackson’s assets. Briggs has done work for Goldman Sachs, the Fortress Investment Group and Jackson’s estate regarding the catalog. Panish has said repeatedly that Briggs’ calculations under-valued the catalog and that his mention of MJ’s debt in his testimony in the AEG case doesn’t take into account the Sony-ATV catalog’s actual value at the time Jackson died. Panish says estate attorney Howard Weitzman is going to come to court (probably tomorrow) and discuss whether Briggs can discuss his work. Briggs has said he cleared his work on the AEG case with another estate attorney, Jeryll Cohen. Panish says that’s not true. AEG’s lawyers say they aren’t blocking Briggs from answering the questions about his work with the estate, but he wants the judge to order him to answer. At a sidebar yesterday, AEG attorney Sabrina Strong said Briggs could be sued without the judge’s order. Briggs says his remarks about Jackson being deeply in debt are only tied to his opinion that MJ couldn’t have gotten endorsement deals. AEG’s attorneys did try to say that Panish’s questioning of Briggs on the debt issue was outside the scope of the case. Palazuelos disagreed. “We’ve got debt right smack in the middle of this opinion,” she said. Panish, who has said Briggs’ credibility is at issue and some of his testimony is false, will be able to explore the issue more. (AP)
Panish asked Briggs who he contacted at the Estate of Michael Jackson to waive potential conflict of interest. "I believe FTI checked for conflict of interest," Briggs said. He said he received a form and the conflict of interest check was marked. The expert said he doesn't know who made the call to the Estate, if it was him or his partner. Briggs: As far as I'm concerned, everything I've done for Estate and everything I've done on this matter have nothing to do with each other. Panish: Sir, did you testify you discussed the potential for a conflict of interest with AEG's attorneys? Briggs: I never viewed it as a potential conflict of interest, I don't think I characterized it that way. "I discussed my previous engagements with O'Melveny & Myers," Briggs said. Panish asked which lawyers Briggs discussed at OMM the potential for conflict of interest. He said Sabrina Strong and perhaps Jessica Bina. Panish asked if Briggs called Ms. Cohen to talk about the potential conflict of interest before his deposition. He said he doesn't recall. (ABC7)
Panish: Yesterday, you said you met with Ms. Cohen (attorney for the Estate), correct?
Panish: Did Ms. Cohen say to you she waived any potential conflict between you, FTI, and the Estate of Michael Jackson?
Briggs: Ms. Cohen did not say that
Panish: Did you ask Ms. Cohen to waive any potential conflict of interest?
Briggs: I did not ask her that specific question (ABC7)
Panish asked Briggs if he's produced his time records related to this case. He said he turned the subpoena to FTI's general counsel. Panish: Has any attorneys for AEG told you that the court issued an order to you to produce your time records forthwith (immediately? Briggs: No, my recollection is that the document was a subpoena. Panish tells Briggs there's a signed order to produce his time record in this case. Briggs asked to see it, since he doesn't have it. (ABC7)
Panish showed several bills from FTI for Briggs without itemization of the work done. They are for $55,000, $189,000, $123,000, $155,902. Panish points out there are two employees just out of school earning $350/hr. He asked where their time sheets were. "You'd expect someone working for that kind of money would produce records of what they worked on" Panish asked. Briggs said he doesn't know. Panish: Does your company check the time worked before submitting bill to a client? Briggs: I understand there's a check system in place, but I don't know how it works. Panish asked if Briggs' company has a billing department and itemization of work done. He said yes to first, doesn't know the second. Panish questioned Briggs, extensively, about all the bills FTI submitted and if he knew the specific work performed for each bill. Briggs said that in matters he bills clients by the hour, he's always charged $800 per hour. Other possibility is to charge flat fee. The expert clarified that he probably didn't charge $800/hour in the beginning of his career. (ABC7)
"My opinion is that it's speculative he would earn any money working," Briggs opined. (ABC7)
Panish: Your opinion is that MJ wouldn't earn a dime for future work?
Briggs: Yes, taking the consideration the risk factors we know today
Briggs: MJ's ability to secure endorsements from financial companies would be impacted by negative headlines associated with his debts. Panish asked if Pepsi, Nike, Red Bull, soft drink companies are financial companies. Briggs said no.(ABC7)
Panish asked Briggs if he was aware of anything that AEG did specifically to assess MJ's health. In his deposition, Briggs said he does not know anything specifically that AEG did to assess MJ's health. (ABC7)
Panish asked if Briggs included merchandising revenue in the chart he made. Briggs said Erk testified the numbers included merchandising. Briggs conceded he doesn't know independently whether the merchandising revenue is included in the numbers. (ABC7)
"I was absolutely comparing apples to apples," Briggs said.(ABC7)
Panish asked if U2 360 had 97,000 people at the Rose Bowl. Briggs said U2 was a 360 degree and they were able to fit a record crowd. Panish inquired about Meglen's testimony saying 97,000 people was not true. Briggs said he doesn't think that's what Meglen testified. (ABC7)
1- U2 360 in 2009 -- 110 shows, $101, average 66K people
2- Rolling Stones -- 144 shows, $119, average 32K people
3- AC/DC -- 167 shows, $91, average 29K people
4- Madonna -- 85 shows, $115, average 42K people
MJ's HIStory tour averaged 55K people, average ticket was $37, which is one third of U2's ticket price. The last MJ show was about 10-12 years prior to U2. U2 averaged 66K people. Panish did this calculation: 55k (average of MJ's audience) x 186 shows (Gongaware's plan) x $108 (average TII ticket) = $1.1. billion. Panish: $108 ticket price times 55 thousand people times 186 shows, hows does that come out sir? Briggs: That is roughly $1.1 billion (ABC7)
Panish asked if there were drug use allegations regarding The Rolling Stones and AC/DC members. Briggs said yes, there were headlines about it. Panish asked if it was the same headlines Briggs referred to about Michael Jackson. Briggs said MJ's drug use he analyzed was based on testimony in this trial, not tabloid headlines. (ABC7)
Briggs: Yes, I think AEG wanted to go on a worldwide tour with Michael Jackson. Briggs agreed that AEG entered into a 3 year contract with Michael Jackson.
Panish: How many concerts did Gongaware estimated to do?
Briggs: In Sept 2008, prior to an agreement with MJ?
Briggs: 186 (ABC7)
Panish inquired if Dr. Shimelman testified that without Conrad Murray MJ would have had a normal life expectancy. Briggs: What he said is that he was not able to offer a statement with the doctor out of the picture and that is significant. Panish asked if Dr. Earley said MJ should no be to blame for his addiction. Briggs said yes, but said addicts should take responsibility (ABC7)
"There was wide spread media coverage, over the years, of MJ's drug usage," Briggs said.
Panish: You'd expect AEG, someone in the business, to know about MJ's drug use
Briggs: I'd generally expect they'd be aware of the headlines (ABC7)
Panish compared Briggs to an armchair quarterback after the fact, issuing opinion after the fact. Briggs: My opinion, of course, is more informed than the one made at the time (ABC7)
Panish: Did you know AEG paid a medical doctor to exam Michael Jackson, yes or no?
Panish: Did you know AEG paid money to have Dr. Slavit to check Michael Jackson?
Briggs: I didn't have that specific knowledge
"There was a physical on MJ in the beginning of 2009," Briggs said. He added he doesn't know who hired the doctor and who paid him. Briggs said he recall reading about MJ getting a physical and that everything was fine. Briggs: My information is that the physical was passed and that there were no significant issues.
Panish: In your opinion that MJ wouldn't complete 50 shows, u didn't consider Dr Slavit?
Briggs: I don't know if I reviewed it prior to deposition
Panish: Were you aware coroner said MJ didn't have any medical problem at the time of his death that would've his life expectancy reduced?
Briggs: I don't recall that specific testimony, my knowledge is that the coroner's report was introduced through doctor testimony.
"My opinion is based after the facts, what we know today," Briggs testified. (ABC7)
Panish asked how many Dangerous shows were canceled. Briggs said in his opinion is between 3 to 10. He said he did research about it. Panish wanted to know why Briggs didn't bring the documents he relied on regarding the cancelation of the Dangerous tour. Panish asked the judge to admonish Briggs to answer the questions several times throughout the morning. When attorney asked the judge again, judge said: "I keep advising him, but..." . Briggs said in terms of actual dates, approximately 1.4% of the Dangerous shows were canceled. (ABC7)
Panish: How old were you in 1993?
Briggs: About 17-18 (ABC7)
Panish asked how many shows MJ performed in his career. Briggs said he doesn't know for sure, thinks it's 270 approximately. (ABC7)
Briggs said he cannot tell Panish what each specific bill means in terms of itemization of work done. Panish asked if there's any document detailing the time spent on the task and who did what regarding this case. Briggs: To my knowledge, that information does not exist. Panish wanted to know what type of time calculation software FTI uses. Briggs said he doesn't know. Briggs testified he doesn't know if his company has been paid or not. (ABC7)
Briggs reviewed Tom Barrack's testimony. Panish asked if Barrack said if MJ wanted to he could earn $500 million a year. Briggs said no. Barrack runs Colony Capital, an investment company. It's a multi-billion dollar entity. Panish showed deposition of Barrack with interview saying MJ was a guy who could make $500 million a year if he put his head to it.
Panish: Barrack wanted to invest in Mr. Jackson and do work with him in the future, right, sir?
Briggs: Yes (ABC7)
Panish: Government has stated one MJ asset is worth twice his debt, isn't it, sir?
Briggs: The only information I have in that respect is from attorneys of the Estate of Michael Jackson and I'm concerned w/ confidentiality
Panish: You' are well aware the value of one asset is doubled any debt he had, isn't that, sir?
Briggs: The only information I received in this regard came from lawyers of the Estate of Michael Jackson.
Briggs: They hired us to perform work related to Sony ATV catalogue as of the date of MJ's death. Panish argues there's no attorney-client privilege,and Briggs should be ordered to answer. Briggs said he only learned about what he knows of what the government claims regarding SonyATV catalogue from the Estate. Judge and attorneys extensively argued whether Briggs has attorney-client privilege with the Estate of Michael Jackson. Judge to the jurors: Now you know what we do in chambers. That's the stuff we argue about. (ABC7)
Panish asked if MJ paid for Katherine Jackson's bills and expenses. Briggs said he doesn't recall the specific comments. Panish asked if MJ bought his mother a $500,000 motorhome. Briggs said he doesn't recall. Panish wanted to know if Briggs reviewed all the relevant documents in this case. He said the attorneys gave him documents, he asked others (ABC7)
Briggs identified 3 primary risks:
- Health/medical experts
- Projects falling through/cancellations
Panish asked where Dr. Murray was in the risk. Briggs said he did not take Dr. Murray into account. (ABC7)
Panish: What's Madonna's cancellation rate?
Briggs: I don't know (ABC7)
Panish mentioned U2 canceled shows for Bono's back surgery, Madonna canceled show to be with her family, Guns N'Roses canceled and returned. Panish asked about Eric Clapton and Van Halen's cancellation of shows. Briggs doesn't recall how many were canceled. Panish said Briggs got his information from articles out of the internet. (ABC7)
Panish: All of these information, someone in 6th grade would be able to get the same exact information off the internet, correct, sir?
Briggs: They may have the same information but the interpretation is absolutely different.
Panish: Are you saying all these people are risks and no one should do business with them?
Briggs: I didn't say that (ABC7)
Panish asked how many shows AEG does in a year. Briggs said he doesn't know. Briggs estimated hundreds, perhaps thousands shows happen in a year around the world. (ABC7)
Panish: Did you take in consideration Randy Phillips and Dr. Murray had shared responsibility to get MJ into rehearsal? Briggs didn't recall. Panish showed email saying Phillips and Dr. Murray were responsible for getting MJ to rehearsal. Briggs said he doesn't recall it.(ABC7)
Briggs said that sometimes his clients don't follow their advice. "Our advice is not always right," the expert said. "The truth of my opinion has nothing to do with how much we're being paid in this case," Briggs testified. Panish asked what specific work Matthew did. Briggs said he researched cities Erk said concerts would take place, audience capacity, arenas. In deposition, an attorney asked Briggs if he performed specific calculation to demand in India for a MJ show in 2009-2012. Briggs said he did not nor was he aware of any material to enable them to make projections about India. (ABC7)
Panish: Do you agree Mj could have toured?
Briggs: Had he lived, it's possible
Panish: Could Mr. Jackson make movies?
Panish: Could he have acted in movies?
Briggs: It's possible, sure
Panish: How much actors get paid for good movies?
Briggs: It vary from a few million to many millions of dollars
Panish: MJ could have made records?
Briggs: Yes, it's possible
Panish: Could he have done tours?
Briggs: Yes, it's possible
Panish: Could he have been involved in movies?
Briggs: Yes, it's possible
Panish: Could he have gotten endorsements?
Briggs: Yes, it's possible
Panish: Could he have sold merchandise?
Briggs: To the extent the shows happened, it's possible
Panish: Could he have done a residency shows in Las Vegas?
Briggs: It's possible
Panish: Did you look into MJ having a residency show with Celine Dion?
Briggs: I'm not aware of that
Panish: Did Ortega testify he discussed with MJ going on a worldwide tour and going to India?
Briggs: I don't recall that in trial testimony (ABC7)
Katherine Jackson stated that Michael Jackson didn't want to be moonwalking at 50 years old, Briggs said. Panish asked if Ortega testified that he wanted to do films with MJ and wanted to be involved in anything Jackson related. Briggs said yes. Panish inquired if Taj Jackson also testified about MJ wanting to do movies. Briggs answered yes. (ABC7)
Panish asked about album "Thriller 25" released in 2006 or 2007. Briggs said he concentrated on MJ's brand new albums in his chart. "I would describe it (Thriller 25) as successful re-release," Briggs said. (ABC7)
Panish asked how many people "Q" score company surveys. Briggs said he thinks they measure about 1800 people. Panish said it's 1400. Briggs said the "Q" scores measure people in the US. Panish asked if it were measured around the world. Briggs said there wasn't available. Panish: All you have is 1800 people surveyed across the United States? Briggs: That's correct . "The "Q" score was not relevant to ticket sales" Briggs said. Panish asked how the ticket sales went in London. Briggs responded "very well" (ABC7)
Panish: Mr. Gongaware had no concern that Mr. Jackson could do 50 shows, correct?
Briggs: With the information he had, it appeared that way (ABC7)
Outside the presence of the jury, attorneys and judge discussed about what Briggs recalls regarding Gongaware's testimony. Judge: It seems like he doesn't recall, or doesn't want to recall, the testimony. Panish: The IRS has called into question what this witness is trying to say. The Estate never gave witness waiver to testify in this case. Panish: He never had permission, never had waiver. I believe the true facts will show he didn't contact Ms. Cohen until after his deposition Panish: There's no privilege regarding the value of ATV catalogue being double the amount of MJ's debts. Panish: His credibility is seriously at issue here, there's no privilege whatsoever. Bina: Briggs said he believes debt aspect would make MJ not appealable to endorsements. Bina: Ackerman has analyzed in great detail MJ's spending, debt. She said her understanding that conflict of interest has been waived. Bina: The government and his company may have a different understanding as to the catalogue value. Judge: What kind of investigation is that? Putnam: We don't know, we can't ask. Bina: There's no conflict of interest. Besides that, Erk didn't consider the ATV catalogue value and debts. Panish: They want to show he was destitute and had not not true, he could've spent money for 30 years and still not be in debt. Bina: He cleared the engagement for work on this case, not the debt. Judge: It sounds pretty suspicious to me. Bina: It doesn't matter whether MJ was in debt (for endorsement), but the negative perception he was in debt was sufficient. Boyle: He said that the value of the ATV catalogue was less than the debt. And that's not true. He knows it's not true. Boyle: According to the IRS, it's much higher than the debt. Judge: I don't understand him claiming privilege as to what the IRS says the value of the catalogue is. (ABC7)
Panish asked if Briggs has done extensive work regarding the value of Sony ATV catalogue. Briggs said yes, for Goldman Sachs; Sony ATV, not corporate; Fortress Capital; Estate of MJ; Law firm in 2007. Briggs said it's all in connection with the evaluation of Sony ATV catalogue. The expert said he gets rehired some times. Briggs has given valuation opinions in writing, which is easily accessible. Briggs: The work was performed after MJ's death, but the valuation is of date of death. (ABC7)
Panish: You don't consider IRS putting into question your work a major problem?
Briggs: IRS review about valuation is very commonplace, specially in large estates. (ABC7)
Judge: It sounds like you have info not subject to privilege, with other companies that ordered the valuation. Panish: He put a very low value on the catalogue and said it is less than MJ's debts, when the IRS valued it twice. Panish said the value ranges from a billion to 8 billion dollars. He knows the IRS has given much higher value, the attorney argued. Perry Sanders: the other side could stipulate there's another valuation that says the Sonycatalogue is almost 2 times the debt. Bina: The problem is that we don't know the answer, we don't know that to be true. (ABC7)
Panish asked if Briggs has been subpoenaed by IRS. He said he's not aware.
Briggs: I understand the IRS is in discussions with the Estate. (ABC7)
Judge said to get the Estate lawyer in court to see if there's a waiver. Panish: If Briggs said something that's not true, it goes against his credibility. Bina said MJ' business manager said MJ had no ability to borrow money and had no money at time of death Panish: That's not true! He didn't know how much catalogue was worth, had $6 million in an account that Tohme was holding, so he had money. Jury then entered the courtroom. Testimony resumed. (ABC7)
Panish asked Briggs if he knows the average ticket price for MJ's show was $108. He said it's approximately right. (ABC7)
John Branca is a prominent entertainment attorney. Briggs said he was brought back around the time MJ died. Briggs doesn't recall Branca saying he believes MJ could have done the 50 shows. Panish asked if Briggs noted anything positive that Branca said regarding MJ's ability to make money. He said he doesn't believe he did. (ABC7)
Panish: All you remember is the things that were against MJ?
Briggs: My opinion is not against MJ.(ABC7)
Briggs: The positive I knew quite well, so there's no notes to that, the positives were apparent. Briggs said the points in his outline is to support his opinion, since the positive things he already knew about. (ABC7)
Briggs said he reviewed Shawn Trell's trial testimony of 4 days but does not recall anything he said that was relevant to his opinion. Briggs said the figures below are for ticket sales and merchandising: Prod 1 -- $94 million, Prod 2 -- $107 million. Briggs said there's a non-appearance insurance on the budget. Lloyds of London charged $450,000 for the premium. Panish: How much did the pay out was? Briggs: I have no idea (ABC7)