Jacksons vs AEG - Day 64 – August 7 2013 – Summary
Source : ABC7 unless otherwise indicated
Kathy Jorrie Testimony
Brian Panish, attorney for the Jacksons, doing the questioning.
Jorrie brought copy of the contract she used as template to draft Dr. Conrad Murray's agreement. She also gathered an estimate AEG paid her law firm since 2000, covering 14 years of work. Panish asked if it was in excess of $7.2 million. Jorrie: It's my estimate that my firm received a little over $ 7 million since 2000, which is about $500,000/year for services for AEG Live.
Panish: Did you say you negotiated probably 75 agreements with artists?
Jorrie: It's about 75, but it could be more, all for AEG Live.
Panish: Where you representing Michael Jackson when you were preparing Dr. Murray's contract?
Jorrie: I was not.
Regarding the LAPD conversation, Panish asked Jorrie if she was represented by Marvin Putnam in that meeting. She said no. "I really didn't feel like I needed representation in that meeting, sir," Jorrie said. "I was a witness." Panish asked if Jorrie represented herself, since she is a lawyer. She said she doesn't know how to answer, you always rep yourself as attorney. Jorrie met w/ LAPD twice in her office. Det Smith questioned her, Putnam and Deborah Brazil, one of the DAs prosecuting Murray, were present
Panish: Do you remember telling me yesterday that you never told LAPD that MJ was engaged to go on worldwide tour?
Panish: Do you remember you denying telling the police department that statement?
Panish asked if after reviewing LAPD's interview, Jorrie contacted Det. Smith to fix it. She said no, read it only months later.
Panish: Did AEG ever enter into a tour agreement with Michael Jackson that required him to do a world tour?
Jorrie explained some things had to happen before the world tour could take place. She said the world tour was contemplated, but it didn't mean it was going to happen. Jorrie explained that if the parties agreed, then the tour could go on beyond London. Jorrie said Dr. Tohme was a manager forMichael Jackson during the time they negotiated the tour and continued until the time of death. Michael Jackson's contract with AEG was signed on Jan 26, 2009.
Panish: Did you ever have reservations in January 2009 about Dr. Tohme?
Jorrie: I did
Jorrie said she googled Tohme and couldn't see he was a music manager. Panish asked Jorrie if she checks people on google. "That's usually my first step in the process," she responded.
Panish: And you recommended that a background check be done on Tohme, right?
Jorrie: As an alternative, yes.
Panish showed email Jorrie wrote regarding Dr. Tohme and her concerns if he was the "real McCoy." Jorrie explained she recommended at minimum that someone meet w/ MJ to make sure he understands he's entering into worldwide tour agreement. Jorrie said background check was not done on Dr. Tohme, at least to her knowledge. She didn't do one.
Jurors were shown letters and emails Jackson wrote saying Tohme was not his representative, although concert promoter and producer AEG Live acted as if he were. Jorrie expressed reservations about Tohme as early as January 2009, five months before the singer died. In an email to AEG executives, she wondered "whether or not he is the real McCoy... Nonetheless, I recommend that a background check be performed through a private investigator and/or at a minimum, that someone at AEG Live meet with Michael Jackson to make sure he understands that we are entering into a tour agreement with him that will require him to perform a worldwide tour.” No private investigator was hired. A copy of the email was sent to Peter Lopez, one of Jackson’s attorneys. On April 22, 2009, Jackson wrote Phillips, “This letter shall serve to confirm that I am not using Dr. Tohme for tour production management services and that I do not intend to use Dr. Tohme in the future for tour production management services or with respect to other event related matters. "Therefore, you are not authorized to pay Dr. Tohme or any of his affiliated companies for any such services in connection with my upcoming tour or any future tours or other events..." Jorrie testified she did not see the letter before Jackson died on June 25, 2009. (LATimes)
Jorrie explained promoters and producers can and do negotiate third party vendors agreement as part of the business. The attorney said she was very much involved in drafting Michael Jackson's agreement with AEG.
Panish said Jorrie refused to have her deposition videotaped. Jorrie explained she was not properly notified about video deposition.
Dennis Hawk, Tohme Tohme and Michael Jackson's company received a copy of MJ contract with AEG, according to Jorrie's deposition. Panish: On January 28, Mr. Tohme approved the cost in excess of $7.5 million, correct? Jorrie: On January 28, Dr. Tohme had provided written approval that MJ company had approved certain production costs. Jorrie said it's actually June 28, 2009, not January as she previously stated. MJ died on June 25, 2009. Panish: At the time of MJ's death, are you aware of anyone approving production costs in excess of $7.5 million that was in the contract? Jorrie: I'm not privy to everything, so I don't know.
Panish: Did you ever see a written agreement for more than 31 shows as stated on the contract?
Jorrie: No, not that I recall.
Panish: The agreement specified the territory of the tour as the world, correct?
Panish shows contract of Michael Jackson with AEG. The contract says the shows were not to exceed 1 per day and 3.5 shows per 7 days. Panish asked, if under the contract, Michael Jackson was prohibited to tour except if done with AEG. Jorrie was not allowed to answer, since it calls to interpretation of the contract. Jorrie said she sent the contract to Michael Jackson's representatives.
Panish: And the term was Dec 2011 or conclusion of world tour, whichever occur later, right?
Jorrie: That's what it says in the paragraph.
Panish: Did you ever learn Tohme ceased being MJ's manager?
Jorrie: To my best recollection, that issue came up after Mr. Jackson's passing.
The fact that Tohme stopped representing MJ came up and it's in litigation, Jorrie said. Jorrie said Howard Weitzman, attorney for Michael Jackson's Estate, told her about Tohme in connection with litigation several years ago. Frank DiLeo may also have told her, she said. There's also litigation about it as well. Jorrie said she doesn't recall if Weitzman was the first person who told her about Dr. Tohme not representing MJ at one point.
On June 28, 2009, there was a meeting at John Branca's office with all the higher ups for AEG and MJ's representatives. Jorrie was involved in drafting a consent agreement for Tohme to sign.
Panish: AEG was out $34-plus million at the time?
Jorrie: I believe so, perhaps more.
Panish: On that day you questioned if Dr. Tohme was an officer of Michael Jackson's company?
Jorrie: I did.
Panish: And that day you didn't have anything in writing approving $34 million in expenses?
Jorrie said she believed Dr. Tohme was an officer of MJ's company prior to June 28, 2009. Paul Gongaware may have been the one telling her. During the meeting on June 28, Jorrie said Tohme told her, personally, that he was an officer of Michael Jackson Company, LLC.
Panish: Did you look up to see if Dr. Tohme was an officer of MJ's LLC?
Jorrie said in Delaware you can't check officers for LLC online.
However, on June 28, 2009, three days after Jackson died, Tohme was given a document to approve payment of the $34 million AEG had advanced the singer. Jorrie testified the document was drawn up by her and Shawn Trell, AEG Live's general counsel. The document, signed by Tohme, said he was an officer of Michael JacksonCo. LLP and had authority to act on the company's behalf. A Jan. 14, 2009, email from Jackson attorney Dennis Hawk to Jorrie said the singer was "the sole officer" of the company "and will be the signatory to the contract on behalf of the entity.” Jorrie said AEG executive Paul Gongaware, a defendant in the suit, may have told her Tohme was an officer of the Jackson's company. Included in the document were 35 pages of expenses that Jackson supposedly owed AEG. Jorrie testified that the document was never sent to Jackson's lawyers, even though it was handed to Tohme in the office of one of them. (LATimes)
Panish inquired if Jorrie could've asked MJ directly if Tohme was an officer of his company. She said yes, if she felt it was necessary.
Panish: You never spoke with Michael Jackson, did you?
Jorrie: Not once.
Panish: Who signed the tour agreement on behalf of Michael Jackson's company?
Jorrie: Michael Jackson.
As of January 2009, Michael Jackson was the sole officer and signatory of Michael Jackson Company, LLC. Jorrie received that information from MJ's attorney, Dennis Hawk.
Panish: Before MJ died you had nothing in writing that MJ was not the sole company officer?
Jorrie: Nothing in writing was provided to me.
Jorrie said in the meeting they were getting consent from Tohme that production expenses had been approved by MJ's company.
Panish: But you needed someone approved by MJ's company, right?
Jorrie: That's why we had confirmation he was an agent.
Total expense was around $34 million, plus $7.5 million that was pre-approved based on the contract resulted in $27 million outstanding. The document was prepared by Trell and Jorrie prior to the meeting at Branca's office.
Panish: AEG had $27 million out there that they had spent?
Jorrie: That's my understanding.
Panish: And you and Mr. Trell had a document you gave Tohme at the meeting?
Panish: And the word "consent" was there?
Jorrie: I'm not sure it was there.
Panish showed Jorrie a letter from Michael Jackson to Randy Phillips on April 22, 2009. The document, signed by Michael Jackson, terminated Dr. Tohme's representation as his manager. Jorrie said she does not recall seeing it.
Letter from Concerts West to The Michael Jackson Company, LLC Jorrie helped draft, dated June 28, 2009. 1.I hereby confirm that Artistco (MJ) approved the attached budget of expenses which includes Production Costs and Pool Expenses. 3.The undersigned Dr. Tohme Tohme represents he's officer of Artistco, has full authority to act on behalf of Artistco/to sign this document
Panish: You never asked Tohme after MJ died if he was an officer of MJ's company?
Jorrie: That's right.
Jorrie: He confirmed to me, at the meeting, that he was an officer of Michael Jackson's company.
Panish: Did you see any document saying Tohme was an agent of Michael Jackson's company?
Jorrie: I had not seen any such documents.
Panish: Did you make any effort to confirm Tohme was an officer of the company? Jorrie said she spoke with Tohme about it.
Panish asked if Jorrie inquired John Branca, MJ's attorney, if Tohme was authorized to sign on behalf of Michael Jackson Company, LLC. "I didn't ask him that question," Jorrie said. Panish asked if she discussed w/ Branca about Tohme signing the doc. Jorrie said she didn't. Panish said the document she handed to Tohme has a budget attached to it. Jorrie said she did not review the attached budget. Jorrie said budget was given to her by Gongaware. Panish asked if the budget included payment of $150k/month, times 2 months, for Murray. Since Jorrie testified she didn't read the document, there is no foundation for her to answer the question. Judge sustained the objection. "I had nothing in writing that said Tohme was an officer of Michael Jackson's company," Jorrie testified. Panish asked if Jorrie saw the attached budget. "I never looked at that, that was Paul's job," she answered. "I have never seen a single piece of paper saying Tohme was not an office of the company," Jorrie said. Jorrie: Why would the Estate approve the expenses then, sir? Panish argued Jorrie doesn't know what's on the budget, so how does she know the Estate paid what's requested. Jorrie: I know Dr. Murray was not paid because he was not entitled to be paid. Panish: Was Dr. Tohme there on the budget for $200,000? Objection, sustained (since she had not read it.) Judge told Panish to move on or she will cease the examination.
Panish: Mr Trell never told you about this document (MJ's termination of Tohme)? Defendants objected again based on attorney-client privilege
Cross examination by plaintiff’s attorney Brian Panish continued this morning. He hasn’t yet asked about Conrad Murray’s contract. He has spent a lot of time on Michael Jackson’s touring agreement with AEG Live, asking Jorrie about terms in it. Panish has also been asking Jorrie about whether any authorization for tour expenses above $7.5 million was obtained before Jackson’s death. No authorization was obtained from Jackson. Before the break, Panish asked about a form that Jorrie got MJ’s former manager Tohme Tohme to sign a few days after Jackson’s death. (AP).
Judge sustained the objection and ordered lunch break. Outside the presence of the jury: Judge Yvette Palazuelos to Panish: You keep invading attorney-client privilege. As to the budget -- she keeps telling you she didn't review it. Any question about the budget is without foundation. I don't want to waste time with that, over and over. I know you understand the ruling, I assume you have nothing better to ask. "If you don't move on I'll shut down the examination," Judge Palazuelos told Panish. Panish explained what he was trying to do, that Jorrie volunteers and continue to volunteer what is not asked, almost more than any witness. Panish: It's improper what she did, your honor. As member of the bar, she knew as of January that this person was not officer of the company Nonetheless she, as concerned he was not the real Mccoy, brought document to him with $34 million for him to sign off. Bina said it was done in good faith, Tohme told her he was an officer of the company. She said DiLeo also told Jorrie MJ approved the budget Panish: When she says my client told that, why can't I ask about communication about that? Judge ordered Panish to move on or she will finish his examination.
After lunch, outside the presence of the jury, Panish told judge he's excluding anything that's potential violation of atty-client privilege. Panish asked the judge to strike testimony of Jorrie when she issued opinion that the Estate didn't pay Murray because he wasn't entitled to. Jacksons attorneys want the judge to tell the jurors to disregard it, since the implication is the Estate didn't recognize contract as valid.
Jorrie explained she doesn't recall working on agreements where AEG was both producer and promoter of the show. Jorrie said she never worked on a contract for a doctor to go on tour, except for Michael Jackson.
Email from Murray to Wooley: I am basically in agreement and reiterate that your memo is correct pursuant to our conversation of May 8, 2009 As for good faith with my client I'm sure that you are aware that my services are already fully engaged with Mr. Jackson.
Jorrie said she doesn't recall receiving or seeing this email. Murray never told her he was meeting with AEG people regarding his contract. Panish: Did Dr. Murray ever tell you he met with AEG personal at anyone's request? Jorrie: No. Wooley did not tell Jorrie that Dr. Murray's services were being rendered.
Panish: Did you ever tell Dr. Murray he could not perform work without a fully executed contract?
Jorrie: Of course not.
Jorrie spoke with Murray about getting medical license to work in the UK. She knew Brigitte Segal was looking for housing in London for him. Panish asked if it was in anticipation the contract would be all signed by July 3, 2009.
Panish: They were undertaking acts that were spelled out in the contract?
Panish: Dr. Murray was undertaking acts that were spelled out in the contract?
Jorrie: I was told he was the personal physician for 3 years.
Panish: Regarding pay, equipment, starting and ending date provided by Mr. Wooley and not Dr. Murray, correct?
Jorrie: That's not right, Mr. Wooley didn't give me an ending date, for instance.
Panish showed the template contract Jorrie used to create Dr. Murray's agreement. Jorrie said she took out paragraph 7 about Conflicts. CPR machine was on the list Wooley provided to Jorrie regarding the requirements for Dr. Murray. Panish played video of Jorrie's testimony in Murray's trial. She said in latter part of May, Wooley advised her he needed contract prepared. May 1, 2009 is the commencement of the contract. Jorrie sent the contract to Dr. Murray on June 15, 6 weeks later.
Panish: Did you ever testify that payments had been promised to Dr. Murray retroactively to May 1?
Jorrie: Yes, once the contract was signed
Panish played another part of Jorrie's testimony in the criminal trial. DA asked if irrespective of the contract becoming activated, Murray was contemplating compensation from a period retroactively to 5/1/09. Jorrie: Yes
Panish discussed paragraphs 3 and 4 of the contract, which spelled out the obligations for AEG and Dr. Murray. Panish asked if AEG could terminate Dr. Murray without the consent of Michael Jackson. Jorrie said yes. "He told me his four medical practice was grossing a million dollars a month," Jorrie testified. Panish said $150,000 per month equates to $5,000 a day for 30 days.
Panish: Did you find his website?
Jorrie: No, I didn't find a website.
Jorrie put Conrad Murray and the names of his two clinics on google.
Panish: He was making a million dollars with two clinics?
Jorrie: He said he had 4 medical practice, but I only found 2 clinics.
Jorrie said she could find addresses for only 2 clinics, but Dr. Murray told her he had 4 medical practices. Jorrie explained she looked up Dr. Murray's medical license and two clinics are named. "I don't know for sure it was his companies," Jorrie admitted. "It was my assumption they were his." Jorrie said the clinics were in Nevada and Texas, didn't find anything in Hawaii and California. The attorney said she spent about 10 minutes researching Dr. Murray online. Panish asked if Jorrie charged AEG for the time she spent. She said she doesn't know.
Panish: Sometimes you do freebies for AEG?
Jorrie: Yes, for all my clients.
Jorrie uses Lexis for legal research, she said. Panish asked if she checked how many judgments existed against Dr. Murray. She said not. Jorrie didn't check any pending lawsuits, litigation regarding child support or if Dr. Murray's properties were in foreclosure. Jorrie conceded she could've searched Dr. Murray in Lexis. "I definitely said he (Murray) appears to be successful," Jorrie said about her conversation with Randy Phillips.
Jorrie testified she told AEG Live Chief Executive Randy Phillips that Murray was successful, based on a 10-minute Google search and a conversation in which the doctor told her his four clinics were grossing $1 million a month. She testified that her Internet research turned up one clinic in Nevada and another in didn’t discover that Murray was actually deeply in debt. Under questioning by Brian Panish, the Jackson family attorney, she said she hadn’t checked to see if his house was in foreclosure or if he owed child support. “I could have,” Jorrie said. (LATimes)
Panish: And you determined Dr. Murray was successful based on 2 clinics?
Jorrie: No, it was based on my conversation with him and verifying the fact that he was licensed to practice medicine in 4 states.
Panish: Did you tell Phillips Dr. Murray made a million dollars a month?
Jorrie: I think I told him he (doctor) appeared to be successful and may have told him about his practices making a million dollars a month.
Panish: Your successful assessment was based on what Murray told you?
P: You verified licenses, googled him for 10 mins?
Panish asked Jorrie if Dr. Murray had to shut down his practice in order to work for MJ. She said no. Panish: Dr. Murray could keep, sell or have someone else run his practices as to retain the $12 million/year revenue? Jorrie: Yes
Jorrie never communicated with anyone representing Michael Jackson regarding Dr. Murray's contract. She did not send MJ or his reps any draft of the agreement, but sent them to Shawn Trell at AEG. Dr. Murray called Jorrie on June 23, 2009 and told her he spoke with MJ about extending the end of the contract to March. Dr. Murray would receive salary for 3 months plus without working, since the tour would be off, Jorrie said. Panish asked if Jorrie checked with anyone in MJ's camp whether the artist had indeed approved the extension of the contract. She said no. "I did not check anything with MJ's representatives about Dr. Murray's contract," Jorrie testified. Jorrie sent the last version to Murray on June 23, 2009. All versions said 4.1- Perform the Services reasonably requested by Producer.
Murray Agreement 6-15-09
Revised MJ/AEG/GCA Holdings Agreement 6-18-09
Final MJ-AEG-GCA Holdings Agreement/Dr Murray 6-23-09
Panish concluded cross examination.
Jessica Stebbins Bina did re-direct of Jorrie.
Jorrie said the names of the files included all signatories of contract. "Because it was for Michael Jackson's physician," Jorrie explained
Jorrie said she values the relationship with AEG, but that does not prevent her from testifying in a truthful manner. Bina asked about the time Jorrie represented Gongaware and Meglen. She said it was a lawsuit filed by the children of Tom Hulett against AEG Live, Paul Gongaware and John Meglen. Panish's old firm represented the children, Jorrie said. It was a trademark infringement case. Jorrie said plaintiffs claimed they were using Concerts West name without permission. "We prevailed in all counts," Jorrie said. Jorrie: My clients received the judgment. It was appealed and the judgment in favor of my clients was affirmed.
"The tour agreement had a potential to be a world tour" Jorrie said. "In order for tour to continue beyond London, the parties had to agree". "Michael Jackson could've chosen not to approve the itinerary," Jorrie said. Jorrie told LAPD detective that the agreement had potential to be extended to a world tour, based on mutually-approved itinerary.
Bina asked about paragraph 11 of MJ's contract, which talked about "Approvals." It says no party can withhold approval unreasonably. Contract Section 8.2 -- Production cost. Initial production advance not to exceed $7.5 million.
Bina: Based on that provision, if they request them (costs), they are responsible for them?
Jorrie explained, based on the contract, AEG was to recoup all costs incurred for production. Outstanding balance was MJ's responsibility.
Bina showed the document Tohme Tohme signed approving the costs of production. Jorrie said John Branca requested a meeting on June 28, 2009 to discuss several issues, among which how to unravel the tour. Branca was named executor of MJ's estate, had to be approved by probate court.
Jorrie is ordered to be on call to conclude her testimony