August 10, 2009

Judge Considers Appointing Lawyer to Jackson Children

Posted: 04:30 PM ET

By Alan Duke

California (CNN) - A judge has delayed at least for a few hours his consideration of deals involving the Michael Jackson estate while he considers if he should appoint a lawyer to represent Jackson's three children. Paris-Prince-Funeral

Lawyers for the pop singer's estate and the companies involved in the deals warned a delay beyond Monday could cost the estate millions and derail plans for a documentary of the pop singer's last days.

Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, raised objections Monday morning to contracts between her son's estate and concert promoter AEG Live and merchandiser Bravado.

Even as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff was saying he may wait another week to approve the deals, Sony Pictures issued a news release Monday announcing it would deliver the movie - "This Is It" - to theaters starting October 30 "with the full support of The Estate of Michael Jackson."

Beckloff said he is concerned that the interests of the minor children - which he said may not be the same their grandmother's - were not being represented. He said he may appoint a guardian ad litum to represent the children.

Beckloff adjourned the hearing until the afternoon to allow more time for lawyers to settle their differences. He indicated he may close the afternoon hearing to reporters because confidential information about the contracts may be discussed.

Katherine Jackson was appointed last week as the guardian for the children, but she was not made the guardian for their interest in her son's estate.

Lawyers for AEG Live and Bravado warned the judge that the estate stands to lose money if approval of the deals, which include a feature film about Jackson, is delayed beyond Monday.

"The longer we wait, the more time passes, frankly, the less interest there will be on the part of the public to come see it," said Kathy Jorrie, a lawyer for AEG Live.

The judge has already approved - without objection from Katherine Jackson - a contract to allow Columbia Pictures to produce the documentary about Jackson's last days. Columbia is a division of Sony Pictures.

That film, however, cannot be made unless the judge also approves the contract with AEG Live, which possesses the many hours of video of Jackson's last rehearsals, according to estate lawyer Howard Weitzman.

Jorrie told Beckloff that AEG Live has already made many concessions to the estate and could not make more. She suggested the company might walk away from the deals if they are asked to make more changes, as demanded by Katherine Jackson.

Weitzman told the judge the deals were "aggressively negotiated and reflect the exhaustion of all parties on give and take, and greatly benefit the estate."

"I don't believe there is room for more negotiation," he said.

Beckloff has previously said he may approve them even if Katherine Jackson objects.

Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's older brother, told CNN's Larry King last week that he likes the deals, which he said could bring nearly $100 million into the estate.

The Sony announcement said the film "will be drawn from hundreds of hours of rehearsal and behind-the-scenes footage, captured in high definition with state-of-the-art digital sound as the late singer was preparing for his concert series in London."

"The film, which will also offer select sequences in 3-D, will provide a unique career retrospective and feature interviews with some of Jackson's closest friends and creative collaborators," Sony said.

The news release, which was apparently written before the judge's delay, included a quote from John Branca, one of two men appointed by the court as temporary administrators of Jackson's estate.

"Our goal is to work with partners who treat Michael's legacy with dignity and respect, while allowing us to substantially build the value of his estate for the benefit of Mrs. Katherine Jackson, Michael's three children and the charitable causes that meant so much to him during his life," Branca said.

Branca, who was Jackson's lawyer for several years, and John McClain, a music executive and longtime Jackson friend, were named in Jackson's will as executors. Katherine Jackson is considering a challenge of their control of the estate.

Filed under: Michael Jackson

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Mara   August 10th, 2009 4:34 pm ET

Okay, I like the other article but this one is good too..

Linda from New York   August 10th, 2009 4:41 pm ET

Thanks for the new blogs CNN. Nice.

Luda   August 10th, 2009 4:46 pm ET

a guardian ad litum to represent the children.

It's what they did for Lisa Marie when Elvis died, I believe it would be a good thing for the children.

Mimi   August 10th, 2009 4:48 pm ET


Honorine   August 10th, 2009 4:50 pm ET

I think it is a good idea.

Linda from New York   August 10th, 2009 4:53 pm ET

I think appointing a lawyer to look after the childrens interest is an excellent iddea. I just think that it is better to keep things separate.

Linda from New York   August 10th, 2009 4:53 pm ET

Hi Honorine

Toni   August 10th, 2009 4:57 pm ET

I dont trust AEG for anything and Michael hated sony when he died. I feel so bad for Mrs. Jackson. They are taking advantage of her age. God help her, for what she is facing.

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:01 pm ET

Yeah, I agree with the atty. for the children. Prince will be able to take over the estate at age 21, so I think is a great idea to have someone for them seperate. I just wish Mcclain and Branca would give Katherine the 3rd executor seat. That is really bugging me.....cant you tell? 🙂

Mary B from Texas   August 10th, 2009 5:02 pm ET

Judge is absolutely right for wanting to appoint separate counsil for the children.....this way the Jacksons can't be accused of not using the funds properly.

Also, the administrators MJ appointed in his way should be allowed to do their job in peace...Everything has to pass the approval of the court anyway with estates....MJ trusted these people...He wasn't stupid, lets give him credit for being a great business man.

Same thing with AEG...they have done a pretty good job handling MJ's concert arrangements...Let them do their job...they stand to lose a lot too.

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:04 pm ET


Hey u

Lori   August 10th, 2009 5:07 pm ET

It's pretty common to appoint a guardian ad litem for the kids. I was kind of surprised they didn't do so at the first hearing.

Lori   August 10th, 2009 5:09 pm ET

Toni – why would you think that Prince would be able to take over the estate? I have not seen any information released about that.

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:09 pm ET

Yes Prince can take over the estate at age 21 but i still fear BRAINWASHING as he grows up. I just hope they get a genuine attoney who will look solely after the childrens' interest. That'll be nice

Lori   August 10th, 2009 5:17 pm ET

Again why would you think that Prince could take over the estate at 21? I haven't seen anything stating that. He might get a portion of his inheritance at that time, but why would the court approve removal of the estate administrators in a potentially billion dollar estate to a beneificiary? If the court decides to leave the estate in the hands of Branca & McClain, I cannot imagine it just being turned over to Prince–what about his siblings?

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:18 pm ET

Yes, They have to turn the estate over to Prince, but the difference with him and Lisa Marie was that she had her mother who was also listed on the estate. That, to me is why, aJackson family member { with good intentions} needs to be on the estate seat, or the atty. for the children{Prince}. Who do you think would brainwash ?

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:23 pm ET

If he doesn't, who would? He is definitely gonna need the experts to maintain it.

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:24 pm ET

And by the way, that wasn't an official statement. What i think.

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:25 pm ET

Because the next of kin will inherit the estate at age 21, being Prince. But its not just handed over on a silver platter. 🙂 There is alot more to it. Thats why he will need a trust worthy [Not money hugry} atty.
McClain and Branca wont live forever. So Ive always heard of it being done this way. If Prince doesnt want it, then Paris will at age 21. If all children refuse, Im not sure what happens. But they loved their father, so I cant se that happening.

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:27 pm ET

I still think Janet would be a great advisor for him. 😀

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:30 pm ET


When i talk about brainwashing, i mean by the people who are not out for the childrens best interest. Money hungers like u called them. Those are the ones i hope don't get close to those kids as they grow. They could be very influencial u know. especially when u are just growing and know nothing expecting someone whom u believe does to act right.

marilyn   August 10th, 2009 5:31 pm ET

I believe there must be a watch dog over "all" the Jacksons. They're a tight knit klan when it comes to money. Katherine is a powerful figure in the family, but she's a power hungry as her husband Joe.

My real concern is "Blanket" one seems to give a hoot about him. No one talks about his concern. It' as though he doesn't exist.....

Nothing' being said about the Nanny. Those children need "emotional" stability right now. They need to be around the people they were with most of the time BEFORE there father died. These kids didn't see the Jackson family that much...

We need to stop worrying about where Jackson' going to be buried, whether he's a drug addict, a pervert, was he murdered, and begin to protect those children. I don't believe they're in safe hands.

Listen, Jackson already admitted he was abused by Joe. His mother didn't protect him...These kids are around people who DO NOT have their best interest nor they're character traits.

Where's the media. You King, and those like you are the only people who can make sure they're being loved on "the healthy way". Let's get surreal. Michael surely isn't the only one in the family with serious sexual confusion. (best word I could think of at the moment).

And this Sharpen character...When' the last time he knocked on Michael' door making a personal visit to meet him and the children. He's got his hand in Joe and Katerine's pocket, and doesn't want "OMG" white people to taint the children or take what could be his and his friends gravy.

We need to forget the behind the scenes "friendship" King, and watch these children.....

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:33 pm ET

As the children become more independent, u can't limit who they talk to or about what.

I just hope they never get into the hands of any money hungerer.

Lori   August 10th, 2009 5:33 pm ET

No one has to automatically turn contol of the estate over to Prince at age 21. Unless that is what has been stated in the Trust, which as far as I am aware, is not public and witll probably never be made public. Michael appointed estate administrators and it would be very unlikely that the tcourt would remove the administrators and place control in the hands of a 21 year old, unless it is indicated in the terms of the Trust. It absolutely makes no sense. Maybe he would get some input into the way the estate is managed and maybe Prince would receive some of his inheritance at 21, but I would bet my last dollar that the way those children receive money from the estate is going to be in a scheduled and controlled manner. They may have contorl over their individual portion, but I sincerely doubt the wisdom of granting control of the entire estate to someone ar 21. It seems like Michael utilized good estate planning lawyers and this just seems like an irresponsible clause, to me, if it is indeed in the trust.

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:41 pm ET


u got me completely wrong. i didn't mean Prince at age 21 will control the estate his dad took years and years to build.

Maybe "take over" was an over statement. Let's try "take part". Just put that in place of take over. Atleast we know that hes has no say what goes on now but by the time he grows up, he'll definitely have a say(some), which is my point.

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:44 pm ET

Marilyn,what proof do you have, or SEE that these children are not being taken care of? Joe Jackson is 80 yrs old, and can barely walk or talk. And Katherine seems to be a loving grandmother. Michael was this womans son and I am very proud of her for not cowering down to all of the vulchers after her sons estate, that could very well affect the future of those babies. Michael was a loving father, and I see only loving, healthy , happy children. Michael forgave his father and even relinquished some of his claims. If he fely his children would be in any danger, he would not have left them with his mother. And I have seen amny people just as concerned { if not more } about Blanket, just as much as Prince and Paris. Im sorry you feel this way about the Jackson family, because for thechildrens sake, they need all the help they can get right now.

Lisa S   August 10th, 2009 5:45 pm ET

It is an excellent and IMO a nessesary thing to do. Even if we love this family we know that they have never flown smoothly through the years.
Just to listen to the interviews in LKL, members of the same family say totally different things and sometimes it is hard to believe that they even are from the same family.

As it seems, Michael did raise them very differently and very open when it came to religion and future I think it is good to have somebody neutral to look after their interests. There may come a time when things are different and it is very good to have an independent person that has noone but the children as their focus.

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 5:47 pm ET

I think those children are at the right place for now. and plus, it's MJ's wish.

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:51 pm ET

Me Too Lori, I mainly meant that they cannot deny The children a part in the estate. Not meaning they will hand it over and walk away. He will probably get an executor seat.
Sorry. 🙂

Lori   August 10th, 2009 5:55 pm ET

The court just appointed the guardian ad litum – per TMZ. I wonder if they will appoint an attorney for each child, since each child could have conflicting interests; or if for right now, one attorney for the 3 of them. In either case, it is another expense for the estate.

Toni   August 10th, 2009 5:59 pm ET

Yeah, but a good expense that Michael would probably agree with. I just hope the atty. is not an anti-Michael, money hungry, uncaring person. Theres not too many people to trust in this whole mess.

Jules   August 10th, 2009 6:00 pm ET

I'm curious to know what Katherine Jackson's objecttions are regarding the movie/documentary. The estate is getting 90% of the profits and I read somewhere that the documentary/movie must not contain any scenes or information that shed a negative light on MJ. To that extent .. I'm not sure what the objections are.

I feel so sorry for the kids....

Lori   August 10th, 2009 6:07 pm ET

I saw something that they may be objecting to the timing of the release of the movie and a stipulation that no Jackson tribute concerts can occur prior to the opening of the movie

Toni   August 10th, 2009 6:22 pm ET

Or maybe there are pieces of the movie that Mrs. J thinks is not true or exploits the children. Im sure she has a good reason. I trust her more then anyone else right now. She has watched her son being shamed for a long time now, and I think she's is worried about everything and it is all happening too fast for this woman. She hasnt even had a chance to take a deep breath and grieve her for her son.

Lisa S   August 10th, 2009 6:36 pm ET

Toni (again, i keep following you around 😛

She will never be able to grief as long as Michael "keeps alive" but all these discussions and court meetings. It is a natural way to feel that the son is still actual and with her when she speaks for him and sorting out all these things. When all this is over, she will understand that Michael is gone and will never come back. She will then start her grieving process. And sooner or later she will have to move on. She has 8 other children that are still alive and she will focus on them and see michaels reflection in all of them. And then be able to give all her love to her children. And I hope she doesnt forget Janet....she is in big need or love and hugs.

We have to focus on the living and take care of each other.

Malaika   August 10th, 2009 6:59 pm ET

i hope this wl work out well 4 MJ's kids, my prayers are with them & the Jacksn family

carol kesling   August 10th, 2009 7:16 pm ET

katherine was appointed "guardian" not executer... like jermaine has said if anyone contests this will, they are NOT CARRYING OUT MICHAELS WISHS...and it is also written in the will if anyone does contest it they will lose their share!!!!! katherine filed bankruptsy a couple of years ago and right she needs money to live on.. she said all she has is her soc maybe she needs to seek a money manager !!!!!!!! she might not be the best person to help RUN this estate... why do we give the execs a chance to take care of these things ??? the judge is going to watch over this estate as well.i dont think he is going to let things get out of hand !!!

Toni   August 10th, 2009 7:26 pm ET

Lisa S
Thats OK. 😀
But you know....this family has lost their golden child. And I think Michael was a huge part of this family. I honestly think that they are going to be lost without him for a very very long time. He kept that family going. He continued to promote his brothers on his tours, was starting to help promote his nephews and solely supported his mother. I think Michael and his mom had a very special connection, and I think its going to take alot of time for her to accept that he is gone. Her first deceased child was a baby. She had Michael for 50yrs. I think the only sibling Michael felt somewhat equal to was Janet. And I think she'll be the one to step into his shoes for Their mother and Michaels children. As for Katherine, we cannot even begin to imagine the impact of losing a son,{with this kind of magnitude] will do to her. But I think it will take a long time for her to accept it. My fear is that she is 79 yrs old, and alot of people { especially when they lose a child} die of a broken heart. Sorry, but my heart really goes out to this woman.

Honorine   August 10th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

Carol kesling,

I dont think Katherine wants to get on there and take over. Ofcourse the execs know how to hadle it and are experts in that area. But hey, she needs to be in a position to have an account of everything that happens and how it does. She needs to WATCH OVER her son's estate. And the judge watching over the estate, hummmm!!!

Toni   August 10th, 2009 7:33 pm ET


Janice   August 10th, 2009 9:14 pm ET

I agree with those who say Katherine needs a say. The Presley's have that and Priscila is his EX-wife.

The kids do need a guardian ad litem, that's pretty common because they are minors.

Vitoria   August 10th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

That is exactly what i supposed in regarding theirr financial of the children estate's trust , this is a very wise judge .
they beloved grand mother will raised them with Michael's family , that is great as long that they will respect their father wishes to continuing thier routine and protection of the public and media , and I am sure that the family will love them very much , regarding their share of the estates of their father they will need some very smart and compassion lawyer that will be sharing , not controlling he children best interest , the grandmother or the aunt should be part of the directory of the children estates .
there is much more money to be make and the judge should allow an independent review on the investments each year end until Micheal's children be old enough .
regarding the movie deal , really i don't know what is the hurry , Michael just passed away and none of his fan i am sure is prepared to let go of the king of Pop , maybe If they are worry that the audience will be not interest a year from know , they want their money back that they lost with the concern cancellation .
i would think that would be a very lucrative interest that the Jackson family paid the company out the lost of their investment and hold on to the videos until future production .
Michael will always be part of the music history and an innovator artist for years to come , please do not rush , we are not going to forget Michael ever , for sure we will wait until his three beautiful children grow up to understand and be proud of their amazing beautiful father , Michael left them a very precious legacy that will last this earth a lifetime .
Rest in peace Michael ...

lindafromnewyork   August 10th, 2009 9:35 pm ET

Of course Mrs Jackson needs to have a say. According to my understanding, the entire Presley Estate was left to Lisa Marie. Priscilla Presley was co-executor. Mrs Jackson should be a co-executor so she can keep an eye on things; what is wrong with that, Michael was her son.

Nicole S. -- North Carolina   August 10th, 2009 9:52 pm ET

LKL blog writer: spell check, please.
It's Guardian Ad litem, not "litum."
As in for the suit (or lawsuit)

(descending from soapbox now...)

lex   August 10th, 2009 9:58 pm ET

hey nicole

Nicole S. -- North Carolina   August 10th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

Hey Lex - what's up?

Tammy   August 10th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

Name any person that the stops to mourn. It not only for the music it is for the fact that he truly cared for others. His lyrics were sermon of hope that each of us can do better for all people of the world. Michael couldn’t breathe without the rag magazines tearing up. I am asking you to help me protect the 3 most important people that gave him unconditional love, his children. His children who just lost their world in the blink of an eye. I am asking all his fans not to purchase products in any magazine that puts his children face on any cover. Or any magazine or TV that may hunt them down for a picture to line their own pockets. Michael Jackson made my heart fill with joy as soon as I heard that first beat of a song. Rock on MJ xo God bless his children and family. For us things won’t change, we loved him from a far. Let his children grow up in peace……..

lex   August 10th, 2009 10:10 pm ET

nm u

Heidi   August 10th, 2009 10:13 pm ET

Did you guys hear the Heal the World Foundation is trying to get Michaels trademark to market products. We might still be able to donate to his charity.

Lori   August 10th, 2009 10:15 pm ET

Nicole! I can't keep up with what blog everyone is on

carol kesling   August 10th, 2009 10:17 pm ET

honorine, i dont think the judge has a dog in the fight. some judges are actually ABOVE BOARD !!!!those execs have to go over everything with the judge prior to any decisions...

Nicole S. -- North Carolina   August 10th, 2009 10:30 pm ET

Hey Lori - I was skipping through blogs, trying to get caught up on what's been happening. I answered you on the other blog.

I said duty called because I had to meet a deadline.

Toni   August 11th, 2009 12:47 am ET

Heal the world was Michaels favorite charity. Thats the one I would like to donate to in his name and memory!

Patty Anderson   August 11th, 2009 12:56 am ET

Ladies you are tough to catch up with tonight

Lisa S   August 11th, 2009 7:22 am ET

Toni August 10th, 2009 7:26 pm ET

Golden child or not, there are still 8 left, she must look at them as golden as well...Jermaine claimes he was the closest to the mum and he is still there. I understand that she is in deep sadness but she got 50 years of Michael. It is important to think about what you have got and not only what you have lost. Same for us! We got so much from Michael and thre are alot more to come. We should not forget that.

I was reading about the extended house arrest for Maymar. All though I am missing Michael badly we still need to help and support the living. And fight for everybodys right to freedom and a happy life, not only the cildren but everybody that are being robbed their freedom and happyness.

Lisa S   August 11th, 2009 8:22 am ET


Check out the website before you donate money. It is not what it used to be before when it was run by Michael and his people.

There are so many things in the world that needs attention and I think most people in hear are intelligent. Just look around, like Michael did and you will have no problems knowing where to donate money or energy. But I also think it is good to start with the nearest people. Make sure you are nice and respectful and available if somebody needs your help. Have a little extra patience with "tiresome" people. Take a deep breath when somebody is getting on your nerves. Staying a little while extra even thogh you are in a hurry, just to give a helping hand or lend your ears to listen to somebodys heart.

That I feel is walking in Michaels footstep.

Toni   August 11th, 2009 2:36 pm ET

She cannot give herself to her other family members until she is given the chance to grieve Michael. She has not had the chance to do that yet. She is a strong loving mother, but losing a child is devistating no matter how long you have them for. She instantly took his children and has so much else to deal with. She needs time to grieve for her son first . She deserves that and her other children need to respect that. Until she has the chance to do that, she cant be expected to move on.

Shana   August 12th, 2009 6:15 pm ET

Surprise, surprise? What does it tell you about ALL the Jacksons' including Michael(Heal the World Foundation he supported-NOT SO) Just how much money can a 79 yo lady spend before death with millions currently being generated through Michael Jackson memorabilia, etc....Soon to be in the billions after the release of the movie, etc
How gullible do you think the public is? Watch your ratings plummet Larry. Of course you're not going to ask Jermaine key questions because your wife has a stake in launching a recording career, beginning with her duet with Jermaine at MJ's Birthday Tribute in Sept '09. All my family, friends,co-workers,neighbors are telling all their family, friends,co-workers,neighbors about media manipulation & corruption. Funny thing is...It's unanimous with us as we grow into greater think-a-likers. If Michael Jackson is dead, the Jackson family has represented him to the public with disrespect, disregard & greed. Even the revered Mrs Jackson has shown her true colors in court when the Judge had to appoint an outside attorney to represent MJ's kids' on behalf of their best interest regarding their 40% inheritance.
But, then again, if MJ is alive, the whole Jackson compound/cohorts will be shunned by the public forever. Hmmmm...GIves everyone something to think about. I hope it's worth it.
Larry, have you converted to Islam yet? If not, you can view numerous, new released MJ songs to learn about it on Youtube. Thank Allah, I mean God, they just released a new video on Youtube that MJ converted to Islam the day before his death. I must warn you before viewing these videos. Joe Jackson manages Michael Jackson Impersonators in Las Vegas. Many are substituted for MJ, even though they mislead the viewer to think it's really MJ. Others, are quite obvious because they flicker back & forth, blur out the face or conceal the face with blowing hair so you cannot clearly see just who it really is.
Let's hope the drop in ratings won't trickle down to Mr Turner. Unfortunately, when 1 block falls, the whole house comes tumbling down.
Thanks for all the good times Larry, but gotta say, you're outta here.
I know you won't post my views. Regardless, no job is ever secure.

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