Conrad Murray’s contract with AEG Live
It is obvious that prior to the AEG trial we need to refresh our knowledge of Conrad Murray’s contract with AEG. The last time we spoke about it was so long ago that few of us remember what it was all about. Now a fresh look is needed especially since a new look always helps to see things clearer and notice what was overlooked before.
The two drafts of Murray/AEG contract are found in Joe Jackson’s lawsuit. Last year (February 21, 2012) this lawsuit was thrown out as a double to Katherine’s and though it wasn’t a complete double I agree that it is strange to have two suits from one family against the same company. The judge said that Katherine’s lawsuit came first so Joe’s had to go:
A judge has thrown out Joe Jackson’s wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Conrad Murray and AEG, but only because his wife Katherine Jackson already has a similar suit pending – both on her behalf, and on behalf of Jackson’s three kids, reports TMZ.
The judge said you can’t have two suits that allege the exact same thing, and since Katherine filed first Joe’s was tossed, the website reported.
Whatever is the case with Joe Jackson’s papers they are a great help to us as they provide invaluable information about Conrad Murray’s contract with AEG and his correspondence with Timm Woolley of AEG prior to making it. Its final variant was signed by Murray on June 24th the day before Michael Jackson’s death. No one else signed it but Murray.
Michael wasn’t a party to the contract but there was a blank space left for his signature on the last page of the document and AEG said he simply had no time to sign the document – which is why it never came into effect.
When I cast a second glance at these documents the situation became much clearer to me.
As you remember we have two drafts of Murray’s contract which are almost identical – except for the date in the opening sentence of each contract and the period of concerts mentioned there (one variant covers the first leg of the shows until September, and the second covers both legs of the shows until March).
The first big discovery I made when looking at those two contracts was that the dates mentioned in the opening paragraph of each of them had nothing to do with the dates when these documents were made. It is even surprising that such a simple thing could be overlooked before.
One variant of the contract starts with: “This independent contractor agreement … is made effective as of May 1, 2009”.
And the other variant says that “the agreement is made effective as of June 2009” (no specific date is mentioned there).
For easier illustration I’ve combined the front page of each contract with its last page, and below you will see the so-called May 1st variant of it (the documents were originally posted by TeamMichaelJackson, so their logo will appear across all the papers provided here):
And this is how the so-called June variant of Murray’s contract looks like:
Initially all of us assumed that the May variant was made in May and the June variant was made in June and the reason for the mistake was in looking at the front pages only. However if you look at the last pages of the same drafts you see that what looks like the “May 1st” variant is actually dated June 24th, while the so-called “June” variant is not dated at all.
Now that we see the whole picture the June 24th date on the last page turns the “May” version into the final variant of the contract while the “June” paper becomes just an earlier and preliminary draft of it.
Since both texts are almost identical we can assume that the time span between them was minimal. One of AEG’s emails says that the preliminary contract was sent to Murray on June 23th, then was corrected at his request and signed on June 24th, so there are reasons to believe that both variants were made within a day or two.
Okay, but what does the discovery of the dates tell us?
It tells us that the AEG people wanted June 2009 to be considered the effective date of their contract with Murray.
And what is the effective date of a contract?
It is the date when the contract “takes effect” or starts. The effective date is different from the date of signing it – you may sign now but the contract will start only half a year later, when all the terms of the contract also take effect.
On rare occasions the opposite variant is also possible – you sign now, but the contract already began to be implemented. This is Murray’s case and the right word for it is “backdating” the document, I think.
Now the question is – why did AEG want to state the June date as the effective date of the contract?
A short answer to this question is because they wanted to deceive Murray. They did not want to pay him for his work in May and early June, but didn’t want him to know about it until after he signed his contract. If the contract became effective in June, the payment was to begin from June too, irrespective of all their prior agreements and promises. The same applied to all other terms of the contract – supply of medical equipment for Michael Jackson, for example, which was one of AEG’s primary obligations under the contract.
The trick with the dates is easy and does not require much effort from a fraudster – you shift the effective date of the contract to another day and part of your obligations fall off by themselves. You don’t have to pay to your partner for a substantial period of time and the date whey you were supposed to provide medical equipment is also happily shifted to a much later date.
Only in Murray’s case the trick did not work. Most probably it was Murray’s lawyer who didn’t allow AEG to get away with their jokes and demanded that they should specify the real date when Murray began his work (judging by their contract it was May 1st). AEG Live had to comply with the corrections and agreed to state that the contract was effective since May 1st and this is how we come to the final variant of it signed by Murray.
Well, didn’t I tell you that doing business with AEG Live is a thrill? With people like that you never know what is awaiting you at the next corner…
For those of you who are interested in the problem here are some answers about the effective date in a contract:
What does effective date mean in a contract?
- Definition of effective date: The date on which an agreement, such as a contract or insurance policy, takes effect. –
- The effective date is the date that the agreement becomes effective and can be a specified date other than the date the agreement was signed. The execution date is the date that the party signs the document.
So in the case of Murray’s contract the effective date was May 1, 2009 and the execution date was June 24, 2009 when the contract was signed at least by one of the parties. AEG thinks that it didn’t become valid because they as the other party did not sign it. They said they needed Michael Jackson’s signature for that.
THEY STARTED EARLY BUT WAITED UNTIL LATE
The email below explains to us that Conrad Murray did indeed show the AEG contract to his lawyer after which he was ready to sign it – only these arrangements were made as early as the middle of May.
The email I refer to is dated May 15th and Murray makes it a point there that he is ready to sign, is “fully engaged” with Michael and that his work started in accordance with the earlier agreement with AEG which was confirmed by the memo sent to him by Timm Woolley on May 8, 2009.
It seems that Murray is taking every opportunity to fix in his correspondence with AEG the current state of affairs for each particular moment in time so that AEG cannot go back on their word later. After all he is working on the basis of an oral agreement backed by nothing but a couple of emails only:
From Conrad Murray
Friday May 15, 2009
To Tim Woolley
Thank you for your correspondence. With respect to the contractual agreement in respect to Mr. Jackson and the upcoming concert tour; it was also for me a great pleasure to meet you even more I look forward to meeting you personally. I am basically in agreement and reiterate that your memo is correct pursuant to our conversation of May 8, 2009. In reference to the international health coverage I would also like to have the opportunity to include members of my family i.e. wife and children. The family cost of the health insurance excluding myself will be solely at my expense.
If you would be kind enough to adopt the contract I will have to peruse by my attorney so that the verbiage is clear and correct for all of us. Once that is done I will be ready for signing. As for good faith with my client I am sure that you are aware that my services are already fully engaged with Mr. Jackson. I wish you and yours all the best and I look forward for a quick response so we can close this matter.
Now that we know that AEG wanted to play on Murray a dirty trick with the dates, we also realize that this way they not only wanted to avoid payments to him but they also wanted to avoid the delivery of the medical equipment he requested.
PRETEXTSAEG will surely explain that their non-payments to Murray were the result of Michael’s unwillingness to sign Murray’s contract and the need to “economize”. This will be a lie as Paris replied in her written interrogatory for AEG that her father offered his own money to Murray but he refused.
Non-provision by AEG of medical equipment to Murray will be a much more difficult issue to explain. The equipment was to be provided to Murray “during the term” which was beginning on May 1st but the specific date of the provision was not mentioned. I presume that the equipment was to be supplied at the very beginning of the term and that this point was discussed at preliminary negotiations.
Considering that the final variant of the contract was made about two months after the first oral agreement, by then AEG knew perfectly well that non-delivery of the equipment was their big fault, so they worded the clause about the equipment in an extremely vague manner. The wording is such that if they provided the equipment on the last day of the term it would be okay too.
However since the equipment was part of Murray’s services there could be a round-about-way of proving that they should have delivered it in the first days of his work.
What is more than clear though is that Michael could not be interested in delaying provision of the equipment (and consequently delaying the contract). It is also clear that the only party interested in such a delay was AEG Live.
This is how their obligation looked like in the contract:
“3.3. Producer shall provide Dr. Murray for his use during the Term with medical equipment requested by Dr. Murray to assist him in performing the Services as approved by Producer (“Equipment”). The Equipment will include a portable cardio pulmonary resuscitation unit (“CPR Machine”), …
Why AEG was not delivering the equipment is a puzzle of its own, requiring a separate study and a separate post. At the moment let us only note that knowing that they are to blame for non-delivery of the equipment AEG will now do their best to invent various pretexts why this was not done at the time when Conrad Murray was requesting it and needed it most.
The first thing they have already said was that they thought the equipment was needed for the UK shows only. However their contract says that during the term of the agreement beginning on May 1st, 2009 Murray’s services were to be provided not only on the territory of the UK, but in the USA too, which automatically takes us to May-June 2009 when Michael was rehearsing there:
A peculiar detail of the AEG story which I notice only now is that AEG was to approve both Murray’s services and the list of medical equipment, and since approval without looking is simply impossible this means that AEG was obliged by their own contract to look into what Murray was doing, what equipment he required and for what purpose it was meant (the approval points are marked yellow in this quote):
“3.3. Producer shall provide Dr. Murray for his use during the Term with medical equipment requested by Dr. Murray to assist him in performing the Services as approved by Producer (“Equipment”). The Equipment will include a portable cardio pulmonary resuscitation unit (“CPR Machine”), saline, catheters, needles, a gurney and other mutually approved medicate equipment necessary for the Services.
Knowing AEG’s stinginess no one will doubt that they did exercise their rights to approve and monitor everything there was to monitor there, simultaneously fully neglecting their duties to provide what Murray requested for Michael Jackson including the equipment and a medical assistant (who was also missing).
Let me also note that the equipment was to be supplied and paid for by AEG Live (and not Murray or Michael Jackson) as after the termination of the agreement everything was to be returned to AEG.
Another of the pretexts widely used by AEG to explain why they never fulfilled their obligations was that the contract was not signed and could not be executed.
Well, Murray was ready to sign it already on May 15th and wanted it to be done as early as possible for payment reasons. Michael Jackson also wanted it as soon as possible as he needed a doctor and the equipment by his side for his own safety and from the very start of it too, so the only party we are left with as being interested in the delay is AEG Live.
As regards the validity of such contract our reader Sina explains that even if the contract is unsigned it does not nullify the agreement itself, as its implementation is actually the proof that the agreement is valid:
The unsigned contract does not affect the agreement. There was clear intention to have a legal relationship. There had been negotiations over the terms that can be proven. The contract had been finalized including the payment and only needed to be signed, so there was consent.
We know for a matter of fact that there were 2 parties who knew and agreed to the terms of the contract: AEG who had drafted and negotiated it and Murray who had already signed. One party we do not know for sure and I’m inclined to believe he had not seen it or knew the exact terms, was Michael Jackson.
The clause that says that the contract is not binding until MJ signs also does not affect the agreement.
The contradiction is that parties may not have signed the contract (yet), but they were all acting as if there was an agreement. including the performance that was intended by the contract. Murray was rendering services, AEG was giving orders, supervising, encouraging or adjusting the services, Michael was receiving the services.
Performance and consent (no objection) are stronger indications of a legally binding agreement than the signature on a written contract.
Negotiations for Murrays ‘services’ were between AEG and Murray. There is (as far as what is public) no evidence that Michael was at all involved.
Considering what was at stake, AEGs conduct is really astonishing.
WHO DID MURRAY WORK FOR?
The requirement to have Michael’s approval of the contract and his signature in Murray’s contract seem to me the last minute corrections introduced to the agreement by AEG Live. First they specified in Murray’s contract the terms extremely unfavorable to Michael Jackson and then demanded that he should agree to them by putting his signature there.
Why do I say that the terms were unfavorable?
And how would you look at the clause which says that the doctor you employ for taking care of your health and who you are to pay from your own pocket is actually hired by AEG Live to perform the services requested by them, and not by you?
Imagine having an employee and paying him a salary but seeing him follow the orders of your competitor instead and you will realize the absurdity of the situation.
The need for Murray to do as AEG Live requested is described by their contract as Murray’s number one responsibility towards his AEG bosses.
This piece from their contract is a complete masterpiece. It refers both to Murray and GCA Holdings LLC which is Murray’s company:
4. RESPONSIBILITIES OF GCA/DR.MURRAY. Without in any way limiting any other term or provision of this Agreement or any obligation of GCA or Dr. Murray hereunder, GCA and Dr. Murray shall:
4.1 Perform the Services reasonably requested by Producer.
Any other wording in the place of this 4.1 clause would have suited us – for example, that Murray was to maintain his patient’s health and keep him in constant health protection as Wiki explains the general responsibilities of a doctor.
In fact any interpretation of the doctor’s duties provided in the Internet would be okay, except AEG’s insolent demand to “perform the services requested by Producer”. This type of a demand may be made only if you hire a doctor for a helpless invalid who cannot hear or talk and speak for himself, but even then it will still be a gross violation of the medical ethics as the doctor you hire is not obliged to fulfill your requests but is supposed to do what his medical profession tells him to.
In this situation no amount of words proclaiming that Murray was an “independent” contractor can outweigh the meaning of this short phrase – if a doctor is required by his contract to perform the services requested by someone who hires him, his independent status ceases the moment the doctor agrees to such terms.
By the way this “independent contractor status” can be interpreted as a call to Murray to be independent from his friend Michael Jackson (for example) and never listen to what he tells him.
The disposition of forces resulting from all this mess is an extremely interesting one – Murray is independent from his friend Michael Jackson whom he does not listen to as his boss is AEG Live, and since Michael is no boss Murray’s main responsibility is to perform the services requested by AEG, however it is his friend Michael who is to pay him for these services.
One needs to be a genius of evil and absurdity to be able to come up with a twisted formula like that…
Indeed, the formula sounds so absurd that now I begin doubting that it was actually Michael Jackson who was to pay a $150,000 salary to Murray. Could AEG have played some dirty game again and shift this payment onto Michael’s shoulders at the last minute too? The reason why I am asking is that I cannot even imagine how vile people should be in order to first force all this nightmare on Michael and then make him pay for it too.
COULD MICHAEL REFUSE MURRAY’S SERVICES?
I hear that AEG says that Michael Jackson could refuse the services of Conrad Murray at any time. Is this really so?
The formal answer contained in the contract is yes, he could refuse Murray, only even in case he refused him there is a strong probability that nothing would have changed – the decision to terminate Murray was to be taken by AEG Live and AEG alone:
7.3 Immediately by Producer if the Artist decides for any reason that the Artist no longer wants or needs the services of Dr. Murray
If the word “immediately” makes you think that AEG Live was to immediately follow Michael’s request, let us look at the wider context of it. And the wider context says that the agreement may be immediately terminated by AEG Live if Michael Jackson decides that he no longer needs Murray’s services.
As you understand this may be can easily turn into may be not, and this wording covers a very big range of possibilities – from immediate termination of Murray at the request of Michael Jackson to AEG’s insistence that he goes on working for him even if Michael no longer wants him. Here is the full text of it:
Everything we’ve learned up till now is proving that though Michael was to pay Murray $150,000 a month he himself had a very little say in his cooperation with this person – Murray was to perform the requests of AEG Live and even if Michael wanted to refuse Murray the AEG bosses could still impose him on Michael Jackson (the way they did it with Tohme).
AEG was also to provide the equipment for Michael but failed to do it, and AEG was to lend Murray money, but did not do it either. The additional insult to the story was that the expenses on all this outrage were to be eventually covered by Michael Jackson.
Was it because of all this outrage that Michael did not put his signature under Murray’s contract? This is quite possible though AEG assures us that Michael simply had no time to sign it.
But I have another question. Was Michael obliged to sign this contract at all if he was not even a party to it? Possibly not, though the final variant of the Murray/AEG contract said that he was:
9. ARTIST CONSENT. The effect of this Agreement is conditioned upon the approval and consent of the Artist. Withouth the Artist’s expressed and written approval of the Agreement neither party to the Agreement will have any rights or obligations to one another arising from the Agreement.
In his lawsuit Joe Jackson argued that initially there was no talk about Michael approving Murray’s contract and putting his signature there. This Joe Jackson’s statement finds its confirmation in the email sent to Murray by Timm Woolley on May 8, 2009. The memo sums up the main points of the preliminary agreement which were apparently discussed during their telephone conversation the same day.
The memo was sent to Murray and Paul Gongaware to fix what they had agreed about in that conversation and what was to be turned into the main terms of their contract. However despite a fairly detailed summary of the talks not a single word was said there about Michael Jackson’s need to consent to these terms – though the later variant of the contract would suddenly claim that it was the central, crucial point of the contract everything else depended on.
It was a pleasure meeting you on the phone. We discussed some mundane details:
Contracting entity: GCA Holdings LLC, 2110 East Flamingo Road, #301, Las Vegas, NV89119.
Your contact info: Office (702) 866 68, cell (702) 862 0973.
Your mode of travel: most likely with Artist on charter, but 1st if not.
Family airfare personal cost.
Accommodation – “easy proximity of Artist” – that might be a guest house on the ground of the ground of the property rented for Artist.
Tour pays for necessary professional costs including transport between Artist & house and house & venue.
Probable need for multiple UK-based cell-phones & your need for one. Need for one venue-based, one home-based extracorporeal CPR units.
Insurances: travel-type accident, sickness, loss-of-possessions policy to be incepted for traveling party – but this is working personnel. Premium is about $250/person if you’d like us to extend to family. Effective only while away from USA.
Life insurances –personal choice.
AEG contract would not cover more than one month in lieu of notice if there was a curtailment or cessation of the tour.
Loss-of-profit – also called contractual performance insurance – had asked brokers at Lloyds to research, intelligently, they also suggest it covers both possible Force Majeure affecting tour/performances as a whole and possibly of accident preventing your providing services. Insurance would be personal cost.
Fees $150k/mo payable mid-month.
Lots of consider above and would be happy to continue discussion when convenient to you.
The absence of any reference to Michael’s approval at the earlier stage of negotiations and its sudden appearance at a later time make me think that this crucial point was added to the Murray/AEG contract at the end of June when they finally decided to have their contract signed.
By introducing this point at the end of their show AEG Live was not only declaring to Murray who his bosses were, but they were also declaring it to Michael and wanted him to agree to it.
Simultaneously they demanded that he should pay for the services of the man who was actually working for AEG Live as Murray’s primary business was to perform their requests and not to take care of his health.
This last statement of the contract should not deceive you by its seeming neutrality. The story behind it is actually big and nasty:
The Undersigned hereby confirms that he has requested Producer to engage Dr. Murray on the terms set forth herein on behalf of and at the expense of the undersigned:
Michael did not sign Murray’s contract. Why he did not do it we don’t know – probably because he did not agree to it or probably because he had no time for it. He simply died the next day because of all the pressure exerted on him by all these people.
However I would not be surprised if Michael Jackson did not know of the need to sign Murray’s contract at all, because there is also a possibility that AEG added the point about Michael’s signature to their contract after his death – in order to shift all the responsibility for Murray’s deeds onto his shoulders, make Michael a scapegoat for everything on earth and not to have to pay Murray any money.
After Michael’s death Murray wanted to sue AEG Live for non-payment of his salary and this fact does point to the possibility that payment to Murray could be AEG’s responsibility after all. This may also be an explanation why they were bossing Murray so much and dictated to Murray their terms.
In fact if this were the case it would even be a better option for AEG Live, because the alternative variant that they were bossing Murray in so outrageous a manner and did it at the expense of Michael Jackson too would be even worse.
DID AEG KNOW?
One more question remains to be looked into. Did AEG know that Murray was giving Michael intravenous injections and propofol among them? There are signs that they did and Timm Woolley’s memo is a good eye-opener to us in this respect.
In his email of May 8, 2009 there is a phrase that attracted my attention:
- “Need for one venue-based, one home-based extracorporeal CPR units”.
Since Timm Woolley included this point into his memo in order to work on it further and incorporate it into Murray’s contract I have no doubt whatsoever that the AEG people looked into the kind of CPR equipment Murray was asking for.
I looked into it too and found that this CPR is not an ordinary mechanic or automatic CPR used during cardiac arrests. No, the extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a very specific and extremely complex system practiced only in hospitals and not even in every hospital at that.
The essence of this system is drawing blood from a venous drain, then pumping it through an oxygenator, and delivering it into the arterial circulation all of which is done with the help of a complex system of tubes and a centrifugal pump. This kind of equipment must be suitable for long-term intravenous infusions as well as resuscitating the patient in an unconventional way in case he has a cardiac arrest.
The cardiologists writing on this issue call it the Extracorporeal support of heart and lung function (venoarterial perfusion) and say the following (you don’t have to read it if you don’t want to, I am providing this example only to show you how terribly complex it is):
It additionally requires a variety of circuit and patient monitoring equipment including – well, – a venous oxygen saturation monitor to track the hemoglobin saturation of blood entering the pump, pre- and post-lung manometers to follow the performance of the hollow-ﬁber lung, and a thermostat-controlled heat exchanger to maintain patient temperature. Patient monitoring included continuous ECG, arterial blood pressure (BP), arterial oxygen saturation, pulmonary arterial pressure, and pulmonary arterial oxygenation measurements. Systemic anticoagulation is to be maintained with continuous heparin infusion and monitored hourly with measurement of activated clotting times. These are to be routinely kept between 180 and 200 seconds.
ECMO and extra-corporeal life support (ECLS) are used in children and adults with irreversible heart or lung failure for prolonged (days to weeks) mechanical support. The goal of ECMO/ECLS for patients is to provide lung rest from the high levels of oxygen and higher airway pressures that are necessary to support oxygenation and ventilation.
Successful ECPR requires being able to rapidly bring together the patient, the ECPR device, and personnel able to both initiate therapy and deal with potentially lethal complications.
The principal components in the system are shown in the respective pictures.
The above is only a fraction of what I found about extracorporeal CPR within two hours or so, and the reason why I provided this information is because I am more than sure that Timm Woolley’s people did the same.
And in the process of it wasn’t it inevitable for them to ask WHY all this equipment was required by Conrad Murray for Michael Jackson?
If they did not ask this question it means that they were totally disinterested in Michael Jackson’s condition, did not give a damn whether he was healthy or not, and Murray’s contract for them was just another means to pressure Michael Jackson into selling a million tickets and then cancelling the shows leaving most of the profit to AEG.
And if they did ask this question they surely knew of his condition and should have started worrying about it. They should have also looked into the treatment Conrad Murray was providing to him and if things were really bad they should have corrected Michael’s regimen, rescheduled some of the shows or at least listened to the signals sent to them by Kenny Ortega.
What I mean is that learning about the type of equipment Murray asked for should have not left AEG unperturbed. Some activity and some worry should have followed by all means.
The very least they should have worried about was the cost of the equipment and in the process of discussing it with Murray they should have asked him questions. And we know that they did discuss this problem from the simple fact that two Extracorporeal CPR units requested by Murray were replaced in the final contract by one portable CPR machine, accompanied by various catheters, needles, etc. – none of which were provided either.
Did AEG Live learn about Michael’s sleep problems during the course of those discussions? It is hard to imagine that they did not. especially since Paul Gongaware had worked with Michael before. The above equipment is so serious that it should have immediately made AEG realise the seriousness of Michael’s problems. And if they did realise them why did they not pay attention to them?
Even if they are so callous people that they don’t pay any attention to the condition of their main star, weren’t they interested in having his concerts after all? If they were interested in him making that tour they should have spared him and worried about his condition, shouldn’t they?
Or was the reason why they did not care for him because they never wanted those shows at all? And hoped he would cancel? And the worse it was for him the better it was for them?
* * *
Update April 6, 2013
The fact that Murray was in AEG’s employment was confirmed by Thomas Mesereau in his interview with Piers Morgan. Thomas Mesereau discussed the contract with Valerie Wass, Murray’s attorney and said that all the evidence in the case was showing that there was an employment understanding between Murray and AEG:
PIERS MORGAN: … I’ll remind you of an e-mail from the AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware, which has emerged. We simply want to remind Murray that it’s AEG, not MJ, Michael Jackson, who is paying his salary. We want to remind him what is expected of him.
Now, Valerie Wass, what did that e-mail mean? What was expected of Conrad Murray, and is it true that it was AEG paying Conrad Murray directly, not Michael Jackson?
WASS: First of all, I’d like to point out that Conrad Murray never received a dime for caring for Michael Jackson. He took care of him for two months and was not paid a dime. The contract was supposed to be retroactive to May 1st and he still has not been paid a dime for his care of Jackson.
MESEREAU: But he was supposed to be paid. He signed an agreement prepared by AEG which said AEG would pay him. He signed it.
WASS: He did sign it —
MORGAN: So he was going to be paid. The reason they haven’t — the reason they haven’t paid since — obviously he was paid to take care of Michael Jackson. And Michael Jackson died in his care. So —
WASS: Isn’t a doctor paid — if you render services for two months, aren’t you paid for those services if your patient dies and suddenly you aren’t — you don’t get paid for the two months that you took care of a patient?
MORGAN: But that becomes an issue of litigation between Conrad Murray and AEG, I guess. But — so what you’re saying is —
(CROSSTALK) WASS: You’re assuming that he was — you’re assuming that he was employed by AEG. I don’t think that’s been established. I don’t think it’s a slam dunk case like Tom believes.
MORGAN: Well, all I’m assuming is that — I’m not assuming anything. I’m reading an e-mail from one of the bosses of AEG, saying we want to remind Murray that it’s AEG, not MJ, who is paying his salary. It’s pretty clear —
WASS: Well, AEG was advancing all three production costs. I believe it was $40 million of pre-production costs were paid at the time Michael Jackson died. Just because they were advancing those costs doesn’t mean that AEG was the employer of Conrad Murray.
MORGAN: So when AEG say — they should be reminding Murray it’s AEG, not Jackson, who is paying his salary, they didn’t know what they were talking about.
WASS: Well, for one thing, that e-mail did not come out in trial. Suddenly all these e-mails appeared that the defense did not have during the trial. And I’m curious why those e-mails were not produced during discovery in the criminal trial. But any event —
MORGAN: Well, Tom, I mean — Tom, from a legal point of view, that e- mail is going to be pretty significant, isn’t it?
MESEREAU: Very significant. Because AEG’s lawyers drafted an employment agreement, they sent it to Dr. Murray and Dr. Murray signed it. I don’t know if he actually returned it or not, AEG is now saying we never actually signed it. But that’s not going to hold up. Under the law, all of this evidence, the agreement they prepared, the fact that Dr. Murray signed it, the e-mails, the discussions that took place, all of this is going to show there was an employment understanding between Murray and AEG.
WASS: Right, but —
MESEREAU: Look —
WASS: But don’t you know that in Dr. Murray’s statement to the police two days after Michael Jackson died, he stated that he was — it was his understanding that he was employed by Michael Jackson, and he subsequently learned that he was to be paid by AEG. So he said Michael Jackson’s —
MESEREAU: How long was the agreement —
WASS: — lawyer and AEG was going to be paying his salary.
MESEREAU: He may have said it, but who prepared the agreement and who was the agreement with? It was with AEG. In fact, that agreement, as I understand it, required AEG to provide medical equipment to Dr. Murray. And when the agreement terminated, the equipment was supposed to revert back to AEG.
MORGAN: Well, doubtless we will — we will find out more of this as this trial develops. So it’s been great talking to you both. And a good legal battle there. And there will be more to come the next few weeks. And please come back and we’ll debate it again.
Thank you both very much.
MESEREAU: Thank you, Piers.
WASS: Thank you, Piers.
Below you will find full Joe Jackson’s lawsuit against AEG which contains two drafts of Murray’s contract. The preliminary one is found on pages 119 – 125, and the final one is on pages 138-143: