Jacksons vs AEG trial. MARVIN PUTNAM’S CLOSING ARGUMENTS
Before the AEG’s lawyers closing arguments start soon here is an article by Alan Duke on this being the last chance for AEG:
AEG Live to get its last chance to argue in Michael Jackson wrongful death trial
By Alan Duke, CNN
September 25, 2013 — Updated 1549 GMT (2349 HKT)
Los Angeles (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s last concert promoter has four hours Wednesday to convince a jury that it is not responsible for the pop icon’s death.
AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam warned in his opening statements in the Jackson wrongful death trial five months ago that he would show “ugly stuff” and reveal Jackson’s “deepest, darkest secret.”
The revelations that jurors heard from 58 witnesses over 83 days of testimony over 21 weeks included details of Jackson’s drug use and his shopping for a doctor to give him the surgical anesthetic propofol that he thought would give him sleep.
Brian Panish, the lead lawyer for Jackson’s mother and three children, conceded in his closing Tuesday that the singer may have some fault for his own death, but said “it’s about shared responsibility.”
Jackson did use prescription painkillers and was warned that using propofol at home to sleep was risky, “but he never had a problem until Dr. Conrad Murray was working and until Conrad Murray negotiated with AEG Live,” Panish argued.
He urged jurors to award the family between $1 billion and $2 billion in damages for its share of liability in Jackson’s death — to replace what he would have earned touring, had he lived, and for the personal suffering from the loss of a son and father.
Katherine Jackson testified that she filed the wrongful death lawsuit three years ago against AEG Live “because I want to know what really happened to my son.”
Her lawyers argue that the company is liable in the death because it negligently hired, retained or supervised Murray, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s propofol overdose death.
After AEG Live’s Putnam delivers his closing arguments Wednesday, Jackson’s lawyer will have another two hours Thursday morning to sum up his arguments in rebuttal.
Twelve jurors, who have sat and listened in a Los Angeles courtroom for 21 weeks, will then begin deliberations.
The judge is allowing a television camera in court for the closing arguments and verdict.
AEG Live’s defense
Murray treated Michael Jackson and his children for minor illnesses while they lived in Las Vegas for three years, before the singer returned to Los Angeles to prepare for his “This Is It” comeback tour. It was Jackson — not AEG Live executives — who chose Murray to be his full-time doctor for his tour, the company’s lawyers contend.
AEG Live Co-CEO Paul Gongaware negotiated to pay Murray $150,000 a month only because of Jackson’s request to have his doctor with him as he performed 50 shows at London’s O2 Arena, they argue.
There was no need to check Murray’s background because he was a licensed, successful doctor who was known to Jackson, they said.
A key argument in the Jackson case is that AEG Live was negligent by not ordering a financial background check of Murray, which would have revealed he was in a dire financial situation and not successful. His desperation to keep his lucrative job led Murray to violate his Hippocratic Oath to do no harm by using the dangerous propofol infusions to put Jackson to sleep each night for two months, Jackson lawyers argue.
AEG Live executives had no way of knowing Murray was treating Jackson’s insomnia with propofol in the privacy of his bedroom, their lawyers contend. Jackson was a secretive addict, adept at keeping family, friends and other doctors in the dark about his medical treatments, they argue.
But two doctors testified that they told Gongaware about Jackson’s abuse of painkillers and his insomnia during tours in the 1990s, when the AEG Live executive served as tour manager. Jackson lawyers argue Gongaware, who was the top producer on the new tour, should have known that Jackson could suffer the same problems in 2009.
AEG Live can avoid a negative verdict if they are able to convince at least four of the 12 jurors that they did not hire Murray. It is the first of 16 questions on the jury verdict form. If jurors answer it with a “no” — that AEG Live did not hire the doctor — they would end their deliberations and the trial.
An AEG Live lawyer e-mailed an employment contract to Murray on the morning of June 24, 2009. Murray signed it and faxed it back to the company that day. But the signature line for AEG Live’s CEO and Michael Jackson were never signed since Jackson died the next day.
Putnam will point to those blank signature lines as evidence that Murray was never hired by his client. There were negotiations with Murray, but he was never paid, the AEG Live lawyer argues.
Panish, the lead Jackson lawyer, told jurors Tuesday that all the elements of an oral contract — “just as valid as a written contract” — were in place when Jackson died.
Murray had been treating Jackson for two month and the written contract stated that his start day was May 1, 2009. A series of e-mail exchanges involving Murray and AEG Live executives and lawyers supported his argument, Panish said.
Blame and damages
If the jury concludes AEG Live has liability, it would have to decide how much the company should pay in economic and personal damages to Jackson’s mother and children. They can use estimates of Jackson’s “lost earnings capacity” — the amount of money he could reasonably be expected to have earned if he had lived — to guide them.
AEG Live expert Eric Briggs testified it was “speculative” that Jackson would have even completed another tour because of his drug use, damaged reputation and history of failed projects. He suggested the star may never have earned another dime.
Putnam’s closing argument about damages must overcome the impression left on jurors Tuesday when Panish played a video montage of Jackson performances.
“That is, I think, the best evidence of if Michael Jackson could have sold tickets — not what Mr. Briggs would tell you,” Panish told jurors.
Panish suggested jurors pick a number between $900 million and $1.6 billion for economic damages. They should add on another $290 million for non-economic damages — or personal damages, he said.
The last question on the verdict form asks jurors to assign a percentage that they believe represents Michael Jackson’s share of blame in his death. The total damages owed by AEG Live would be reduced by that percentage.
Marvin Putnam, when he concludes Wednesday, could be expected to argue Michael Jackson is 100% to blame.
Panish will have another two hours to rebut Putnam’s arguments before jury deliberations begin Thursday.
Well, whatever AEG has to say it turns out that they were terribly unwilling to have the closing arguments heard at a bigger venue with more journalists and public present, and have the final days of the trial televised.
The proof of is a brief filed by AEG on September 18, 2013 saying that :
- in prohibiting cameras in the courtroom during trial, this Court rightly acknowledged that heightened media presence, including cameras in the courtroom, could have a serious detrimental effect on the parties’ ability to receive a fair trial…
- defendants respectfully request that the Court permit the proceedings to remain in Department 28 for the duration of trial…
The above makes it clear that from the very start of the trial it was the AEG side that was interested in minimizing the public and media attendance of the trial and people never seeing with their own eyes what’s going on in the courtroom.
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ABC is live streaming Marvin Putnam’s theatrical performance: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/livenow?id=9259817
Here it is on CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/cvplive/cvpstream2.html
HLN is live-blogging again under the nasty title of “MJ’s dirty secrets come out in trial”:
Live blog: MJ’s dirty secrets come out in trial
HLN is live-blogging the closing arguments in the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial. Minute-by-minute updates can be found under this story.
Attorneys for AEG Live aired Michael Jackson’s dirty laundry in court Wednesday, claiming that the superstar’s years-long drug addiction is what ultimately killed him.
“Mr. Jackson spent decades shopping for doctors to give him the painkillers he wanted,” said AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam during his closing argument. “He manipulated and he lied to those doctors so he could get double doses.”
As closing arguments stretched into their second day, AEG attorneys got their final chance to tell jurors why they shouldn’t have to hand over more than $1 billion to Jackson’s family.
The pop icon’s mother and three children say the concert promoter is responsible for negligently hiring, retaining or supervising Dr. Conrad Murray, the man found guilty in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death.But AEG Live says it was Jackson who insisted on having Murray on his “This Is It Tour” and that he was solely responsible for paying the doctor, who admitted to giving Jackson the drug propofol for 60 days straight to treat his insomnia.
Putnam said that this lawsuit has made it possible for AEG Live to get access to “Jackson’s most personal, most private material,” including financial records that show he was almost half a billion dollars in debt and that the house of his mother, Katherine, was almost in foreclosure.Putnam said all of the responsibility for Jackson’s death rests with him.
“The truth here is a tragedy, make no mistake about that… it’s incredibly sad. But it’s not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making. You can’t point the finger at them and you shouldn’t,” Putnam said.
“Mr. Jackson chose this doctor, years before. And Mr. Jackson chose the drug that killed him. Mr. Jackson, like every adult, is responsible for his own choices.”
On Tuesday, Jackson family attorney Brian Panish asked jurors to award the Jackson family a sum between $1 billion and $2 billion to account for the money he would have made touring had he not died, and also to account for the personal suffering from the loss of a son and father.Jackson was scheduled to perform a record-setting 50 concerts in the same venue — the O2 Arena in London.
6:57 p.m. ET: Mr. “Jackson was taking propofol long before Dr. Murray,” said Putnam.
6:53 p.m. ET: AEG Live never paid Murray according to Putnam. It seems like Putnam is wrapping up his closing argument.
6:40 p.m. ET: Putnam said the amount of damages the Jackson family is asking for is “ridiculous.”
6:37 p.m. ET: “Mr. Jackson was bound and determined to get propofol,” said Putnam. “Adults are responsible for their own choices.”
6:33 p.m. ET: Putnam said Jackson asked another doctor to administer propofol to him in April 2009 just a few months before he died.
6:28 p.m. ET: “Adults are responsible for their own choices,” said Putnam for the second time.
6:26 p.m. ET: “Jackson cut uncooperative doctors out his life permanently,” said Putnam.
6:21 p.m. ET: Putnam said multiple doctors refused to give Jackson propofol, because it was such a dangerous drug.
6:18 p.m. ET: Debbie Rowe told Jackson propofol was dangerous, but he did it anyway according to Putnam.
6:16 p.m. ET: “Adults are responsible for the mistakes they make,” said Putnam.
6:13 p.m. ET: Putnam is detailing Jackson’s history with propofol. Jackson told multiple people that he used it multiple times from different doctors.
6:10 p.m. ET: Putnam has resumed his closing argument for AEG Live.
5:47 p.m. ET: Putnam is playing a video of Jackson singing and dancing 12 hours before he died. Court has now recessed for a 15 minute break.
5:40 p.m. ET: Putnam played another video of Jackson singing two days before his death.
5:37 p.m. ET: The video shows Jackson dancing all over the stage two days before his death.
5:32 p.m. ET: Putnam said Jackson had “incredible” performance in rehearsal just two days before he died. He is now playing a part of “This is It” documentary that shows Jackson’s rehearsal on June 23, 2009. Jackson died June 25, 2009.
5:27 p.m. ET: Representatives with AEG met with Jackson to see if he was okay after he appeared to be sick in June 2009.
“Mr. Jackson a 50 year old man told his business partners that he was fine,” said Putnam.
5:21 p.m. ET: Jackson appeared sick on June 19, but Putnam said nobody knew why he was sick.
5:15 p.m. ET: Putnam just played a video of Jackson rehearsing on June 5 about a week before his death. The video shows that Jackson was healty right up to his death according to Putnam.
5:08 p.m. ET: Putnam showed pictures of Jackson to show that his weight was normal shortly before he died.
5:01 p.m. ET: “AEG Live believed Jackson was perfectly healthy,” said Putnam. “He was healthy. He was ready to perform.”
4:57 p.m. ET: “Nothing in Dr. Murray’s background would suggest he might be dangerous,” said Putnam.
4:54 p.m. ET: Putnam said that AEG was not required to supervise AEG. They were never supposed to supervise him, because they have no medical knowledge.
4:49 p.m. ET: There was nothing that should have notified AEG Live that Dr. Murray was incompetent according to Putnam.
4:45 p.m. ET: Putnam said AEG Live did not know anything about propofol or should have known about the anesthetic being administered to Jackson and thus should not be held liable.
4:41 p.m. ET: Putnam has resumed his closing argument. He says Jackson’s attorneys didn’t proved that AEG Live knew or should have known that Dr. Murry posed a risk to Jackson.
2:58 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed court for lunch until 4:30 p.m. ET.
2:56 p.m. ET: “Mr. Jackson thought enough of Dr. Murray to let him provide medical treatment to his own children,” said Putnam. AEG didn’t know Murray was treating Jackson with propofol “behind his locked bedroom doors.” If Murray was hired to administer propofol, then he would have been hired by Jackson for this purpose, according to Putnam.
2:55 p.m. ET: As far as AEG Live knew, Murray was a general doctor for Jackson, according to Putnam. If Jackson wanted an anesthesiologist and hired Murray, that would have raised a red flag.
2:50 p.m. ET: Putnam says that, despite this e-mail, AEG Live co-CEO Paul Gongaware never had a conversation with Murray about who was paying him. Gongaware says he doesn’t remember seeing this e-mail or what he meant.
2:42 p.m. ET: Murray and AEG Live agreed there would be no oral agreement, only a signed contract, which never happened, according to Putnam.
2:40 p.m. ET: E-mails sent between Murray and AEG Live prove there was no contract between the two, according to Putnam.
2:37 p.m. ET: Court is back in session and Putnam has resumed his closing argument.
2:14 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed court for 15 minutes.
2:10 p.m. ET: Putnam is showing copies of Murray’s draft agreements.
2:05 p.m. ET: The only reason AEG Live ever spoke to Murray was because Jackson had asked them to advance money to pay the doctor, according to Putnam.
1:58 p.m. ET: AEG was going to loan a broke Jackson money to help pay Murray, according to Putnam. He also says Jackson agreed to be responsible for anyone he brought on the tour with him.
1:54 p.m. ET: Putnam says Jackson always paid Murray — AEG Live didn’t give him any money — and that Jackson would have his kids hand the doctor stacks of hundred dollar bills, wrapped with elastic bands.
1:52 p.m. ET: Jackson introduced Murray as “his doctor” to AEG Live executives, according to Putnam, and he insisted the doctor come on tour and he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“It was not for AEG Live to interfere with that longtime doctor-patient relationship… Dr. Conrad Murray was Michael Jackson’s choice.”
1:48 p.m. ET: When it comes to who hired Murray, Putnam says there are four options (and all the evidence points to the first): Michal Jackson hired him, AEG Live hired, they both hired him or neither one hired him.
1:47 p.m. ET: Putnam is now addressing question #1 on the jury verdict form: “Did AEG Live hire Dr. Conrad Murray?” He says no because Jackson hired Murray and things “never even got that far” — there wasn’t a contract. “There was never a done deal.”
1:45 p.m. ET: “You can’t save someone, they have to save themselves. And more importantly… the law doesn’t say you have to,” said Putnam.
1:40 p.m. ET: Michael Jackson’s death “would have happened no matter what — with or without AEG Live,” said Putnam.
1:38 p.m. ET: “This case is about Dr. Conrad Murray,” says a slide Putnam has displayed. He gives some examples of when an employer is negligent in hiring an employee, such as: If the employer knows the employee has a violent history and is hired to work with weapons.
1:34 p.m. ET: Putnam is starting to go through the jury verdict form and the questions jurors have to answer “yes” to in order to find AEG Live liable.
1:30 p.m. ET: “The truth here is a tragedy, make no mistake about that… it’s incredibly sad. But it’s not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making. You can’t point the finger at them and you shouldn’t,” said Putnam. “Mr. Jackson chose this doctor, years before. And Mr. Jackson chose the drug that killed him. Mr. Jackson, like every adult, is responsible for his own choices.”
1:29 p.m. ET: “He was never hired by AEG Live to go on tour. If they hired him, they would have paid him,” Putnam said about Murray. If jurors don’t find that Murray was hired by AEG Live, then they can’t find AEG Live liable for Jackson’s death.
1:25 p.m. ET: “They never told the truth to AEG Live,” Putnam said about Jackson and Murray. “When Michael Jackson’s bedroom was searched, his secrets were revealed.”
Putnam also said AEG Live never would have agreed to finance the tour if it knew Jackson was playing “Russian roulette” every night in his bedroom.
1:22 p.m. ET: Jackson was about half a billion dollars in debt, according to Putnam. Jackson also “spent decades shopping for doctors to give him the pain killers he wanted,” said Putnam.
1:18 p.m. ET: Putnam says AEG Live isn’t responsible for Jackson’s death because “This was a choice Mr. Jackson made, not somebody else. He was a grown man… he is responsible for his own health — certainly his own healthcare. And his is responsible for his own choices, no matter how bad those choices might be.”
Putnam also says AEG Live tried to talk Jackson out of bringing Murray on the tour.
“Mr. Jackson would not take ‘no’ for an answer. If he wanted something, he got it,” said Putnam.
1:14 p.m. ET: AEG Live attorney Marvin Putnam will deliver the closing argument for the defense. He begins by thanking the jurors for their service.
1:11 p.m. ET: The judge is taking the bench.
1:07 p.m. ET: The judge has asked all parties to return to the courtroom at 12:30 p.m. ET Wednesday. The live blog will pick up once closing arguments resume, which should be any minute now.
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MR. PUTNAM’S FARCE IS OVER.
WE NEED A NEW MOLIERE TO DESCRIBE THIS NEW TARTUFFE!
The number of lies in Putnma’s closing arguments is indescribable. It is one lie on top of another forming a non-stop stream of lies and creating a different reality which has nothing to do with real life.
But as every lie it is rather entertaining. If I were to give a name for Putnam’s theatrical performance I would probably call it “The ultimate art of illusion making” as essentially it is the same thing as the act of a conjurer.
The great TeamMichaelJackson has already posted Putnam’s farce on YouTube.
If you want to know the truth this video is not a place to go to, but if you want to see the process of creating ugly myths and the technology of rubbing them into people’s minds, Putnam’s performance will be a perfect manual for you. It displays the full assortment of liars’ tricks from affected pauses to laughs and rolling one’s eyes in ridiculing the opposing party, and this makes you understand that real evidence is actually the last thing that is needed here.
Here it is:
TeamMichaelJackson has also obtained the transcript http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/9847 . Frankly it is so much BS that I am unwilling even to read it, so I am embedding it only for the record: