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DEFENDING JOHN BRANCA

November 8, 2013

God knows that writing about John Branca was the least of my desires. He is so controversial a subject that no matter what you write you automatically fall into disfavor with large factions of fans. However this sacrifice will have to be made even if it is my last series of posts in this blog.

FOR THE SAKE OF TRUTH ONLY

The reason for addressing this subject is the overwhelming response I’ve got about Branca to the recent article about AEG.

This has become a tradition with us – I write about AEG driving Michael into the ground and the customary answer I get is that John Branca was not re-hired by Michael Jackson on June 17, 2009 and those who assert it are not to be trusted, Branca first and foremost.

How one thing is connected with the other and why almost any post about AEG should end up talking about Branca is beyond my understanding but since people insist that there is a connection let me try to follow their logic and look into everything they have against this person.

The best place to go to is surely Joe Jackson’s objection to appointing John Branca and John McClain the Executors of Michael Jackson’s Estate made on November 9, 2009. This document provides all the arguments we need to know about Branca’s alleged or real faults. Why John McClain is mentioned there is unclear as he is not even mentioned anywhere in the text except the title.

Another source is a December 2010 series of Wrap articlesincredibly pleased with themselves for their investigative journalism and dwelling on the on-and-off business relations between Branca and Michael Jackson under the catchy titles of “How Michael Jackson Nearly Lost His Prized Music Catalog”, “The Secret Probe That Got Branca Fired”, “Michael Jackson and John Branca — a Major Wrap Series”, etc.

The series is far from flattering to Branca, is filled with innuendoes towards him (but lots of admiration for Randy Phillips of AEG) and is accompanied by some documents which are the only reason why this series should be looked up at all.

The third source to go to is the testimony of lawyer David Legrand at the 2005 trial who was actually the one who ordered the so-called Interfor report to investigate John Branca as part of Michael Jackson’s inner circle in 2003. He provides first-hand information about why the report was made, who initiated it and what its outcome was.

Now that I’ve read it all I wonder if the people who refer us to these notable papers for alleged evidence against John Branca ever looked up the attached documents themselves or do they believe what they are told without any double checking?

The reason I am asking is because the attached documents prove exactly the opposite of what is said or implied in the Wrap series and Joe Jackson’s papers presented to court. The daring of both authors is simply incredible – the counted on the readers to never look up and it seems that their readers never did. 

THE MYTH

The Interfor report was made on April 15, 2003 and concerned ALL Michael Jackson's business associates.  No incriminating evidence was found but the page on Branca nevertheless goes all over the Internet

The Interfor report was made on April 15, 2003 and concerned ALL Michael Jackson’s business associates. No incriminating evidence was found against Branca, however  the page on him is going all over the Internet

The myth has it that a certain Intefor report was made in April 2003 by investigators hired by Michael Jackson and as a result of that Branca was dismissed in February 2003.

It is exactly in this ridiculous succession that the Wrap series, for example, claims that the events took place:

Jackson lawyer David Legrand, testified at the singer’s 2005 child-molestation trial that Jackson had hired him to look into the people in his inner circle. But, Legrand testified, “I was given no credible evidence to support the charges; I would be doing Mr. Branca a great wrong if I said otherwise.”

Nonetheless, the report achieved its goal:  Branca’s termination.

“This is to confirm that I am terminating the services of you and your firm effective upon delivery of this letter,” Jackson wrote the attorney in February 2003. “You are commanded to immediately cease expending effort of any kind on my behalf…You are specifically instructed to transfer any funds you are holding in trust for me…”

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/secret-report-got-branca-fired-22850

You are fired. February 2003

You are fired. February 2003 (click to enlarge)

The real events came in a totally different order of course and had a different outcome.

The letter of Branca’s discontinuance of service came in February 2003 while the Interfor report was made several months later, on April 15, 2003 and since no wrongdoing on the part of Branca was found he resumed working for Michael Jackson and continued to do so until the year 2006.

What’s interesting is that both the Wrap series and Joe Jackson’s papers contain documents proving that John Branca continued to render legal services to Michael even after the Interfor report.

Joe Jackson’s court paper lists as one of its attachments an Agreement dated April 2006 where Branca’s firm waives the right to the 5% previously agreed fee and states that the moment the Waiver comes into effect Branca’s firm ceases to represent Michael Jackson in any capacity and shall no longer provide any legal or other services to him.

The above means that until such a declaration was made Branca’s firm was providing legal services to Michael and did represent him. The document was signed in April 2006 in the Kingdom of Bahrain and was notarized by the Vice Consul of the US Consulate there:

.

JJ's objection - April 2006 settlement agreement page 3a

  • “Effective as of the Waiver Effective Date, this is to confirm that the Firm shall no longer be representing you in any capacity or providing any legal or other services to you”
The Agreement was signed in the US Consulate in the Kingdom of Bahrain

The Agreement was signed in the US Consulate in the Kingdom of Bahrain

That was the document from the Joe Jackson file.

As to the Wrap series it also has a document that proves that John Branca worked for Michael Jackson as a lawyer and advisor after the Interfor April 2003 report and all the more so after the discontinuance letter made several months before that.

The document is John Branca’s letter to Mr. Koppelman sent on July 28, 2003. The letter is scrutinizing the deal initiated by Al Malnik and proposed by Goldman and Sachs and Mr. Koppelman as a way to alleviate some of MJ’s debts to the Bank of America.

Branca spotted numerous points in the deal unfavorable to Michael and suggested their further discussion with Mr. Koppelman.

This alone means that he as lawyer was actively involved in the assessment of the proposal made by a third party and was working out the best terms for Michael in the deal.

One of the Wrap articles confirms that the negotiations were carried out in 2003-2004:

From 2003 to 2004, virtually the identical financial crisis — almost $300 million of debt, with the songs at stake — was met with a momentous initiative led not by Branca but by a power cast that included Wall Street-savvy Goldman Sachs, veteran music entrepreneur Charles Koppelman and a Florida entrepreneur dogged by mob suspicions, Alvin Malnik.

…In the documents, Goldman’s master financial alchemists began proposing a venture to position Jackson as “the Bill Gates of the music industry” and described how not only the $300 million debt might be whittled but also detailed how the beleaguered legend could walk away with perhaps $1.3 billion — with the Wall Street firm exiting even richer.

But only if he would sell his interest in Sony/ATV and in Mijac, the catalogue of Jackson’s own hits. According to the secret documents, Goldman was prepared even to “drag” Jackson along into a deal to sell them.

As the proposal evolved during more than a year, its fundamental flaw — that Jackson all but surely would forfeit his songs — remained clearly obvious to Branca. More than anyone, Branca knew that owning the songs was one of his client Jackson’s great passions and that the singer worried intensely about them slipping from his grasp.

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/michael-jackson-1-can-john-branca-save-jackson-again-22420

Even if you don’t know the details of the Goldman and Sachs/Koppelman deal the letter sent by Branca to Koppelman strikes you by a quiet but firm and consistent advocacy for Michael’s rights in each of its points:

July 28, 2003

PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL VIA FEDERAL EXPRESS

Mr. Charles Koppelman

C.A.K.Entertainment, Inc.

37 E. 64th St.

Suite 1607

New York, NY10021

RE: Michael Jackson/Goldman Sachs Agreement

Dear Charles,

In follow up to our conversation about the Goldman Sachs deal memo and your suggestion that its term be extended beyond July 31, certain clarifications need to be made as follows:

1.   It should be clear that Michael does not contribute, assign or relinquish ownership of his publishing interests unless and until Warner/Chappell is acquired and until it is clear what Michael’s equity interest would be in the combined publishing operation. The capital structure and economic interests of the parties in the venture entities (i.e., Music LLC and Newco) need to be elaborated and clarified.

2.   It needs to be clarified that Goldman Sachs and/or the venture will take over responsibility for the Bank of America loans up to $270 million and Michael will have no further responsibility with respect thereto.

3.   We need to confirm whether Goldman Sachs will agree to provide an interim guarantee (i.e., Put) for the Miijac loan and, if so, on what basis.

4.   You stated that Michael will receive the first $320 million of distributions from the venture (after payment of annual fees). If this is the deal, it needs to be clarified. Merely paying off Michael’s loan obligations without allocating significant cash to him is obviously an insufficient valuation of his publishing interests to justify this transaction.

5.  It needs to be clarified that transferring the loans and copyrights into the venture will not be a taxable event for Michael.

6.  It needs to be clarified that, in the event of a liquidity event or exercise of the Put, there will be sufficient cash distributed from the venture to cover Michael’s obligations, including tax obligations, direct payment of this firm’s 5% and any other obligation Michael may have as a result of a liquidity event or exercise of the Put. Similarly an exit strategy needs to be devised for Michael to receive fair market value should he wish to exit the venture.

7.  We should discuss how Goldman Sachs justifies an annual fee of $5,5 million. It seems high.

8.  I’m not sure of the justification for Goldman Sachs to control the Board with five of seven Board seats, giving Michael only two. Whatever the Board membership, Michael should have some control over the management and operation of the venture.

9.  The letter of intent imposes broad exclusivity obligations on Michael and none on Goldman Sachs. We should discuss this.

10. There should probably be confidentiality obligations imposed on Goldman Sachs since Michael is disclosing confidential information.

11. Finally, with all due respect, it does not make sense to Michael to tie you in as manager of Mijac as a condition of the loan. Your valuable contributions should be rewarded without interposing you as a condition to Michael’s relationship with the bank.

Secret letter to Goldman and Sachs 1I am sure there are other issues that need to be address if this goes to long-form.

I look forward to discussing this with you.

Very truly yours,

John G.Branca

 

Branca was scrutinizing the Goldman Sachs proposal to MJ in July 2003 (or well after he was 'fired' by Michael Jackson). Click to enlarge

Branca was scrutinizing the Goldman Sachs proposal to MJ in July 2003 (or well after he was ‘fired’ by Michael Jackson). Click to enlarge

Cc: Alvin Malnik

John McClain

Zia Modabber, Esq.

Rene Ghadimi, Esq.

Karen Langford

The Wrap series also noticed Branca’s zeal in supporting Michael’s interests but attributed it to Branca’s own interest in getting the profit out of the deal:

With his interest linked to Jackson’s, Branca seemed to have little choice but to be a zealous advocate for the entertainer.

In case Michael wanted out of the venture, “an exit strategy needs to devised for him to receive fair market value.” Skeptical of Goldman’s power grab, he insisted that “Michael should have some control over the management and operation of the venture.

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/inside-secrets-goldman-deal-22479

The other Wrap article already mentioned here implied that he worked so hard because he “stood to collect millions from the Goldman dealings”:

So why then had Branca worked so hard, as the secret files appear to indicate, for an outcome most feared by his client?

According to entrepreneur MalnikBranca stood to collect $17 million from the Goldman dealings for a 5 percent interest that he held in Jackson’s stake in the Beatles’ catalog.

Alas, the Goldman deal, more than a year in the making, got no further than the paper on which it was written. Rather, it was scuttled by Jackson against a backdrop of behind-the-scenes hijinks that seemed to mirror his final sad decade, which roiled with scandals, a criminal trial, epic debt and an ever-rotating inner circle.

(A lawyer for Branca responds: “Branca was asked to review a proposal brought to Michael by others and gave advice to Jackson. The decision not to enter into the agreement was Michael Jackson’s based primarily on this. There were no secret files, and ultimately the Goldman proposal was never accepted.”)

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/michael-jackson-1-can-john-branca-save-jackson-again-22420

The response sent to the Wrap article by Branca’s lawyer makes it clear that not only did Michael approach John Branca for the evaluation of that deal but Michael also acted on his advice and ultimately refused the Goldman Sachs proposal.

However after the deal fell through Branca was accused of trying to make big profit from it by working for Michael too hard. Utterly twisted logic, but how very typical when you are hell bent on smearing someone!

The Goldman and Sachs proposal was not Branca’s doing and the advantages and disadvantages of the deal may be disputed, but what is essential for today’s discussion is that Branca did continue to work for Michael in July 2003, well after his services were discontinued in February the same year, and this is the best answer to Joe Jackson’s statements about Branca allegedly never working for Michael again, which are made in total disregard of the facts.

THE GOLDMAN SACHS LOAN PROJECT

The reason why Michael didn’t accept the Goldman and Sachs’ project was because it did not cover his full debt to the Bank of America (at least according to its initial variant available to us from the Wrap articles), was giving Michael little liquidity, was reducing his stake in the Sony/ATV catalog to a minimum and was leading to the eventual sale of all his assets including rights to his own songs.

The deal was offered under the attractive cover of Michael Jackson turning into a future “Bill Gates” of the entertainment industry, meaning that he would have a minority stake in a business that would cost many billions.

The January 2004 date of the Wrap article shows us that at that time the project was still under discussion, so Branca must have been still involved in the negotiations over it. This article explains the essence of Goldman Sachs’ proposal:

Inside Secrets of the Goldman Proposal

By Johnnie L. Roberts on December 5, 2010 @ 8:46 pm

…Acting as Jackson’s adviser, Charles Koppelman, the veteran entertainment executive and investor, recruited Goldman Sachs and worked closely with two of its private-equity aces, Gerry Cardinale and Henry Cornell, in crafting the proposal.

Ahead of the proposal, he and Florida businessman Al Malnik also arranged to double — to $70 million — one of Jackson’s two loans with Bank of America, where a Koppelman friend, Jane Heller, happened to handle his and Jackson’s personal accounts.

The confidential Goldman documents detail a proposal with several steps:

>> First, Goldman and Jackson become 50-50 owners in a new company, Music LLC.

>> Next, Music forms a separate company, “Newco,” with new partners — Sony, with its half of the Beatles, and Goldman putting up money.

>> Newco’s assets would be 100 percent of Sony/ATV (the Beatles) and Mijac (Jackson’s hits) and Goldman (more cash).

>> Newco would swallow Warner Music Group’s music publisher, Warner-Chappell, and combine it with Sony-ATV.

A target list also included other publishers — arms of Universal Music Group, BMG or EMI. The goal: industry dominance.

Jackson’s original stake would shrink as more investors entered the Goldman-crafted venture. “Like Bill Gates, Jackson would have a smaller stake in a multibillion-dollar company,” Goldman declared in a talking-point memo dated April 15, 2003.

Within five years, Goldman’s typical time frame for such investments, all would have been monetized in a sale of the venture, most likely to Sony Corp. By Goldman’s projections, Jackson’s share would be $700 million to $1.3 billion.

But backend riches didn’t solve Jackson’s shorter term crisis of repaying the $270 million bank debt. Not to worry. A $135-million Goldman loan would retire the $70-million Bank of America loan and $7-million due Sony. He would catch up on $12 million in overdue monthly bills and have a few million as a cushion.

Goldman planned to repay itself from Jackson’s backend bounty, but it was unclear how he’d repay the remaining $200 million bank loan. This much was clear, however:  If he defaulted, Bank of America could legally force him to sell his share of the venture to Goldman, with the proceeds handed out to the bank.

As Jackson’s putative partner, the Wall Street titan would have hogged much of the power: twice as many shareholder votes as Michael in their jointly-owned Music LLC and eight of 10 board seats — or seven if Jackson’s three picks included Koppelman, whom the secret documents show was as much a partner of Goldman as he was an advisor to Jackson.

A Jan. 7, 2004, term sheet — drafted by Goldman’s lawyers at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz — also granted the Wall Street bank  “drag-along rights … to require MJ-ATV Trust” (with control over Jackson’s Beatles interest) to participate in the contemplated cash-out deal. Drag-along rights prevent a minority partner from sitting out a sale of the company — something Jackson was apt to try to do.

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/inside-secrets-goldman-deal-22479

The sums to be lent by Goldman and Sachs to Michael Jackson are detailed in the attached document called “Goldman Sachs’ Proposal”:

  • Cash of $35 million to pay off $35 million Bank of America Loan secured against MIJAC
  • Cash of $68 million to reduce balance on $200 million Bank of America loan ($132 million balance would remain)
  • Cash of $7 million for pre-payment penalty for the Bank of America loans
  • Cash of $16 million to handle other current obligations
  • Cash of $9 million payable on a monthly basis for the first year.

http://ru.scribd.com/doc/43788454/Jackson-s-Goldman-Loan

However according to another document called “Current MJ Status As We Understand It” the then obligations of Michael Jackson amounted to $254 million and when the initial $35 loan secured by Michael’s own songs was increased to $70 million with the help of Mr. Koppelman and Al Malnik his overall liabilities reached the sum of $289 million which was far too big to be covered by the Goldman Sachs’ proposal:

  • $200 million Bank of America loan, secured by MJ’s Sony-ATV interest with the maturity date of December 20, 2005
  • $35 million Bank of America Loan, secured by MIJAC, Neverland Ranch, MJ personal guarantee and other person propery, with the January 31, 2004 maturity date
  • $12 million current obligations/liabilities
  • $7 million advance from Sony, Signature secured by MIJAC (second lien).

http://www.thewrap.com/sites/default/files/secret-rescue-plan_0.jpg

To put it plainly Goldman Sachs was giving Michael a loan of $135 million which was covering less than half of his debts.

The ultimate price to be paid for it was Michael’s loss of control over all his assets and getting a small stake in his own catalogs. In five years or so it was to be sold for an estimated $700 mln to $1,3 billion.

However the future of the remaining unpaid debt was unclear and even if the sale of his stake left him some money, all the assets would be gone including the rights to his own songs. Nothing would be left for Michael’s children.

In terms of cash the proposal meant that Michael was to receive $1million every month for the first year and $3,5 million per year ($300,000 a month) for the  next 5 years. Goldman Sachs was to receive the annual fee of $5,5 million per year which as John Branca pointed out in his letter as too high.

Now that we’ve learned a little about the terms of the proposed deal Branca’s objections to the deal become clearer to us:

  • He wanted Goldman Sachs to take responsibility for MJ’s full $270 mln debt (“It needs to be clarified that Goldman Sachs and/or the venture will take over responsibility for the Bank of America loans up to $270 million and Michael will have no further responsibility with respect thereto”).
  • In addition to paying off all the loans he wanted significant cash for Michael as otherwise the deal was not justified (“Merely paying off Michael’s loan obligations without allocating significant cash to him is obviously an insufficient valuation of his publishing interests to justify this transaction”).
  • He wanted Michael to have some control over the venture and more than two seats in the seven seat board membership, as well as an exit strategy for Michael enabling him to receive a fair market value in case he wanted to exit the venture.

In short Branca was trying hard to work out the best terms for Michael in the deal. However the Wrap series presented his efforts in extremely vague terms:

But some might conclude that Branca is no hero at all. A proposal in 2003 that would have sold Jackson’s interests in the Beatles’ and Mijac catalogues to the investment bank Goldman Sachs would lead some to question Branca’s role in Jackson’s business affairs.

The response sent to the Wrap article by Branca’s lawyer was:

“While the Goldman proposal might have divested Michael Jackson of his interest in the Beatles and MIJAC catalogues in the long run, it would have created a larger entity that increased the value of his interests. If sold, Branca’s fee would have gone to his firm, not directly into his pocket. Branca advised Jackson that he would be giving up too much control based on the proposal and Jackson vetoed the deal.”

But the best of the Wrap story is its ending. The article said that the deal took more than a year in the making and by the time it collapsed Branca was fired. To prove the point the article refers us… to the February 2003 letter discontinuing Branca’s services and to the so-called “Secret Probe that got him fired” dated April 2003:

Alas, the Goldman deal, more than a year in the making, got no further than the paper on which it was written. Rather, it was scuttled by Jackson against a backdrop of behind-the-scenes hijinks that seemed to mirror his final sad decade, which roiled with scandals, a criminal trial, epic debt and an ever-rotating inner circle.

The bank, which wouldn’t comment specifically on its planning to “drag” Jackson into a transaction, concluded: “We ultimately decided not to pursue the acquisition of these assets.”

As for Branca, by the time the deal collapsed, the superlawyer had been fired.

See Jackson’s letter to Branca: You’re fired.

Read: The Secret Probe That Got Branca Fired

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/michael-jackson-1-can-john-branca-save-jackson-again-22420

The Wrap article wrapped it up very nicely of course, only the negotiations of the Goldman Sachs deal spanned over the whole year of 2003/2004 while the letter firing Branca is dated February 2003 and the so-called “secret probe” was in April the same year, after which Branca was still advising Michael in the Goldman Sachs’ deal and Michael was even listening to him.

So our conclusion is that as a very minimum Michael rehired him back.

GOLDMAN SACHS IS OUT. ENTER FORTRESS INVESTMENT GROUP

Branca’s legal representation was stopped in April 2006 as we now know from the “Bahrain” agreement. We also know that at least a year before that John Branca must have been still involved in the Goldman Sachs deal as the negotiations lasted until April 2005 when the deal was off.

The April 14, 2005 Fox article announced that the deal was to be signed in the next few days and if we are to believe their sources Goldman Sachs was pressed so hard (by Branca) that now they agreed to pay all Michael Jackson’s debts.

This point I am a little doubtful of, but as to the final figures in the deal we lack the respective documents and therefore have to rely on the highly unreliable Roger Friedman:

Published April 14, 2005

FoxNews.com

A deal to extricate Michael Jackson from his perilous financial situation is at hand.

I can tell you exclusively that the deal Jackson is being offered must be signed in the next few days, or he really will have his proverbial head on the chopping block.

I’m told Jackson will likely be presented with a deal sculpted by what I call his “permanent government” of lawyers and advisers, not the many shady characters who’ve come and gone over the years.

This “government” includes music publisher Charles Koppelman (who’s also on the boards of Martha Stewart and Steve Madden’s companies), attorneys John Branca and Al Malnik, Jane Heller of Bank of America and private investors represented by Goldman Sachs.

In return, all his debts will be paid off, including $270 million in loans from Bank of America, all the debt piled up at his Neverland ranch and all loans against his own Mijac Music Publishing, which owns Jackson hits such as “Billie Jean” and “Beat It,” as well as songs by Sly and the Family Stone and others.

Jackson will wind up with somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million in cash, I am told. He will still reap a $7 million to $8 million annual income as well. He’ll also get some income from Sony/ATV.

Sources point out that Mijac is now worth around $100 million, and will be an even better asset once it’s free from debt.

..Bank of America has, according to sources, lost its patience over his mounting debt. If for some reason he doesn’t accept this latest proposal, I am told that he will really be in a dire situation.

Jackson, mind you, is not likely to sign this deal. Insiders tell me that he’s encouraged his fans to spread the word that he’s the victim of a “conspiracy.”

My sources also say that Jackson considers Branca one of the “conspirators,” since his former attorney would reap a 5 percent commission on this sale — almost three times as much money as Jackson will make.

But push has come to shove, to use a cliché, and Jackson is unlikely to find a better deal.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/04/14/jacko-must-make-beatles-sale/

Friedman says that in that period of time Michael was distrustful of Branca, and either for this reason or because Michael was afraid to lose full control over his assets (as Branca warned him against) or because he didn’t want to ultimately sell his assets as the Goldman Sachs proposal envisaged it, or because a better deal was offered to him, but their project was not accepted and the very next month, in May 2005 the Bank of America loans were sold to Fortress Investment Group.

This was done via Prescient Acquisitions Group who wanted for their services $48 million (eventually their claim had to be settled by Michael Jackson for an undisclosed sum). The ultimate maker of the deal was Dan Stadler, the advisor hired by Randy Jackson.

Now we know that at least since November 2004 the negotiations with Goldman Sachs and Fortress Investment group were running parallel to each other, and something tells me that Randy Jackson did not consult the lawyer John Branca as to the possible outcome of that deal – which I personally consider a big mistake:

The original Jackson-Prescient-Fortress deal went down in May 2005 while Jackson stood trial in Santa Maria, Calif., for child molestation.

But, unbeknownst to anyone, the negotiations had actually begun in  November 2004.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,258016,00.html#ixzz24mdWSKzU

So while Branca was working on the Goldman Sachs deal Michael was pressed by his brother and his advisor Don Stabler to look into a different direction.

Eventually it was their advice that he listened too, especially since Branca was warning Michael that the Goldman Sachs deal was not flawless either as he would lose control over his assets there (and would have to finally sell them too).

The NY Daily News article says that pressure to enter into a deal (with Fortress Investment group) was exercised on Michael during the bathroom breaks in the 2005 trial:

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2007, 4:00 AM

…But during breaks in the trial, Jackson says he was being pressured to sign off on a multimillion-dollar financing deal by Don Stabler, an associate brought in by brother Randy, his go-to guy on financial matters during much of his career.

Jackson initially took a liking to Stabler after Randy introduced them.

“He reminded me of people that live in mid-America like Indiana,” Jackson testified.

Stabler was persistent, at one point during the trial sending a message through one of Jackson’s Nation of Islam security guards that questioned the singer’s faithfulness to his African-American heritage.

It was a sore point for someone who has denied he purposely lightened his skin.

By then, Jackson had turned to Burkle, the billionaire pal of former President Bill Clinton, for financial help. Burkle brought in Jesse Jackson, who’s known Michael Jackson since his Jackson 5 days, to help with the consultation.

Burkle was calling him on the cell phone during bathroom breaks, warning him not to sign anything, Michael Jackson said. Stabler wasn’t happy, Jackson said.

“[Stabler] said, ‘What’s the problem? You’re not down, you’re with the Jews now. You’re not down with blacks anymore,’” Jackson testified.

“It was unkind,” Jackson added. “It was mean. It was meanspirited. It was nasty. Simply because he couldn’t get me to sign something that he wanted me to sign.“

The next time Jackson saw Stabler “he wanted to take my head off.” And his brother Randy wasn’t too happy, either.

Randy later claimed that Jackson and his staff had run up a $700,000 bill on his American Express card during the trial, which Jackson said he would repay.

It wasn’t the first time that Stabler teamed with Randy in trying to get him to sign off on a deal, Jackson claimed.

…Jackson made his comments when he was grilled by lawyers for the Hackensack, N.J., finance company that is suing the singer in Manhattan Federal Court. The firm, Prescient Acquisition, is owned by businessman Darien Dash, who claims Jackson stiffed his company out of $48 million.

According to Dash’s lawyer Steven Altman, Dash was due the money for helping Jackson refinance a $272 million bank loan and secure $573 million in financing to buy out Sony’s half of the Beatles’ song catalogue that Jackson co-owned.

But Jackson claimed he’s never heard of Dash, a cousin of hip-hop impresario Damon Dash, and doesn’t remember signing any agreement.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/world-jax-robbers-article-1.225010

A year later, in April 2006 Fortress was threatening to acquire Michael’s stake in the Sony/ATV catalog if he did not pay back the debt bought from the Bank of America in May 2005 (with their added highway robbery interest on the loan), and it was Sony who came to Michael’s help and refinanced the deal with a $300 million loan from the Barclay’s bank.

To facilitate the refinancing deal in the “Bahrain” agreement mentioned above Branca gave up the right to a 5% fee to which his company was entitled since the time Michael merged his Beatles catalog with Sony, and sold this right back to Michael for $15 million as Joe Jackson’s court documents state it.

From the later developments we know that the refinancing scheme was a temporary one as it satisified Fortress’s hunger for two years only and in May 2008 they came after Michael’s assets again, at least in respect of Neverland. In came Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital who are in the same business as Fortress and who know each other perfectly well. The rest of it is known to you.

THE 5% FEE

Excerpt from Joe Jackson's case against Branca

Excerpt from Joe Jackson’s case against Branca

Joe Jackson claims that “Branca’s 5% Interest in Michael Jackson’s Performances and Sony/ATV Disqualify Him from Being the Executor”. His reasoning is the following one:

“Michael Jackson signed various retainer agreement with Branca and his firm in 1993 through 1998. In those agreements, Branca took 5% of the proceeds of Michael Jackson’s businesses and performances, and then, without further entitlement, a 5% ownership interest in the Sony/ATV catalog royalties, all of which were the subject matter of his representation. Branca took a percentage of Michael Jackson’s business proceeds without regard to the work performed.

Excerpts from Joe Jackson's case against Branca

Excerpts from Joe Jackson’s case against Branca

These contract for representation not only constituted conflicts of interest, but also violated Branca’s duties as a lawyer by taking an interest in the subject matter of the representation. The Sony/ATV catalogue has been valued in excess of $1 billion for Mr. Jackson, and a 5% interest represented an unearned fee of $50 million, plus the distributions attributed to that 5% interest.

…In April, 2006, Michael Jackson paid Branca $15 million to get back his 5% interest in the Sony/ATV catalogue. When Branca filed his Petition to be Executor of Michael Jackson’s Estate, he concealed from the Court this multimillion dollar transaction and material profiting from the 5% interest in Michael Jackson’s business.”

I have several objections to the above.

First of all by the year 2009 the fee of 5% had long been not paid to Branca or his firm in accordance with the “Bahrain” agreement of April 2006.

Second, there is a document attached to Joe Jackson’s papers saying that Branca had waived his right to that fee even earlier, when Michael was obtaining a loan from the Bank of America National Trust & Savings Association and Branca wanted to facilitate that loan transaction. The document dated the year 1998 says that the firm would waive payment of the 5% fee “through September 2005” with respect to future “guaranteed advances” and the “put price”. Under the same document the fee sum of $2, 275,000 payable to them was also to be discounted to $1,864,200.

In 1998 Branca waived the right to his fee "through  September 2005"

In 1998 Branca waived the right to his fee “through September 30, 2005”

For what period the discounted sum was charged and whether the fee was waived fully or partially, for good or for a limited period of time, I have no idea.

But you will still agree that the general impression of Branca’s offer makes a decided difference from everything we’ve ever read about Michael’s other associates.

None of them ever gave up their right to charge Michael for money and none of them gave him any discounts.

Almost all of them sued him at the first opportunity presenting itself and this even despite their big friendship with Michael and their ardent love for him (like Dieter Wiesner, for example).

And Branca is offering to waive the right to his fee for several years and is discounting the money owed to him?

My third objection is that Joe Jackson’s papers make it unclear what he means by the 5 percent. On the one hand he calls it “an interest in the royalties”, and on the other hand he says that Branca’s share was $50mln in comparison with the catalog costing $1 billion which implies that Branca’s firm had a 5% stake in the catalog itself.

But this very statement from Joe Jackson makes me exclaim that even if Branca had a $50 million stake in the catalog, the $15 million price he charged for it means that he sold it at one third of its market price!

He could have surely sold it to the other side (Sony) and they would have gladly paid the required $50 million to have a stake bigger than Michael’s by a full 10 percent and changing it into 55% for themselves and 45% for MJ – however Branca never did it.

The Wrap series also claims that Branca had a 5% stake in the Sony/ATV catalogue, and while both they and Joe Jackson are trying hard to prove that Branca is a profiteer, the facts are testifying exactly to the opposite.

If Branca was charging a fee, we know that he gave it up for a considerable period of time. And if it was his stake in the catalog he sold it back to Michael for a purely nominal sum.

IF 5% WAS A STAKE

The Wrap article tells us how that 5% came about.

After cancelling the Dangerous tour Michael owed the tour promoters a fortune and one of his lawyers suggested selling the Beatles catalog for $75 million. Branca advised him against it and instead arranged a merge with Sony which brought Michael $150million cash from Sony. This is when he asked for a 5% fee on the deal which amounted to $7,5mln (which in my opinion, was a fair price for so big a profit).

The Wrap article says:

…Three years later, Branca got a phone call. “Branca, it’s Michael. You think I should sell half of ATV Music for $75 million?”’

One of several lawyers was proposing just that, to raise cash, which Jackson was in dire need of. The child molestation scandal, which had exploded earlier that year, would ultimately cost him $20 million in a private settlement. He owed promoters a fortune after suspending a world tour. Neverland was draining cash. What’s more, he was addicted to prescription drugs.

Branca realized he had an opening to return to Jackson’s side. He’d come back and fix everything — but this time it would cost Jackson up front: 5 percent of ATV Music (the Beatles), as he had proposed before his firing.

The woeful Jackson assented.

But even though they would reunite, the old relationship was never to be again. Branca would now find himself to be just one more member in the rotating cast of characters in Jackson’s life.

And with Branca now owning the 5 percent stake, Jackson became paranoid that his lawyer would want him to sell his song rights.

On the other hand, Branca did see an ATV transaction with Sony as an answer to Jackson’s cash crisis. But instead of an outright sale, he proposed a merger of Sony’s music publishing operations and ATV.

Thus, in 1995, Branca pulled off another coup: Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Jackson owned half of a much larger company, and pocketed a $150-million check from Sony. If Branca were entitled to 5 percent, his take totaled $7.5 million.

Estimates of its value range from $1.6 to $2 billion, and in recent years it generated operating cash of $100 million to $130 million a year, according to the New York Times.The publishing income alone, which Sony and the Jackson estate divvy up, should acount for tens of millions a year in estate income — as it used to for Jackson.

Yet, amazingly, his financial woes would only worsen. By 2003, he owed $270 million alone to the Bank of America in two massive loans through MJ ATV Publishing Trust, which owned Michael’s Sony-ATV stake, and MJ Publishing Trust, which controlled Mijac, repository of Michael’s songs. If Jackson defaulted on either loan, he could be forced to sell the songs to Sony, with the bank collecting the proceeds.

…Finally, Bank of America threw in the towel, selling the loan (and Beatles collateral) to Fortress investment, which charged Jackson double-digit interest rates. Utter disaster, however, was staved off only by a bailout arranged by Sony, which guaranteed a $300 million Barclay’s loan.

In 2006, Jackson’s and Branca’s on-again, off-again relationship hit a new low. Branca quit Michael this time in what, according to two top music industry executives familiar with the situation, was a broader dispute.

They suggest that Branca, Michael and Sony clashed over the lawyer’s 5 percent when it became a complication in Michael’s bail-out. The settlement: Branca sold it back for millions of dollars.

(A lawyer for Branca responds:

“Branca’s fee was not an issue. Branca settled his equity in those assets in which he had an interest for much less than its fair market value.”)

http://www.thewrap.com/media/article/michael-jackson-4-brancas-fired-rehired-fired-22423

I absolutely agree. If it was really a stake in the catalog he sold it for much less than its fair market value.

IF 5% WAS A FEE

letter of 1993 on fee arrangementBranca’s letter of 1993 about a fee is attached to Joe Jackson’s papers. It was written exactly at the time described by the Wrap article.

This was evidently the moment when the merge with Sony was contemplated and Michael Jackson was rehiring Branca as his General Counsel in music, television and home video businesses as well as real estate acquisitions.

Branca's letter of 1993 on the future fee arrangement

Branca’s letter of 1993 on the future fee arrangement

The letter specifies the fee arrangement with Michael and says that it will be 5% from all his proceeds received by Michael beginning with next year.

If he tours and bears the show costs appropriate deductions will be made.  The fee will not include litigation costs.

In short its text does not have even a suggestion of Branca aspiring to have a stake in the future Sony/ATV catalog:

RE: Fee Arrangement

Dear Michael,

The purpose of this letter is to confirm our fee arrangement with you and your various companies. We shall render services for you as your general counsel in the music business (an, ancillary to music, in the television and home video business). We shall render services in other areas (such as real estate acquisitions) as we shall mutually agree upon. You shall have the right to terminate our services at any time.

During the term of our engagement, we shall receive five percent (5%) of any gross monies actually received by you or any related entity from songwriting and music publishing (including the publishing companies comprising ATV and Mijac), recording, television, home video programs, merchandising, personal appearances, commercial endorsements, sponsorship and from the operation, sale and/or other disposition of any assets owned by you or any such entity; provided, however, that excluded from the foregoing commission shall be personal appearances, engagements and sponsorships performed in 1993. If you tour, we will work out appropriate deductions for any show costs, as that term is contently understood (e.g., sound and light), that you are required to bear.

Notwithstanding the foregoing our commission fee with respect to recording income shall commence in connection and simultaneous with the renegotiation of your Sony Records contract with respect to the delivery of a studio or a “Greatest Hits” album; and our commission with respect to your Mijac publishing income shall also commence simultaneous therewith.

The foregoing compensation does not include out-of-pocket costs; such as travel, telefaxes, messengers, photocopying and long-distance phone calls. These costs will be billed periodically. In addition, the retainer does not include any services which this firm does not customarily provide, such as litigation, tax, securities or trademark representation. We do not typically bill the five percent (5%) fee. Instead, we depend upon clients and their business managers to send us checks as and when income received.

We believe that this fee arrangement is fair and reasonable under California law, including the California Rule of Professional Conduct. We urge you to consult, if you wish, with an independent lawyer of your choice about this fee arrangement. If you or any independent lawyer have any questions about this fee arrangement, please fell free to call me.

If you wish to discuss the foregoing, please feel free to call me. Otherwise, please sign a copy of this letter below and return it to me.

Kindest regards,

John G. Branca

Agreed to and accepted

Michael Jackson

Some of you will say that paying 5% of all proceeds for the work of a General Counsel in music, television, home video businesses and real estate acquisitions is too big a commission.

I will disagree because others around Michael did not do a fraction of what was done by John Branca but still demanded 15% and more for a mere bringing the parties together (Tohme).

Or charged 10% for “promoting” the This is it tour the tickets for which sold within minutes without them moving even their little finger (AEG) and charged the additional 5% as a Producer’s fee (I am talking of the AEG official figures only).

Or asked for $5 million for his part in making a This is it film upon which he had no bearing at all (Dileo).

Repeating the words of LeGrand, a one-time Michael Jackson’s lawyer who testified at the 2005 trial, let me say that I’m not concerned about people making money, but I am concerned when people want excessive amounts in relation to their contribution. Branca’s contribution seems to me quite a substantial one and a justified one at that.

So when I receive comments like the recent one implying that Branca exploited Michael Jackson and just made money off his back:

  • “Whenever anyone wants to consider who made money off of Michael’s back during his lifetime and after, the firm of Ziffren Brittenham must be placed at the top of that list.”

All I want to do in reply is shrug my shoulders and ask:

REALLY?

.

88 Comments leave one →
  1. lynande51 permalink
    February 27, 2015 10:51 am

    After reading the one email that you provided I have to ask what was being sold.Was it the Sony Motion Picture catalogue or the Sony/ATV Music Publishing Catalogue because there Martin Bandelier is in fact asking to that the current Sony/ATV administration remain as administrators for at least a term of five years by anyone buying the Sony Motion Pictures catalogue.

    Like

  2. lynande51 permalink
    February 27, 2015 9:55 am

    In other words MJ is Sony and Sony is MJ. That is what a 50/50 partnership is.

    Like

  3. lynande51 permalink
    February 27, 2015 9:52 am

    Yes and well he should be a representative in any sale of the Sony catalogue since Michael Jackson’s percentage of that catalogue is 50 %. The fact that they were discussing it without including him is for them to explain not him
    It is time that the anti Sony group to stop. It was a moment in time that is now past. Michael didn’t ” hate ” Sony. He “hated” the leadership that was present at the time. He named the person. The person was Tommy Mottola and he is long gone from Sony after he was fired in January of 2003.

    Like

  4. February 26, 2015 12:52 pm

    John Branca “doing business with Sony while representing MJ” , proved by emails that talks about a John Branca looking to work for sony/offering his service to sony/representing sony , while representing/working for/owning at the same time MJ

    http://m.imgur.com/wjm02rr

    Like

  5. February 25, 2015 5:50 pm

    There is nothing normal in pointing finger to any other lawyer and busine$$ advisor that have been around Michael Jackson , but ignore the lawyer , John Branca, that owns MJ in death. There is any sort of excuse to point finger at any other lawyer and business associate with the goal to defend Branca and not questioning anything Branca did and he keeps doing around MJ.

    I want to see how many people will ignore this fact regarding John Branca.

    Sony Pictures Music Publishing Catalog administered (is “captive”) by Sony/ATV

    http://www.docdroid.net/oanp/re-music-publishing-revenue.pdf.html

    How does it sounds that Branca contacted SONY Picture, asking them to represent them in selling Sony Picture Music Catalog , catalog captive to Sony/ATV?

    http://www.docdroid.net/oanp/re-music-publishing-revenue.pdf.html

    Didn’t Sony/ATV’s ppl have to give the OK to Sony Pictures for them to be able to sell the Sony Picture Music Publishing Catalog, because the catalog was administered by Sony/ATV?

    How much does it stinks that a lawyer that MJ distrusted and fired for misconduct for doing business with Sony while representing him, is doing the same , while MJ is gone?

    Like

  6. November 15, 2013 9:40 pm

    Helena, you said, “…after the deal fell through Branca was accused of trying to make big profit from it by working for Michael too hard. Utterly twisted logic, but how very typical when you are hell bent on smearing someone!”

    There was a blog not long ago by MJTruthNow on this most ironic tendency of some in the fan community (no less) to ignore inconvenient facts that don’t support their agenda or particular ideology, especially around Michael Jackson’s Estate.

    http://mjtruthnow1.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/inconvenient-truth-an-issue-for-some-bloggers-in-the-mj-community/

    There is no question that some bloggers have constructed echo chambers for themselves and their followers, where the truth is certainly NOT the goal, but more an impediment to different goals…

    Like

  7. okunuga permalink
    November 15, 2013 2:53 pm

    Maybe i mis-understood the points you made but please show me the link that shows where michael said he didn’t trust John branca anymore and pls do not quote randy,latoya or jermaine and i will totally agree with you and apologise.

    Like

  8. Sina permalink
    November 15, 2013 1:37 pm

    ‘but like you rightly said the Estate is still in good hands compere to the JACKSONS because judging by their actions so far something tells me they would have sold PPB’s inheritance by now through bad business decisions,greed and short sightedness ”

    Read again. Those are your words not mine. I dont think the childrens inheritance should be in the hands of someone who their father did not trust ,who was disloyal to him and lied about his health. He protected the ones who contributed to Michaels stress and deterioration. Money is not all that counts.

    .

    Like

  9. okunuga permalink
    November 15, 2013 12:36 pm

    SINA I could not have agreed more with your explanations especially in regards to the suppose re-hiring of john branca,but like you rightly said the Estate is still in good hands compere to the JACKSONS because judging by their actions so far something tells me they would have sold PPB’s inheritance by now through bad business decisions,greed and short sightedness.

    Like

  10. Mitnik permalink
    November 14, 2013 2:51 pm

    Vindicatemj (Helena)
    “I don’t side with people. I side with the truth.”

    Me to! And the truth is that Branca was playing on the side of Sony against Michael. And perhaps from the very beginning for this…

    Like

  11. Sina permalink
    November 14, 2013 12:43 pm

    “Michael’s Estate, which is the children’s inheritance, paying to have his memory dragged, his medical privacy violated and his children hurt is an unsavory proposition at best IMO. Unfortunately, this may be the ultimate reality.”

    I can only guess the motive to ignore Kjs inheritance of the son she bore and raised , but the ‘ultimate reality’ is that she has a majority share in the Michael Jackson Family Trust: 50% of the remaining after the 20% for the charities ,Michael decided should go to the Katherine Jackson Trust and the other 50% to the Children’s Trust. If not settled yet she is entitled to the equivalent of it in estate income. The will provides to “lend trust funds to any beneficiary and to persons partnerships corporations and trusts etc. ” So any loan to KJ is in accordance with the trust and not a favor.
    KJ is a strong woman who seems determined to see all three of her grandchildren grow up to become the men and woman Michael envisioned and I am sure her grandchildren wish the same. All the money in the world however will not make up for her and the childrens loss and the garbage thrown at her, so there is no need to envy her.
    As for the medical privacy, I do not think it is OK, but every possible disease Michael did or didnt have , drug , medication , surgery is extensively discussed on fan forums , by his doctors in talkshows and tabloids and was the main topic in the criminal case. Photos of his head surgery are on auction online, his autopsy report is public , and worse of all , his death and autopsy photos were published by the prosecutor for no reason other than shock value. To blame the civil trial for it and ignore that AEG called a myriad of doctors to imprint the drugg addict image in our collective minds is moot. Nothing could have hurt the children more than losing the only parent they knew , having witnessed who were involved and see them lie and manipulate the truth on the stand.

    Helena, I see what you try to prove, and I can agree to a certain extent, but as you have to rely on unnamed sources and tabloids and half of the authentic documents is missing , there is no way to make a real reconstruction how everything went about the loans.
    Re defending Branca, I will stick to what we have in terms of evidence or probability and I personally come out with a different conclusion.
    The executors are not only to clear the debts as you said, but their work depend on the terms of the will . Michaels estate is not average,he had many businesses , staff, contracts, assets that generate ongoing income and longstanding obligations . The terms of his estate require of the executors to “‘continue any business enterprises, to purchase assets, etc. . ‘ so to keep the business going, for which they are allowed to “employ custodians, attorneys, accountants , investment counselors to assist in the administration of the trust estate’…. From the accountings of 2010-2011 we know that a substantial amount went to attorneys Weizman an Katz $4.28 mio and $3.71mio, apart from the executors’ compensation and their producer fees on Michael products and the royalties they will gain from them for decades. This is not ALL FOR LOVE , the managing of Michaels estate is a goldmine and the most lucrative job an attorney can wish for. And considering the terms of the will and Trust , this could be a lifetime insurance for the lawyers , even more secure than it is for the children, whose Trust( the amount) has an open end.

    On the topic whether Branca was rehired in june 2009 or not: There is reason why a contract never emerged . How I see it , he was indeed hired, not by Michael but in the same way as Murray, by AEG. He was a follow up of Tohme who AEG thought was not the real McCoy, because he didn’t succeed to get the insurance policy. JBs strange involvement with Loyds , seem like an extension of the obligation he ‘ínherited ‘ from Tohme. First of all, Michael was not in the position to hire anyone, even his private staff was hired and controlled by AEG. From all accounts ( RPs statements in the Wrap article, responses of Weizman and Katz to Sullivans questions , Michaels notes ) it is clear that it was Branca who approached AEG – he didn’t approach Michael – to be part of the This is it deal. It was convenient for AEG to hire him because of the conflict of Katz representing both Michael and AEG. Dileo who had access to Michael again since the 2005 trial, was used as an intermediary to get JB back in Michaels grace . His claim of € 5 mio for the vague position he had, seems extreme, but could very well be what he was promised for his mediation. Hence his resentment towards the estate, especially against McClain who might not have been aware of the AEG deal with Dileo/Branca. RPs statements(the Wrap article) about the Katz conflict and introducing JB, because he knew ‘the bodies in the sony closet’, seals the deal for me. But what RP didn’t say is that Branca knew not only sony’s closet but also Michaels businesses abilities AND vulnerabilities, which could come in handy for AEG.and it did. If JB was rehired by Michael, he would not need Tohme and Dileo to( fraudulently ?) sign off to reimburse AEGs questionable advance only days after Michael died. He could have signed it himself or wait till the will was in probate and the executors were installed. Which is another story.

    Most compelling to me is the public statement by the executors that they do not support the KJ vs AEG case, which would and did expose more than they wanted us to know. eg Branca’s public statements about Michaels health. He was a witness to Michaels deterioration and lied to protect AEG. But what makes the statement so unusual is the hostility towards the clients who they represent. In the normal world a CEO who makes a statement like that against the shareholders would be exit. But they get away with it because the terms of the will- drafted by Branca’s firm- gives them full reign without the possibility to be challenged and terminated. To make sure that everything they did would stay under lock and key, Weizman even filed additional objections against request for information by KJs lawyers . What more information does one need to see that Branca is knee deep involved with AEG? After what we know about AEG how can you defend that?

    I have read Sullivans book and though there is a lot of insinuation and statements that are easily proven false, he also has some great observations that are supported by(court) documents, and explains very well the reason why we never saw Branca’s contract with AEG.

    “…:the Estate and its attorneys had been given far greater reason for concern by the request Sanders (KJs lawyer)had made for “all supporting documents” of the “Second Account Current” the Estate has filed with Judge Beckloff, covering the period between November 1, 2010 and December 31, 2011, WITH A PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON ITS DEALINGS CONNECTED TO AEG AND ON THIRD PARTY PAYMENTS . Branca and Weitzman certainly were smart enough to see where this was heading. On August 20, the estate had filed 9 separate objections to Sanders’ request for documents, characterizing it as “vague and ambiguous” and “unduly burdensome.” The estate’s lawyers also claimed that some of the information sought by Katherine was “highly confidential” or was protected by attorney-client privilege and as attorney-work product. The demand Sanders had made on Mrs J’s behalf clearly infringed upon Branca and McClain’s “rights to privacy,” argued the estate’s attorneys, who also objected to the demand for documents in the “control of third parties” and assumed “existence of such documents” without proof that they did, in fact, exist.”

    If you have nothing to hide, why so secretive about your modus operandi towards the people who you work for .
    I will never understand the adagio that the amount of money generated ( which needs to be seen with the IRS claim) defines the credibility and integrity of someone. What does it say of AEG, a billion dollar company ?
    Ido not question Branca’s business skills , connections and the ruthlessness needed to manage an estate like Michaels, more than any of Michaels familymembers. But I do question his integrity, his honesty and loyalty towards Michael and the beneficiries.
    It makes me sick that Branca profiles himself as a savior of Michaels children and Michael as a loser who spent all his money and was half a billion in debt, which was never substantiated by any document. Not that he didn’t have debts, but he also had assets worth twice the debts.

    On a spiritual level I think being surrounded by all these people who he had once cut off his life, there were too many bad vibes entering Michaels aura. For a sensitive man in such a vulnerable position, there was no way he would come out of this alive.

    Like

  12. November 14, 2013 3:19 am

    Helena, the “Notice of Appeal” apparently is not for the verdict.
    Alan Duke tweeted:

    Contrary to reports, the Jackson appeal of the jury verdict in the AEG trial has NOT been filed – just an appeal of a judge’s ruling.

    Judge signed the judgment only today, starting the 60 days Jacksons have to file appeal notice of jury verdict.

    The Jackson’s appeal notice filed LAST WEEK related to the dismissal of Phillips and Gongaware from the case — not the jury verdict.

    Like

  13. November 14, 2013 2:50 am

    Finally a blog that tells the truth…. I’m so over reading the negative about Branca.. He has done much to increase the Estate finances and pay of much of the dept. Everything I have researched on Branca points to a man who is honest and had Michael’s best interests at heart. His business and friendship with Michael spans almost 30 years. The family has a split opinion because Michael supported most of them all of his life. He decided to NOT support them after his death. They are hurting. Its understandable because they where left out of his will.. He did the right thing, left it to his children and mother while she is alive. It’s not to hard to understand, after all when I pass over, thats who will get my trust, my children, not my brother or my parents. After all, who ever has those kids, has the money.

    Like

  14. November 13, 2013 10:48 am

    Different opinions about worth of trial in terms of the cost…ESP in regards to the children. And I wonder how many of those important insights would have been learned if either settlement offer had been successful. No trial, no testimony…just money silencing the longed for truth.

    Like

  15. November 12, 2013 4:51 pm

    This sounds interesting:

    The law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder will celebrate the career of Michael Jackson with a screening of ‘This Is It’ at the Bijou Theatre. Koskoff attorneys who helped represent the Jackson family will hold a question-and-answer session afterwards to give attendees a glimpse into the Jackson family, the life and death of Michael Jackson, and the recent wrongful death suit against the concert promoter that hired the cardiologist who administered a fatal dose of medication to Jackson. Also discussed will be scenes from the movie that were not made public.
    “Michael Jackson was a legend who was taken from the world far too soon,” said Michael Koskoff, partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder and trial attorney in the case. “This is an opportunity to share the never-before-known truth about Michael Jackson’s death, and the making of ‘This Is It.’”

    http://stratford.patch.com/groups/announcements/p/michael-jackson-lawyers-to-screen-this-is-it

    Like

  16. November 12, 2013 4:36 pm

    “Again, I had NO opinion of Branca until I researched the AEG situation and his general conduct of MJ’s business. He’s in it up to his elbows. If fans had not been vigilant, by posting their doubts and objections, he probably would have quietly delivered MJ’s assets, including the Sony/ATV catalog, to MJ’s enemies, under the guise of ‘generating income’ to the estate.” – Simba

    No comment. Life will show which of us is right.

    Like

  17. November 12, 2013 4:33 pm

    “I don’t know exactly what it means, we don’t have a document yet, but it probably means that the court was notified that an appeal will be filed.” – Susanne

    Oh, I see it! I hope that it is what we think it is.

    11/08/2013 Notice of Appeal
    Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

    Like

  18. simba permalink
    November 12, 2013 2:05 pm

    Helena, I am not letting AEG off the hook by commenting on Branca. On the contrary, Branca has been complicit in AEG’s wrongdoing – he’s a huge part of the story. One of his first acts as executor was to give AEG $30,000,000 of MJ’s money, based on a fake document signed by two crooks. EVERYONE involved at AEG knew that To me and Dileo had no standing to authorize this huge payment, and so did Branca; he’s no naive first year associate. According to their own questionable accounting, AEG only spent $24,000,000 on This Is It. They shouldn’t have spent that much – MJ’s contract specified that he had to personally sign off on any expenditure over $7,500,000, but this provision was ignored. If Branca was looking out for Jackson interests, he would have refused to pay and force AEG to prove their claim was legitimate, as he has done with many others.

    As the supervising attorney of record, Branca was responsible for the shoddy work done by his firm on MJ’s will and estate plan. Branca was Michael Jackson’s attorney, not some low level associate.

    The information on the leslie blog is not top secret. It’s part of the public record which anyone can access. The writer saw the initials PPB and assumed it referred to “Prince Paris and Blanket”, with no proof whatsoever. Why would the estate set up mysterious LLCs to transfer funds to MJ’s children? They already have (empty) trust funds for that purpose. Considering the enormous sums earned by their father’s artistry, $10,000,000 is a paltry sum, but f Branca had transferred any money to them, Weitzman would have trumpeted it to the rooftops. And it would have been part of the court record. The blogger does not cite any record of this transfer. Who or whatever PPB refers to, there’s no evidence this has anything to do with the Jackson estate.

    If MJ’s estate had been handled properly and not gone to probate, fans might have complained or been curious, but so what? By his bungling, Branca has cost MJ’s children millions upon millions in taxes that should have been avoided. MJ’s wealth and estate complexity was not unprecedented or unusual, especially in Hollywood. MANY directors, studio heads, even other performers have comparable assets. The idea that these poor little attorneys were in over their heads is ludicrous.

    Again, I had NO opinion of Branca until I researched the AEG situation and his general conduct of MJ’s business. He’s in it up to his elbows. If fans had not been vigilant, by posting their doubts and objections, he probably would have quietly delivered MJ’s assets, including the Sony/ATV catalog, to MJ’s enemies, under the guise of ‘generating income’ to the estate.

    Like

  19. November 12, 2013 1:59 pm

    Helena, apparently there was a „Notice of Appeal“ filed on last Friday in the AEG case. Go to this site:
    http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/civilcasesummarynet/ui/index.aspx?CT=CI
    and write the case number BC445597 in the blank space and scroll down to the case information. You can read:
    11/08/2013 Notice of Appeal

    I don’t know exactly what it means, we don’t have a document yet, but it probably means that the court was notified that an appeal will be filed.

    Like

  20. November 12, 2013 1:42 pm

    “Michael’s Estate, which is the children’s inheritance, paying to have his memory dragged, his medical privacy violated and his children hurt is an unsavory proposition at best IMO. Unfortunately, this may be the ultimate reality.” -layne4

    On the other hand there was a chance to know the real conditions in which Michael had to work and if it hadn’t been for the trial we would still be thinking that Michael died feeling elated about every new coming day and that it was all hugs and kisses with dear AEG.

    In short I understand both why the Estate didn’t want this trial and why they gave Katherine money for it.

    Like

  21. November 12, 2013 1:29 pm

    Michael’s Estate, which is the children’s inheritance, paying to have his memory dragged, his medical privacy violated and his children hurt is an unsavory proposition at best IMO. Unfortunately, this may be the ultimate reality.

    Like

  22. November 12, 2013 12:57 pm

    “It may be possible that Michael’s Estate is/was approached to pay these legal fees.” – layne4

    I’ve read Katherine saying that the money was already lent to her by the Estate. It was in some interview or aticle about Katherine (which I cannot find now) but I remember her first expressing dissatisfaction with the Estate’s position on the trial, but then saying that it was the Estate who gave her money for it.

    This left me totally amazed because ‘the tree will be known by its fruit’ – the deeds is all that actually matters.

    Like

  23. November 12, 2013 12:33 pm

    “Helena, I wouldn’t normally contact you this way, but I wanted to let you know that this blog is being attacked by malicious spyware. Perhaps because of the nature of this discussion, who knows? (A bit of a coincidence though don’t you think?) Whilst on here this morning my computer blocked 2 very high risk attacks, which would have wiped my computer out if not for my security block. I thought it would be good to let everyone who contributes here know and pre-warn you to be on high alert.” – Helen-Marie

    Helen-Marie, I am not surprised that this blog is attacked by malicious spyware. It seems that I am the only one who is pointing at the real offenders of Michael Jackson, hence the need to get rid of me. I don’t understand how they do it as this blog is hosted by wordress and if this blog is infected by malware than all wordpress should be.

    But evidently there are ways and means, so thank you for the alert. I’m afraid I have to say to each and everyone here that unless you have a good anti-malware program you need to be careful.

    Probably this is the best proof that I am on the right track.

    Like

  24. November 12, 2013 12:20 pm

    It may be possible that Michael’s Estate is/was approached to pay these legal fees.

    Like

  25. November 12, 2013 12:02 pm

    Here is one more piece of information coming from the same lawyer Julie Garber who wrote about Michael Jackson’s will and trust.

    This time it is about an appeal which is evidently not going to be filed by Panish & Boyle and Mrs. Jackson in the AEG case. According to this lawyer appeals are to be filed within 30 days (and the time for it has passed):

    Michael Jackson’s Estate Loses Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against AEG Live
    By Julie Garber October 7, 2013

    After 5 months of testimony from nearly 5 dozen witnesses, the jury in the Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit cleared concert promoter AEG Live from any wrongdoing.

    In California, where the civil trial was held, only 9 of the 12 jurors needed to agree on the 16 questions they were asked in order for the answer to be decided.

    As to question #1 – Did AEG Live hire Dr. Conrad Murray? – the answer was a unanimous “Yes”. But as to question #2 – Was Dr. Conrad Murray “unfit or incompetent” for the work he was hired to do? – the answer was 10 to 2 in favor of “No.”

    This decision exonerated AEG Live from any responsibility for Michael Jackson’s death and rendered the answers to the other 14 questions moot.

    Now that the dust has settled, Michael Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, is contemplating an appeal since she was apparently stunned by the verdict.

    The family has 30 days from the date of the verdict on October 2 within which to file their appeal.

    Meanwhile, it is being reported that the family owes about $2.5 million in legal fees and costs which they’re claiming they can’t afford.

    Perhaps it’s simply time to give up, Katherine.

    http://wills.about.com/b/2013/10/07/michael-jacksons-estate-loses-wrongful-death-lawsuit-against-aeg-live.htm

    If the above is correct the outcome is deplorable but could be easily expected. And the matter of expenses is not a minor factor here.

    The article says that the family owes $2,5 million in legal fees and costs. To whom I wonder? I’ve read that law firms take up civil cases like wrongful death on a free basis, however the expenses on hiring experts are to be covered by the Plaintiff. If these expenses were covered by Katherine Jackson where did she take the money?

    Actually I remember Katherine saying who lent her money to pursue the case against AEG, but I don’t want to prompt it here. Will you guess it yourselves?

    P.S. Helen-Marie and Susanne, thank you very much for your words of wisdom and support.

    Like

  26. November 12, 2013 11:22 am

    Just for information sake here are the links to the new campaign against “Michael” album provided by TeamMJ (anyone can join it if you want to): http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/9966.

    For questions about this campaign TeamMJ refers us to https://twitter.com/damienshields

    And here are the links:

    http://www.atruthuntold.com/
    https://twitter.com/ATruthUntold
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/atruthuntold/a-truth-untold

    Like

  27. November 12, 2013 10:56 am

    “Shrugging shoulders or ignoring some facts is not a fair or just position to take.” – BG

    I can say exactly the same about all those people who are totally ignoring the real assassin in Michael’s life. There is overwhelming evidence against this company, but when I point to it the reaction I get in reply is just “shrugging shoulders”.

    This is the reason I started writing about Branca at all – my post was about Karen Faye, her eye-opening messages repeating Kenny Ortega’s and AEG’s threats that Michael was risking to lose his children because of their damned rehearsals, and I mentioned Branca just in one sentence, and what do I get?

    No one gives a damn that AEG was bullying and harassing Michael just days before his death, but everyone is screaming that Michael fired Branca in February 2003! (So what? And what if he rehired him afterwards as all those letters and even pictures show it?)

    Isn’t it time to do a reality check and put everything in the right perspective?

    Like

  28. November 12, 2013 10:37 am

    “Helen this is a can of worms you have opened up” – TeamMichaelJackson

    TeamMJ, no, I have not. I’m just putting things in the right perspective.

    The present situation is totally abnormal – I write about AEG and about their real (not fictional) atrocities towards Michael which ended in his DEATH, all of which are well documented in the AEG contract and materials of the recent trial, and NO ONE PAYS ATTENTION TO THEM because everyone is busy with Branca!

    If you ask me I know ONLY ONE COMPANY which is so terribly interested in sending Michael’s fans in a different direction, as far away as possible from themselves, and Branca is simply a very convenient object for it.

    The added “advantage” of this campaign is that fans will not be buy the products designed by the Estate as a result of which who will suffer most, I wonder? Michael’s children of course, because there will be no money to generate for them by the Estate.

    Why is a new campaign being launched against the “Michael” album again? Why is it so big a thing all of a sudden? What’s the urgency?

    Because THIS COMPANY does not want fans to even look into the documents of the recent trial and they will do anything – just anything – to draw attention from themselves and from what THEY DID TO MICHAEL.

    Like

  29. November 12, 2013 10:20 am

    “Why did Michael make these mistakes? He was not a lawyer! It was Branca’s job to make sure the trust and estate were structured properly, and he failed miserably. Branca had no business drawing up MJ’s will.” – Simba

    Simba, first of all Branca did not draw up the will himself (it was done by a respective lawyer in his firm specilizing on wills) and second, all these estate planners are talking of MJ’s assets as if they were ready money. But the assets were highly leveraged and all this standard advice given by the estate planner may very well not be applicable here.

    “This is simply ridiculous. Sorry, but that is the most apt term. Somebody set up an LLC called “PPB”, and the writer assumed, with no evidence whatsoever, that PPB refers to Prince, Paris, and Blanket. It could stand for anything, like Purple Peanut Butter!”

    No, this is not ridiculous. The Leslie blog I’ve taken it from has proven itself to have access to exclusive documents in respect of Michael’s companies, their profile, the status of legal cases against Michael when he was alive and now against the Estate, etc. http://lesliemjhu.blogspot.ru/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00%2B02:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00%2B02:00&max-results=1

    The blog seems quite credible because of this exclusive information and I have reason to believe that this person is able to see the documents supporting that PPB company. So if the blog says that these trusts are for children and even says how much money was transferred there, I tend to believe it.

    Like

  30. November 12, 2013 10:09 am

    Helen-Marie, these are very wise words. Thank you!

    Like

  31. Helen-Marie permalink
    November 12, 2013 6:55 am

    Helena, It appears that this is a matter that fan’s and advocates for Michael are never going to see eye to eye on and I am feeling that this could be a fruitless, time consuming argument for everyone because of that fact!

    I admire you for “Defending John Branca” and like you, see some of the good that he has done for Michael over the years. I personally feel he doesn’t deserve the level of hate that has been thrown at him certainly since Michael’s death. After all, what would have happened had he not produced the only will in existence and indeed the matter had gone to probate? Has anyone stopped to think where this could have led?

    We must remind ourselves that each and everyone of us are first and foremost just fans and we only have what we find reported, personally see, or get told in that moment of time. What we don’t know are the in’s and out’s of what really went down during the whole of Michael’s lifetime.

    I would imagine that what has been discussed here, both in your own words and that of commenters, is less than a glance of what has been legally written. I guess what I am trying to say is that no one really knows what happened and that unfortunately stands for Michael himself. Of course court transcripts are factual, but if quoted are only showing a proportion of the overall picture.

    At the time of Michael’s mega stardom the world was a different place and show business had never seen such levels of stardom. People were ill equipped to deal with what came with that level of responsibility and trust. Very often business was conducted with a meeting and a hand shake to seal the deal and you trusted those close to you. We have to remember that John Branca was part of a team of lawyers and could not possibly oversee every single moment.

    Michael was a multi talented businessman and he left the day to day running of his empire to hundreds of staff of all levels, even those in his own family played a part and we as fans will never know what went on behind the scenes and must be careful not to assume that we know every truth on every subject.

    I guess what I’m trying to say Helena is, that we are only able to give judgement on what we know, which I’m afraid to say in the case of Michaels fans, will never be enough.

    Thank you for all you do in the name of Michael and may you continue to shed a spotlight on matters of great interest.

    Like

  32. November 12, 2013 5:00 am

    Dear friends of TMJ, I also respect very much your dedication to Michael and your courage to stand up for him, but I think it would be fair to have also an open mind on your side and to be open to new information. It’s clear that you have made up your mind long ago and are not ready to accept any new facts. It’s always a problem to tie oneself down to an opinion too early because later it will be difficult to admit a mistake. You are so adamant in your position that it seems to be difficult for you to maintain a clear sight.

    Helena has also researched this for years, this is not a new “can of worms” for her and us readers. She always proved to be very open-minded and accepts new insights when they emerge. So I think it’s not fair to reproach her for not being open-minded, when you aren’t open-minded at all.

    My impression is that your opinions about Branca are mainly based on emotions and speculation. If you ask Helena for more proof than she already presented, then where is YOUR proof? So far I haven’t seen any, you don’t present it, you just dismiss her findings. The testimony of LeGrand is often used as proof by Branca opponents, but there is no proof in it. LeGrand talks of “rumors”, “suspicions” and “concerns”, but in the end he clearly said (in 2005!) there is no proof for these “suspicions” (which were brought up by Konitzer and Wiesner).

    Regarding Simba’s link of Living Care Radio I need to say that in case the trust and will would have been planned differently, in a way that it would have been kept private and out of probate court, YOU would be the first one to say there is something wrong because the executors should be under probate and the whole process should be public to see what they do.

    I think it’s not enough to speculate about Branca filling his own pockets and about how the estate would be depleted in the future, which has no basis at all. You talk as if you had been present at every meeting and at every phone call, you know everything exactly as if you had been there, you even seem to foresee the future. I’m sorry, but I prefer evidence to draw conclusions. And I’m very open to this evidence and ready to change my mind if it proves what you claim. But where is this evidence? All I have seen so far are mere claims and accusations.

    Why can’t you at least say: OK, let’s wait what the time will bring, let’s wait and see how this will turn out? Time will show!

    Like

  33. simba permalink
    November 11, 2013 10:47 pm

    Helena, here’s a good short article that explains the problems with MJ’s estate:

    “Essentially, what Michael Jackson did was create a “pour-over” will that was intended to put his assets into a trust after his death. However, a will is not a good way to pass on assets, especially $600 million dollars worth! A trust, unlike a will, can avoid the probate court process when used properly. But by not transferring his assets into the trust he had created, Mr. Jackson undermined some of the key benefits of a trust — privacy, avoiding probate court and decreasing the chances of a family fight.”

    http://www.livingcareradio.com/learning/read/3/46/blog/michael-jacksons-estate-planning-mistake#sthash.oUxnFcjx.dpuf

    Why did Michael make these mistakes? He was not a lawyer! It was Branca’s job to make sure the trust and estate were structured properly, and he failed miserably. One can find countless critiques of Branca’s ‘work’ from estate planners who actually know what they are doing. Estate planning is complex and should only be attempted by a specialist, not an entertainment lawyer. Branca had no business drawing up MJ’s will.

    As for this: “A little tidbit: The funds from The Michael Jackson Estate to the children are distributed to a Delaware company, called “PPB LLC” (as “Prince Paris Blanket LLC”). It has been registered on November 4, 2010. Already over 10 million dollars has been moved to the company’s account.
    Another two entities are registered for the same, or almost the same purpose: PPB II LLC in Delaware (August 15, 2011), and PPB (NV), LLC in Nevada (June 27, 2012).
    If I should speculate, I would say that the Estate will not only distribute funds through these companies, but will move MJ’s (maybe debt free) entities under these new companies/trusts. The multiple names, especially if registered in different states may refer to that.”

    This is simply ridiculous. Sorry, but that is the most apt term. Somebody set up an LLC called “PPB”, and the writer assumed, with no evidence whatsoever, that PPB refers to Prince, Paris, and Blanket. It could stand for anything, like Purple Peanut Butter! (Surely MJ’s fans are aware that his children are actually named Michael, Paris-Katherine, and Prince.) At any rate, if any such LLCs had been set up for the benefit of the children, Judge Beckloff and Margaret Lodise would be aware of it, and it would be public knowledge.

    Like

  34. November 11, 2013 6:28 pm

    “REALLY?” Yes, without a doubt. And it wasn’t just 5% – again, this is all in those documents. And it continues today. Shrugging shoulders or ignoring some facts is not a fair or just position to take. Despite what we believe or wish to be true, all the facts should be examined, not just some, and conflicts of interest is always a good starting point. I believe that only then can the complications and struggles Michael was faced with during his lifetime be fully understood.

    Like

  35. November 11, 2013 4:46 pm

    “This will be my last comment as my health is not good i should be resting as i have another surgery due on the 17th” – TeamMichaelJackson

    Taaj, I am very sorry to hear about it, and in no way did I want to give you more trauma than you already sustained (by all these posts). I hope you will go to the hospital with an easy mind as you do have my firm support despite our differences of opinion. I know that you are ready to sacrifice your health standing up for Michael, and this matters much more than anything else. I do wish you a speedy recovery and will pray for your good health.

    “Michael did not approach Branca re GS deal, where is the proof?” – TeamMichaelJackson

    The proof is in LeGrand’s testimony. I haven’t written about it yet, but LeGrand was hired by Konitzer (after MJ was enraged by Barry Siegel’s letter about the difficult situation with the Bank of America loan), but when LeGrand started sorting out the papers he himself realized that the situation was dangerous and if some measures were not taken the loan would not have been repaid.

    At that stage someone brought in Al Malnik who took control over MJ’s financial affairs. It was Malnik who initiated the Goldman Sachs deal, and Branca was just a lawyer who gave the deal a legal evaluation. Without Michael Branca could not be brought back and Branca could not be taking part in the negotiations so openly. Moreover in his letter to Koppelman Branca was not on the side of Koppelman or Goldman Sachs – he was vehemently defending Michael’s interests in each of its points.

    So no matter which intentions Goldman Sachs and Koppelman had, Branca was standing up by Michael. I was immensely impressed by that letter, and urge you to read it with an open mind. Judging by this document any conspiracy on the part of Branca is simply out of the question.

    By the way you yourself provided proof that Michael was perfectly aware of that project and Branca’s involvement in it. It is the picture you sent us here. In the picture I’ve recognized three people – Branca, Al Malnik and Mark Geragos (talking on the phone).

    BUT Mark Geragos was hired by Konitzer who was then Michael’s trusted advisor and who belonged to the so-called new team which was meant to replace Branca! It was again LeGrand who said that Mark Geragos was hired by Konitzer.

    So actually what you see in this picture is two teams – old and new – working together on the Goldman Sachs project:

    P.S. I need some time to post LeGrand’s testimony at the 2005 trial.

    Like

  36. November 11, 2013 4:10 pm

    “If Branca had drawn up these documents correctly, MJ’s estate would never have gone to probate in the first place. Instead all of MJ’s business is open to public scrutiny, his assets have been hit with enormous tax burdens” – Simba

    Simba, I’ve read that one the reasons why people set up trusts is avoiding probate. Why in this case it was not avoided I don’t know – probably you can provide with a link showing what mistakes were made in the trust documents in this respect?

    As to taxes I’ve seen Joe Jackson’s objections and was amazed by his and Brian Oxman’s sloppy arguments. Almost every point of his objections can be disputed even by me, though I am a total layperson in legal matters. However as to taxes I had to look up various documents for information.

    Michael’s trust was a revocable trust. He evidently chose it that way to be able to change something there (and indeed it was amended in March 2002). But revocable trusts do not save taxes:

    Trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. A trust that is revocable gives the individual creating it (the testator) the ability to change or even terminate the trust. If the trust is irrevocable, the testator may make no changes.

    When a revocable living trust is enacted, the person gives some or all of the property to themselves as a trustee. As a trustee of the property, the individual is still able to control the money, shift it around or change the terms of the trust.

    Revocable trusts do not save taxes! All too often revocable trusts are thought to prevent the IRS from taxing assets. This is simply not the case. The IRS has been around for a long time. Congress would simply not allow individuals to bypass taxation simply by using a revocable trust. Any time a person retains the right to receive income, or decide how principal should be used, or even retain the right to vote stock in a family business, taxes must be paid. The Internal Revenue Service considers anyone who is able to change or terminate a trust to be the owner of the assets located in it. This is true even if someone else actually receives the income from the trust.

    It is true that transferring an estate at death through a trust is generally cheaper and faster than having an estate go through probate proceedings. Of course, the trust was also more expensive to set up and probably had expenses of administration as well. Even so, if a trust was set up, for example, to benefit the individual’s children, the trustee can begin paying them income almost immediately upon the testator’s death. However, if the individual’s estate is part of a trust created by the will, the distribution may be delayed for months or even years until the estate is settled.

    Avoiding probate may save commissions paid to an estate executor under a will, but the estate will not be without expenditures. The estate must still pay any expenses due for legal and accounting fees. Additionally, the assets in the trust are subject to federal estate and state death taxes. Assets transferred to a revocable trust are not considered gifts under the federal gift-tax exclusion. They do qualify, though, for the $600,000 unified tax credit and the unlimited marital deduction.

    Depending upon the situation, creating a revocable living trust can be expensive. There should always be an attorney involved. If an individual does not work with the attorney face-to-face it is not a desirable situation. Attorney fees can run from only a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending upon the individual’s personal situation. There may be additional costs to transfer asset titles to the trust. There will probably be real estate recording fees, for example.

    There are several reasons that an individual might want a living trust. Here are some of the most commonly listed reasons:

    1. Perhaps the most popular reason for utilizing trusts is probate avoidance. Trusts allow property to bypass probate and go directly to the beneficiaries when the person dies or at whatever point dictated in the trust. Trusts allow a fast and economical way to distribute an inheritance. Just as in a will, a person can divide their estate any way they like.

    2. Trusts allow someone to handle their money if they are incapacitated. With diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, a person can become incapacitated without even knowing it. If they did not make a provision for someone to manage their money in such a situation, the family would have to ask the court to name a guardian. This can be handled simply with a durable power of attorney, which would name the person responsible for managing the money if such an occurrence happened. It is best for the individual to choose someone themselves without having to petition the court. Not only does it save quite a few headaches, but also for families that do not get along, it can avoid heated debates. When naming a person to succeed them as trustee, specific instructions should be given as to when to take over their affairs.

    3. A trust can be set up to have a professional money manager handle their affairs. A person may not feel adequate to handle their money themselves, or simply not have the time to do so. A professional money manager from investment-management firms or bank trust departments can be paid for this service. Bear in mind that professionals can also be paid to handle funds outside a trust, however. A person can remain as his or her own trustee while still having a financial manager. Or the person can also name the bank as their trustee. One caution: make sure that the arrangement allows the person to switch to a different trustee if they do not like the investment results.

    4. A trust can disinherit relatives if the trust creator so desires. While it is not impossible to refute a trust, since the trust document is not a public document, revoking a trust is very difficult.

    5. Trusts allow a person to keep their financial matter private. Wills are public documents, as are court hearings to establish mental incompetence. Trust documents are private.

    6. Some types of trusts may allow a person to avoid creditors. Revocable trusts do not avoid creditors, although payments may be delayed. Funds in some types of trusts that have not been pledged to secure a debt may not be available to pay creditors following the testators death. Many states do not allow this, however, since creditors have a right to be paid. For the best protection against creditors, it is advised to use joint property.

    7. A trust can hold money until a child grows up. This may be a good idea for larger sums. The designated trustee manages the inheritance and pays it to the child according to the instructions of the trust. The money can be set aside for education, living expenses or a nice 25th birthday gift. For more than one child, it is still advisable to use a single trust rather than individual ones.

    http://www.cheapce.com/coursehtml/familyinsuranceneeds/7.htm

    Like

  37. November 11, 2013 3:39 pm

    “Think of it – MJ has been dead for four years, the estate has earned hundreds of millions, Branca has realized millions in fees, but the Jackson children have no money.” – Simba

    Simba, I’ve just posted it in another thread, but this information belongs here. The money is being transferred to the children’s trusts, only it is not much spoken about. This was reported last year:

    8/12/2012
    Prince Paris Blanket LLC

    A little tidbit: The funds from The Michael Jackson Estate to the children are distributed to a Delaware company, called “PPB LLC” (as “Prince Paris Blanket LLC”). It has been registered on November 4, 2010. Already over 10 million dollars has been moved to the company’s account.

    Another two entities are registered for the same, or almost the same purpose: PPB II LLC in Delaware (August 15, 2011), and PPB (NV), LLC in Nevada (June 27, 2012).

    If I should speculate, I would say that the Estate will not only distribute funds through these companies, but will move MJ’s (maybe debt free) entities under these new companies/trusts. The multiple names, especially if registered in different states may refer to that.

    http://lesliemjhu.blogspot.ru/2012/08/prince-paris-blanket-llc.html

    PPB LLC and PPB II LLC
    Register date: 11/04/2010
    County: Delaware
    Ownership: 100%
    Profile: Trust.
    Estate most probably fuels the money through these entities to the beneficiaries of MJ’s will.

    PPB (NV) LLC
    Register date: 06/27/2012
    County: Nevada
    Ownership: 100%
    Profile: Trust.
    Estate most probably fuels the money through these entities to the beneficiaries of MJ’s will.

    http://lesliemjhu.blogspot.ru/2013/02/michael-jackson-corporate-structure.html

    Like

  38. November 11, 2013 3:35 pm

    Hi Helen, i found the unsubscribe button, take care hun, we are just gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. Love you sis, hope you and your mom are well, Love and Light bab, Lv xoxox

    Like

  39. tatum marie permalink
    November 11, 2013 3:23 pm

    And if Michael’s fans don’t boycott every initiative the Estate comes up with.
    – Helena

    Amen to that. Conrad Murray was in a COI agreement and he chose money(AEG) over Michael. Based on what we’ve learned about Branca, his relationship with Michael seems closer to friendship terms as opposed to business. A business man would have looked at the MJ vs Sony situation and sided with Sony based on Michael’s finances at the time but Branca didn’t, he made it clear whose side he was on. Michael has won, he made a great decision hiring Branca again, had Michael been alive the two would have collaborated on how to bring more funds into the estate. I feel like those who are trying to prove the opposite are making it seem like Michael is a helpless little lamb who let everyone and anyone control him.

    Like

  40. November 11, 2013 2:57 pm

    Helen can you please fix it so i dont get updates from this post, i dont know how to do it hunny, or can you tell me how to do it, Lv xoxox

    Like

  41. November 11, 2013 2:54 pm

    Your comment to Layne

    “Layne4, it is no obligation for the executor to generate money for the estate. Their obligations are to pay out the debts and that’s it:”

    Branca thinks he IS Michael Jackson, he is running the estate as if it belongs to HIM< making decisions without consulting the beneficiary, who does that, Branca WORKS for KJ, but he treats her like a slave throwing her few thousands dollars a month whilst his team take MILLIONS,

    Everything Branca is doing is to put money into HIS pocket bc he gets a percentage of what is generated, which btw is AGAINST probate court, if anyone wants to look that up, its against penal code for executors to benefit from an estate they execute and claim administrators fees, i had the details of that three year ago,

    "I am Michael Jackson now" http://www.scribd.com/doc/100366207/Letter-From-MJ-Family-to-John-Branca-John-McClain-to-STEP-DOWN

    I am posting the above knowing you will denounce this as something the siblings conjured up bc they dont like Branca, lets hope the readers can make up their own minds,

    I am no lawyer, but if you are talking about the will, my layperson’s opinion is that the will should not be passed to another lawyer even if the first one was fired (which in Branca’s case is not quite correct, at least until 2006).

    You go on to say that will would not have been of any use to Michael, of course that is correct, but the fact Michael wanted EVERYTHING from Branca speaks VOLUMES to me,

    HE DID NOT TRUST HIM!!! Plain and simple, and with good reason bc look what he has done with the Will now, IF he had handed it over along with the 97 Will the estate would be intestate. For Branca to say if the 03 will is found to be invalid, then the 97 will would take residence is the bigger Boloney then the $500 mill debt!!

    If Branca, McClain and Siegel were all not available to serve as Trustees, then NationsBank, now known as Bank of America, was named to serve as the successor Trustee. Since Branca and McClain were available to serve and are in fact serving, they have the power to name one or more individuals to serve as their successors, thereby eliminating Bank of America’s right to serve as the successor Trustee.

    If Branca had done the right thing as Siegel had he and McClain would not have been available Barrys letter dated August 03 http://www.scribd.com/doc/102203700/barry-siegel-fired-resigned

    I am certain if National Bank had taken over there would have been no fake tracks, and they WOULD have worked along side the beneficiaries not against them as Branca has,

    Dial, over here we are getting into the field of what each of us believes. My belief based on the work …….

    Micheal would NEVER make his babies wait until they are FORTY to take what is rightfully theirs, never, i do not believe the trust is genuine, and of course the Will is not either as pointed out by Dial, see here for more details http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/5496

    btw helen did you see this http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/6215

    Okay, this is my last post.

    Helen this is a can of worms you have opened up, this debate has been going on for four years, many blogs have been written, NO one for certain can claim either side, i had hoped you would have kept an open mind until i could show you some evidence in private, remember i emailed you about that when you bought up Branca,

    Advocates have spent years on researching all the pros and cons, there is no way you can be on point, never, ever, ever,,,,

    It boils down to ONE thing, and only one thing, its not about the "Truth" as the one who could tell us that is no longer here,, its about preference,

    I wish you well, i do love and respect you, i always will regardless of our choices, Please do one thing for me whilst i am away, look at everything with an open mind,

    Like

  42. November 11, 2013 2:25 pm

    Michael went on a worldwide campaign against Sony/Mottola and for you to suggest Branca was still hired by MJ is NOT correct, just bc Branca wrote a few letters because his narcissist ego could not handle that he was fired does not prove a thing but how unethical Branca was by not following simple instructions.

    There are numerous other news articles that another blogger has used as “PROVE” that Branca was working for MJ throughout 03 to 06. (MJAndjustice4Some) In those articles the reporters have said, “We called Branca but got no response”
    Just because the reporter called Branca, the blogger has used that as PROVE Branca was still working for MJ, how ridiculous can that be, and you have blind bats reading and believing that,

    You have chosen to dismiss the biggest piece of evidence, that is a letter from Michael firing Branca, thats where it ends, and recently Weiztman also confirmed Branca did not work for Michael for SIX years,

    So the point of your entire blog is not moot,,

    With respect,

    And i have not even began to tell you about the dealing we have had with Branca since Michael passed away,, which i am not able to, all will be revealed in good time..

    See the problem is this, and we should learn from this,

    Over the years the World did not have much on Michael, so they speculated, made up stuff!

    And when Michael did speak no one believed him, this is what is happening now, the letter from Michael is clear, but no one wants to believe it,

    Like

  43. November 11, 2013 2:14 pm

    You have mentioned others that were investigated by Interfor, those are not really relevant here, i stand by what i posted, which you have not been able to prove otherwise,

    2005 Witness LeGrand, Questions by TM

    Q. At the time you began an investigation into some of the people around Mr. Jackson that you were concerned about, one of the people you investigated was Mr. Branca, correct
    A. Yes

    Q. That firm also represented Sony, correct?

    A. Yes

    Q. And you were concerned that Mr. Branca and that law firm might not be representing Mr. Jacksons interest properly because of their connection to Sony, correct?

    Prosecutor: Objection
    The Court: Sustained

    Q. Was it your believe when you started the investigation that Al Malnik, Tommy Motolla, John Branca and people at Sony were trying to find A way to get Mr. Jackson interest in the music catalog?

    A. I’m not sure I would include Al Malnik in that group, but I certainly was concerned that Branca and Mottola, in particular, had set the stage, so to speak, for Sony to be able to obtain Michaels interest in the Sony/ATV venture,

    Q. Were you concerned that Tommy Motolla and John Branca were working together to defraud Michael Jackson?

    A. Based on the suspicions that were expressed to me and my partner, we asked interfor to look into these rumors

    Q. Why did you investigate Branca?

    A. Because Mr. Konitzer indicated that he was very concerned about Mr. Branca and that Mr. Jackson expressed concerns about Mr Branca’s LOYALTY

    Q. Do you recall asking Interfor to do some investigation into an offshore bank account?

    A. It’s kind of the other way around. We asked Interfor to investigate Mr. Branca. The indicated to us that….

    Prosecution: Objection
    The Court: Sustained

    Q. Isn’t it true that you were trying to investigate an offshore account owned by Branca and Tommy Mottola?

    A. Yes

    Q. Why did you want to investigate that account?

    A. If there was an offshore account is which money was being deposited for the benefit of Mr. Branca, that would indicate very serious violations of Mr. Branca’s responsibilities to Mr. Jackson

    Q. The investigation indicated that Branca was involved I that account, right?

    A. The investigators report so indicated

    Q. And the investigators report indicated that Sony WAS involved in that account, right?

    A. The investigators reports indicated that SONY TRANSFERRED MONEY into that account

    Q. Sony transferred money to that account for the BENEFIT of BRANCA Mr.Jackson’s lawyer, right? (vmj: my correction)

    A. That’s what was indicated in the report

    Q. Do you know why there was A decision to clean house at this particular juncture In Mr. Jackson business?

    A. Well, I know what Mr. Jackson told me

    Q. Why don’t you tell me what Mr. Jackson told you

    A. MR JACKSON TOLD ME HE NO LONGER HAD CONFIDENCE IN JOHN BRANCA

    The following questions were objected by the prosecutor and sustained by the court, but Mesereau got his point and Michael’s suspicions on COURT RECORD!

    Q. Did you think that Sony was paying Mr. Branca to SELL OUT Mr. Jackson>

    OBJECTED/SUSTAINED

    Q. Didn’t you investigate Mr Branca because you were concerned that he and Sony had set up an offshore account to funnel money to, so they could DEFRAUD Michael Jackson?

    OBJECTED/SUSTAINED

    Michael fired Branca with A letter dated Feb 03, He asked Branca to comply with the requests in the termination letter, which Branca FAILED! Sigel complied with the letter, Branca did not, that in itself shows Branca as unethical!

    Like

  44. November 11, 2013 2:10 pm

    “Wiki says that the 51st Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 8, 2009 and this was the time when the “contract” had been signed (at least AEG says so). Exactly at the same time Peter Lopez was brushed aside too.”

    If anyone was brushed aside it was by AEG, as Tohme Tohme was brushed aside too, as well as many others.

    “The fact that Branca wanted to get closer to Michael at that time shows that he was trying to stand up for his interests. Tohme naturally never wanted it.”

    NOTHING stopped Branca looking into the contract Michael had in place with AEG, dont you think?? A newly (supposedly) hired attorney, what would be his first port of call? wouldn’t it be to see what his client had obligated to??

    If that SOB was hired, if he had looked into the “Slave contract” Michael may NOT be dead!!

    “If so then I have to say that there was NO conflict of interest at all.”

    I dont understand why you are saying there was no COI, when there clearly was as MJ signed off on it??? The problem with that COI is, Michael should have been made aware of that prior to him retaining the services of Singer. So Conflict of interest did occur and was later cleaned up by Branca, You say its good Branca wanted his attorney to be MJs, i say its so he could screw Michael over by having MJ hire an attorney HE (Branca) could control, who he obviously did, as Singer should have at least pointed out the Conflict of Interest to Michael before having him sign a retainer.

    Hunny i feel you are making a lot of statements throughout you comments which are guess work, and speculation in defending Branca,, Yes you say you will offer facts, prove??

    “And one more interesting point – it was Konitzer who hired LeGrand, but when LeGrand suspected him of embezzlement he dismissed him. And Konitzer and Wiesner are also part of Intefor report! “

    And at no point he cleared Branca,,, That is a important point too.

    You have not shown any proof of debt but an article by Branca puppet Zack, he can write whatever he likes, just as i can, or even you, none of it is the truth unless backed by evidence,,,,

    please watch this vid again, i am referring to the bogus $500 mill debt, that HAVE BEEN PAID OFF,, Michael Jackson’s $500M Debt?: http://youtu.be/ePum2cH5mPo

    Even Piers said, “So those rumors about Michael being in half billion dollar debt is a load of boloney”

    I am not referring to loans that still exist, i am not referring to new debts Estate is in now for buying into EMI, i am referring to this bs debt that Branca has paid off,

    BTW, the AEG contract Branca withheld from Mamma Jackson is not an isolated incident, recently he refused to had over the books of the Estate to Mrs Jackson when requested, WHY would Branca do that, she is after all the beneficiary, does she have no rights to see where HER money is going, what its spent on???

    ” It — I need to be very clear here that that
    17 was not verified, with a reasonable degree of
    18 certainty, that I would have acted upon that
    19 information. And Mr. Branca’s a fine lawyer. And,
    20 you know, there is no — I have no proof of these
    21 statements.”

    Who cares what LeGrand thinks of Branca, WHO REALLY CARES IF HE LIKES HIM OR NOT, Helen, please dont tell me you are offering this as the “Truth”

    LeGrand was in NO position to investigate Branca, that is why HE hired a company that specialize in that,, So i stand by my what i posted, Branca WAS i with Sony, and Michael knew this way before the actual report was published, so Michael fired him for embezzlement. You saying that not to be true, is just your opinion.

    The fact the report was “generated” after Branca was fired does not proof anything at all, as i already stated talks were going on way before the official report was published,

    I love you Helen, have so much respect for you, i DID feel you would come to the truth in this matter, but you have NOT, all you are doing is finding anything you can to defend a crook!! And it hurts me so deeply when you refer to him as Michael!!!!

    Cont……

    Like

  45. November 11, 2013 1:34 pm

    Hi Helen, I love and respect you so much, i hope you know that by now,

    This will be my last comment as my health is not good i should be resting as i have another surgery due on the 17th, i will not be responding to any further post after this one, I hope you can refer back to this throughout you blogging on “Defending Branca.”

    I love that you have decided to blog on Branca, but i am sad that your mind is already made up, going by the “Defending Branca.” Sad because whatever you write will be taken as gospel by those that love and respect you, and could lead some innocent hearts down the wrong path, by that i mean those that will not bother to read through the entire thread,

    Much of what you have based your opinion on is what is printed in the media. and a few docs that do not tell the whole story. If we were to do that all the time, then it puts Michael is a very poor light, pointing to his guilt and other unusual behaviour, as well as the recent AEG case as everything important was left out.

    I feel this is a new path for you, and you should have kept an open mind, and not had the title you do, it should have been a search for the truth, rather then a quest to proof Branca innocence. But you are free to do as you feel, its a free world, im just saying.

    Michael did not approach Branca re GS deal, where is the proof?

    That deal was being done behind Michaels back, and Michael wanted no part of it, thats why he didnt go along with it, that is obvious, dont you think, there was even a press release at the time that advisers were trying to bankrupt MJ and take his Cats, Branca was one of the people named,

    Thank you for explaining the situation about the contract, seems i have been wrong, and i dont mind saying it, dont you think things would have been much easier if Branca had been in the beneficiaries corner, i feel he should have taken care of this for KJ, but did not, my believe is he is and always has been with AEG, why pay AEG $40 mill three days after Michael was killed, why go on TT word, why not check things out as Panish did, AEG had no rights to that money, also it has been widely reported Michael used his “Personal cameras” to record TII, Branca did not have to go in with AEG for any deals, Why was Phillips at the center of the TII negotiations? and not his family, why didnt Branca discuss this with his mother, i could go on and on on that matter,

    Its clear as day the choices Branca has made have been to make $$$$ and that $$$ was NOT for the beneficiaries but for him and his team of lawyers, i man why hire sitrik on day one?? $900 per day. Why would Branca need a “spin doctor” unless he knew his hands were dirty http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/4117

    “Tohme had a lot of reasons not to want Branca around.
    First of all Tohme did not want a single lawyer around Michael and he isolated Michael from Peter Lopez too. He intentionally wanted to make the deal with AEG single-handedly through his own lawyer Dennis Hawk, so that Michael did not have a chance to have the contract analyzed by anyone else.
    If Branca had come in earlier (as he wanted to) he could have put a stop to a lot of atrocities in that contract, and Tohme would have fallen the first victim to it. This is why Tohme absolutely didn’t want him around, same as he didn’t want Peter Lopez.
    Wiki says that the 51st Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 8, 2009 and this was the time when the “contract” had been signed (at least AEG says so). Exactly at the same time Peter Lopez was brushed aside too.
    The fact that Branca wanted to get closer to Michael at that time shows that he was trying to stand up for his interests. Tohme naturally never wanted it.”

    In response to the above comment by you…..

    Darling this is your opinion, its not fact or the truth,

    The contract was signed on 28th, Lopez was present when Trell arrived at CW. And there was plenty of other reference to Lopez being there in the early stages, TT did not get rid of him. or stop MJ seeing him?

    So you are saying TT lied when he made that statement to Sullivan..That is not the truth as we both were not there.

    Lets look at that,
    A liar usually does not have so many details, TT could have said “MJ hated Branca” or “MJ didnt want to see Branca”
    But he went into times, location, event, then finally, what he said Michael told him, anyone of us that loves MIchael, knows whether these are Michaels words or not ..

    ‘You can’t have
    anything to do with Branca. I don’t want him near me.’”

    These are Michaels words indeed,

    And i dont think its fair if you offer this as a lie, or myself as the truth, as none of us know,

    Cont….. on next comment

    Like

  46. simba permalink
    November 11, 2013 12:37 pm

    Helena, as regards Julie Garber’s expert commentary, she starts out with an error – Branca was never a Jackson “family” attorney. This misstatement paints him in a false light. He has never worked for the benefit of the Jackson family

    When MJ ordered Branca to turn over ALL documents to his new legal counsel, that included the will. There was no legitimate reason for Branca to have retained it. As the attorney who drafted the will – badly- Branca cannot also serve as a witness. In fact it is against public policy for an executor to also be a witness, but McClain does both and the judge let it pass.

    If Branca had drawn up these documents correctly, MJ’s estate would never have gone to probate in the first place. Instead all of MJ’s business is open to public scrutiny, his assets have been hit with enormous tax burdens, and most important, there is NO money in the trust funds. Think of it – MJ has been dead for four years, the estate has earned hundreds of millions, Branca has realized millions in fees, but the Jackson children have no money. Branca has not transferred any funds. If MJ had welcomed him back with open arms, Branca’s failure to administer the estate for the benefit of the heirs should make fans look askance at him. But he has done a wonderful job of enriching himself.

    Dialdancer is correct – there is a long sad history of huge estates being looted by attorneys. James Brown left over one hundred million dollars, and nearly all of it has gone to attorney’s ‘fees’. When Prince reaches age twenty-one, unless Branca has transferred money to his trust fund, he comes into nothing.

    Like

  47. November 11, 2013 8:51 am

    “However, here is what I do believe. There will come a time in the not so distant future when the majority of the assets of Michael Jackson will be pocketed, carved up, divvied up or sold off without regard to or the consent of the rightful owners.”- Dialdancer

    Dial, over here we are getting into the field of what each of us believes. My belief based on the work Branca has already done and the documents I’ve read, is that when the time comes to share the funds all the money due to the childen will be shared with them, and there is absolutely no reason to believe otherwise.

    In approximately 5 years we will be able to check it up, as Prince will be 21 and will be entitled to the net income of the principal sum of money:

    Point 2 on page 6 of the Family Trust says:

    The net income of each share of the trust estate which is set aside for the benefit of one of Trustor’s children shall be paid to or used for the benefit of the child for whom it is set aside in quarterly or more frequent installments or accumulated, at the discretion of the Trustee, until such child attains the age of twenty-one (21) years of age. Any undistributed net income shall be added to principal.

    Thereafter, the Trustee shall pay to or apply for his or her benefit, the net income of his or her share of the trust estate in convenient installments, but at least annually.

    Upon each child’s thirtieth (30th) birthday, there shall be distributed to him or her one-third (1/3) of the principal of his or her share.

    Upon each child thirty-fifth (35th) birthday, there shall be distributed to him or her one-half (1/2) of the then principal of his or her share.

    Upon the fortieth (40th) birthday of each child, there shall be distributed to him or her the entire remaining balance of his or her share.

    Of course there will be money to distribute only if the Estate does not have to pay the ridiculous sum of $700 million in taxes and there isn’t any litigation ruining the estate in the same way lawsuits ruined Michael. And if Michael’s fans don’t boycott every initiative the Estate comes up with.

    Suspecting the Estate of pocketing all the money by the time the children reach 21 is equivalent to saying that they can steal money openly and there is neither probate court, nor anyone at all who can stop them from doing so. I don’t think that this is possible even in principle.

    “Here is the thing, even if Michael had rehired him for TII he did not rehire him or return Branca to Executor of his Estate status and that is what the conversation is about. Not TII, but the MJ Estate.” – Dialdancer

    If there had been some other Trust, or some other Will another person could become the Executor, but where is this person with another Trust and another Will? If it was Peter Lopez he had full opportunity to speak about it, but he didn’t.

    I think that everyone should do a reality check at last and not live in a fantasy world where Michael did not have any debts, had billions on his account and all these billions disappeared in some unknown direction after his death.

    However I agree that there should be a procedure allowing to control the activity of the Estate lawyers and hope very much that this is being done by the probate court by checking up their annual reports. It is your country, so you should know better how to.

    Like

  48. November 11, 2013 7:33 am

    “I do not and will not forget his “now I am Michael Jackson ” comment to Mrs. Jackson just days after MJ’s death. A comment if made by another entertainer would’ve brought absolute death and destruction upon their head by MJ Fans. Do not forget he lied when reporting to the Media about the 30 million in the Trust Fund in June 2011.” – Dialdancer

    Dial, could you please give me a link to the above two episodes? I am not aware what you are talking about here.

    “There is and never will be any getting around the fact he should not have been in possession of any of Michael’s documents after he and the other two were fired.”

    I am no lawyer, but if you are talking about the will, my layperson’s opinion is that the will should not be passed to another lawyer even if the first one was fired (which in Branca’s case is not quite correct, at least until 2006).

    From what I know of this subject wills are not passed from one lawyer to another lawyer. If the person making a will is dissatisfied with the previous variant he simply makes a new will, and the new will annuls the earlier one. The old will remains in possession of the old lawyer as he was the one who actually witnessed it, so it is not the business of the lawyer succeeding him.

    But what’s important in Michael’s case is that his will was connected with the Family Trust where the Trust was the main document, and will was a secondary one. Its trustees were three people – Branca, McClain and Seigel, but Siegel resigned. The others could have resigned too, but then their role was to be passed to the NationsBank, now known as Bank of America.

    So even if all three of them had resigned the Trust and all its terms would have still remained and would have been governed by the Bank of America instead.

    Since I know very little of the subject let me refer you to a lawyer, an estate planning attorney Julie Garber:

    What Does the Michael Jackson Family Trust Say?
    Summary of the Contents of the Michael Jackson Family Trust
    By Julie Garber

    When Michael Jackson died unexpectedly on June 25, 2009, he left behind three minor children, Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson, Jr., Paris Katherine Michael Jackson, and Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II, and, fortunately for them, an estate plan including a Last Will and Testament and a Revocable Living Trust named the Michael Jackson Family Trust.

    Because Michael Jackson’s estate plan is a “trust-based estate plan,” as opposed to a “will-based estate plan,” his Last Will and Testament, referred to by estate planning attorneys as a “Pour Over Will,” is a relatively short document consisting of only five pages. This means that the Michael Jackson Family Trust is the true governing document of Michael Jackson’s estate. Under normal circumstances the trust agreement should remain as a private document that only family members and those named in the trust can read, but because of Michael Jackson’s fame, a copy of the Michael Jackson Family Trust was released to the public about a year after the singer’s death.

    Below you will find a summary of the contents of the 21-page Michael Jackson Family Trust agreement, which was signed by Michael Jackson on March 2, 2002. You can also read a summary of the contents of Michael Jackson’s pour over will that he signed on July 7, 2002, by referring to What Does Michael Jackson’s Will Say?

    Summary of the Provisions of the Michael Jackson Family Trust
    1. Michael Jackson signed the original trust agreement on November 1, 1995. Regardless, the governing trust agreement that existed at the time of Jackson’s death back in June 2009 was a fully amended and restated version signed by him on March 2, 2002.

    2. A long time attorney for the Jackson family, John Branca, music executive John McClain, and accountant Barry Siegel were named to serve as Co-Trustees of the trust. Nonetheless, Barry Siegel signed a letter on August 26, 2003, in which he declined to serve as a Co-Trustee, leaving Branca and McClain to serve as the Co-Trustees. Both still serve in this capacity today as well as Co-Executors of Michael Jackson’s estate.

    3. The first 20% of Michael Jackson’s estate is to be left to one or more children’s charities selected by a committee consisting of Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, and Co-Trustees John Branca and John McClain. The committee can choose among existing charities or establish one or more charities in order to satisfy this bequest.

    4. The balance of the trust assets remaining after the payment of estate taxes, medical bills, funeral expenses, attorney’s fees, and other costs incurred in settling Jackson’s estate is to be distributed 50% equally among Jackson’s three children, Prince, Paris and Blanket, and 50% to Katherine Jackson.

    5. Katherine Jackson’s 50% share is to be held in a lifetime trust for her benefit with John Branca and John McClain serving as Co-Trustees. The Co-Trustees have the complete discretion as to when income and principal may be distributed to provide for Katherine Jackson’s “care, support, maintenance, comfort and well being.” Upon Katherine Jackson’s death the balance of her trust is to be divided equally among Prince, Paris and Blanket.

    6. The children’s shares will be held in separate trusts also with John Branca and John McClain serving as Co-Trustees. Until each child reaches 21, distributions are left in the complete discretion of the Co-Trustees. At 21, each child will receive all of the net income from his or her own trust and principal if the Co-Trustees determine that the net income is not sufficient to provide for the child’s “reasonable care, support, maintenance and education.” Each child will receive 1/3 of the remaining trust principal outright at 30, another 1/2 outright at 35, and the remaining balance outright at 40. In addition, the Co-Trustees are given discretion to accelerate principal distributions if a child is in need of funds to buy a home, start a family, or start a business. This will leave Katherine Jackson, who was named as the children’s guardian in August 2009, at the mercy of the Co-Trustees when it comes to asking for funds to support the children.

    7. If Michael Jackson was not survived by his mother or any children or other descendants (such as grandchildren or great grandchildren), then after the 20% carved out for children’s charities the balance was to be divided equally among three of Jackson’s cousins – Levon Jackson, Elijah Jackson and Anthony Jackson – and three of his nephews (the children of his brother, Tito) – Taj Jackson, Taryll Jackson and T.J. Jackson. These shares were to be held in separate trusts in the same manner as provided for Jackson’s children.

    8. If Branca, McClain and Siegel were all not available to serve as Trustees, then NationsBank, now known as Bank of America, was named to serve as the successor Trustee. Since Branca and McClain were available to serve and are in fact serving, they have the power to name one or more individuals to serve as their successors, thereby eliminating Bank of America’s right to serve as the successor Trustee.
    http://wills.about.com/od/michaeljackson/qt/What-Does-the-Michael-Jackson-Family-Trust-Say.htm

    Like

  49. November 11, 2013 7:03 am

    “Regarding LeGrand’s testimony I think it is also important to emphasize that Tom Mesereau’s intention with this questioning was not to denounce John Branca in particular (as it is sometimes represented), but to show the jury in general that Michael at the time of the accusations was surrounded by business partners who tried to influence and manipulate him and that he didn’t have knowledge about everything that happened and was done by these people. This was a major point in his argumentation against Sneddon’s conspiracy count.” – Susanne

    Exactly, Susanne. There is so much talk about LeGrand’s testimony that I think I will post it just as it is, with a minimal comment, like David does. Otherwise we will be forever going to exchange quotes back and forth without seeing the whole picture.

    Like

  50. November 11, 2013 5:43 am

    “I suppose a knight in shining armor rescuing Michael’s financial situation is a bit over the top. However, any Estate including Elvis, Lennon, Tupac, etc. are legally bound to remove residual debt burden…it’s their job.” – layne4

    Layne4, it is no obligation for the executor to generate money for the estate. Their obligations are to pay out the debts and that’s it:

    Q: What are the executor or personal representative’s duties and obligations?
    A: The representative is charged with following state law in wrapping-up the decedent’s affairs. This includes:
    Giving the proper notices to the proper parties
    Collecting all the decedent’s property
    Receiving claims against the estate
    Paying just claims and disputing others
    Distributing the estate property according to the will or state law
    Along the way there may be other necessary actions, like selling estate property to cover debts or allow for proper distribution.
    http://wills-probate.lawyers.com/wills-probate/Wills-and-Probate-FAQ.html

    Branca sees his job in generating money for Michael’s children. They will come into the money when they are 21:

    Robin Leach: Do you get any criticism, or if there was any, how did you answer it about making so much money out of his name? First of all, I’m presuming some of that moneymaking was forced on you because of his large debts that had to be straightened out.

    John Branca: We viewed our obligation as really to Michael, in terms of his legacy and his work, and then to his mother and his children. And what we wanted to do over time was to be able to put the Estate into a condition where eventually when it was handed over to his own three children down the line, it would be in much better shape than when we inherited it. So it’s our job to generate income. If we sat around and did nothing, it would be a disservice.

    RL: Do you eventually relinquish this work, and then it goes to the three children?

    JB: Down the road. Well down the road. Under Michael’s trust, which is confidential, there is a date at which when the children reach a certain age, the assets get distributed, and as is typical in high income, high-network families, you don’t turn it over too soon. You wait until the kids are older.

    RL: So they have to be well over 21.

    http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/ae/music/2011/may/02/michael-jackson-fan-fest-details-plus-late-singers/#/0

    Like

  51. November 11, 2013 4:39 am

    Regarding LeGrand’s testimony I think it is also important to emphasize that Tom Mesereau’s intention with this questioning was not to denounce John Branca in particular (as it is sometimes represented), but to show the jury in general that Michael at the time of the accusations was surrounded by business partners who tried to influence and manipulate him and that he didn’t have knowledge about everything that happened and was done by these people. This was a major point in his argumentation against Sneddon’s conspiracy count.

    Like

  52. November 11, 2013 3:51 am

    “A. The investigators reports indicated that SONY TRANSFERRED MONEY into that account
    Q. Sony transferred money to that account for the BENEFIT of BRANCA, right?
    A. That’s what was indicated in the report
    Q. Do you know why there was A decision to clean house at this particular juncture In Mr. Jackson business?
    A. Well, I know what Mr. Jackson told me” – TeamMichaelJackson

    TeamMJ, LeGrand’s testimony should be quoted in full, or otherwise it creates a wrong impression.

    The full quote is as follows:

    25 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Where was the offshore
    26 account, if you know?
    27 A. I’m sorry, I don’t recall. I believe it was
    28 in the Caribbean. 10214
    1 Q. Okay. And did your investigation get far
    2 enough to establish that, in fact, this lawyer was a
    3 signatory on that account?
    4 A. I don’t believe so, no.

    5 Q. But the investigation did indicate he was
    6 somehow involved in the account, correct?
    7 A. The investigator’s report so indicated.
    8 Q. And the investigator’s report indicated it
    9 appeared that Sony was involved in that account,
    10 right?
    11 A. The investigator’s report indicated that
    12 Sony had transferred money to the account.
    13 Q. Sony had transferred money to that account
    14 for the benefit of Mr. Jackson’s lawyer, right?
    15 A. That’s what was indicated in the report.
    16 It — I need to be very clear here that that
    17 was not verified, with a reasonable degree of
    18 certainty, that I would have acted upon that
    19 information. And Mr. Branca’s a fine lawyer. And,
    20 you know, there is no — I have no proof of these
    21 statements.

    I think I will post most of LeGrand’s report just as it is for you and everybody to see that LeGrand was looking into everybody at that time. This process was triggered off by accountant Barry Siegel’s letter to Michael dated January 22, 2003 saying that cash was in short supply and he was worried about the Bank of America loan.

    Dieter Wiesner writes that Michael was shattered by the news, didn’t believe it and reacted to it by firing his old team of advisors, Barry Siegel and Branca included. It was then that he gave to Wiesner and Konitzer General powers of attorney to manage all his finances.

    Konitzer hired LeGrand to make a full cleaning up of the house, but LeGrand found that it was actually Konitzer who was engaged in suspicios activity. He revoked his General power of attorney and as soon as Legrand asked him to account for around a million dollars he himself was fired:

    3 Q. Mr. LeGrand, you mentioned that a new
    4 management team was being formed to manage Mr.
    5 Jackson’s affairs around the time you began to
    6 represent Mr. Jackson, right?
    7 A. Part of my direction from Mr. Jackson and
    8 Mr. Konitzer was to assist them in developing a new
    9 team for cash management, accounting, bookkeeping,
    10 and new lawyers with respect to creative elements.

    15 Q. Now, at some point in time did you become
    16 suspicious of Mr. Konitzer and Mr. Weizner?
    17 A. Yes.
    18 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection. Well, move to
    19 strike. Leading.
    20 THE COURT: Overruled.
    21 MR. MESEREAU: I can’t recall if there was
    22 an answer, Your Honor. I apologize. Could I —
    23 THE COURT: The answer was, “Yes.”
    24 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you, Your Honor.
    25 Q. Why did you become suspicious of Konitzer
    26 and Weizner?
    27 A. I became concerned that they were in a
    28 position to divert funds. I was concerned about 10007

    1 the — having appropriate documentation for tax
    2 purposes for Mr. Jackson and his companies. And in
    3 general, I — I began to disagree with some of Mr.
    4 Konitzer’s decisions on matters and felt that he was
    5 making bad decisions, I guess is the way to say it.
    6 So I — I became suspicious of his motives and
    7 actions.

    8 Q. Could you please explain what you were
    9 suspicious of?
    10 A. I was —
    11 MR. AUCHINCLOSS: Objection; asked and
    12 answered.
    13 THE COURT: Sustained.
    14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You mentioned you were
    15 suspicious of financial matters involving Konitzer,
    16 right?
    17 A. Yes.
    18 Q. Please explain.
    19 A. Well, ultimately there was another attorney
    20 involved who was serving as the escrow agent for
    21 some funds, and I asked him for an accounting in
    22 order to get Allan Whitman up to speed on some
    23 disbursements, payments, payables, et cetera.
    24 And that accounting came from this attorney,
    25 and it indicated that there had been about $900,000 —
    26 I don’t remember the exact number, but it was many
    27 hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been
    28 disbursed to Ronald Konitzer or Dieter Weizner. I 10008

    1 mean, the combination was in hundreds of thousands
    2 of dollars.
    3 And I then — I spoke to a couple of the
    4 lawyers that, you know, were providing
    5 representation, and I ultimately wrote a letter
    6 within, you know, a couple of days of learning of
    7 this. I wrote a letter to Mr. Konitzer asking him
    8 to account for this money.
    9 Q. Was the amount you were concerned about
    10 approximately $965,000?
    …25 A. Yes, the amount — the aggregate amount of
    26 disbursements that I set forth in that letter was
    27 $965,000.

    6 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Why did you think Konitzer
    7 and Weizner had diverted $965,000 from Mr. Jackson?
    8 A. Because the report I got from this other
    9 lawyer showed those disbursements.

    10 Q. And when you saw the record of those
    11 disbursements, what did you do?
    12 A. I spoke to several of the other lawyers that
    13 were representing Mr. Jackson, and agreed that I
    14 should write a letter to Mr. Konitzer asking him to
    15 account.
    16 Q. Did you ever find out what he had done with
    17 the money?
    18 A. No, I was terminated by Mr. Jackson as
    19 counsel within, I don’t know, two weeks, maybe, of
    20 that letter to Mr. Konitzer.

    Everything was extremely complex, so please don’t rush to conclusions. The situation should be looked at as a whole. Many insinuations against Branca at that time came from this group of people.

    Like

  53. November 10, 2013 9:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Stop Global Airwave Abuse.

    Like

  54. November 10, 2013 9:36 pm

    Reblogged this on mjjjusticeproject and commented:
    John Branca and the TRUTH behind the Interfor Report –

    Like

  55. November 10, 2013 5:38 pm

    “There is a misconception about Michael being in all this debt and the hero Branca emerges to save the day, its so well scripted reminds me of a hollywood movie.. We now know all that to be false as we have not seen evidence of those debts and they were certainly were not reported in the tax filings by Branca” – TeamMichaelJackson

    No evidence of the debts? I’m afraid this is the biggest misconception of all. I would gladly announce here that there were no debts but I cannot, because it goes against the truth.

    And the debts were reported in the tax fillings, because only net sums (assets minus liabilities) can be taxed, so the debts must have been stated there. Forbes is writing about it:

    Jackson did hold hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, namely his 50% share in the Sony SNE -0.71%/ATV catalogue, which industry experts believed to be worth as much as $750 million at the time (and is worth far more now). There were other entities, too, including his Mijac music catalogue, real estate and a massive art collection.

    But Jackson also carried nearly half a billion dollars in debt, meaning that his net assets were well under $1 billion–and likely less than the $702 million tax bill proposed today. The reports also suggest that a major component of the IRS bill revolves around the value of Jackson’s image and likeness. The tax agency is said to have put that number at $434 million, while the estate valued the rights at $2,105.

    Though the latter seems very low, the former seems incredibly high–at the time of Jackson’s death, anyway–given the fact that the singer hadn’t scored an endorsement deal since 1993 and didn’t crack FORBES’ list of top-earning musicians in 2008, a year in which the Police earned $115 million to claim the top spot.

    To be sure, the value of just about everything Jackson-related has skyrocketed in the years following his death. His image is once again a force to be reckoned with in the endorsement world,landing on everything from Pepsi cans to slot machines. Two Jackson-themed Cirque du Soleil tours are currently running–Michael Jackson Onein Las Vegas and the Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour around the globe–and his music seems as popular as ever.

    But estate taxes are levied on the value of assets at the time of death, not at the time the tax bill is issued or announced. And as a result, it seems unlikely that the tax court will rule in favor of the IRS getting its $702 million.

    Of course, the whole issue would have been moot had Jackson died a year later: due to a legal quirk, there was no estate tax in 2010.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2013/08/23/why-the-702-million-irs-tax-claim-on-michael-jacksons-estate-wont-stand-up/

    I know that you are highly upset by that $2,105 figure put on Michael’s image, and this is indeed sad, but the image is a matter of opinion and sometimes it can be helpful in minimizing taxes. The debts were huge and the Estate was not interested in increasing them by paying tens of millions in taxes on his image – though emotionally that low sum is indeed unpleasant.

    The author of this Forbes article Zack O’Malley Greenburg says that placing a price on the image is ‘tricky’. See this dialogue:

    • Thanks, again, Zack for clarifying a somewhat confusing story (at least to me). One thing. In the Jackson v AEG civil lawsuit now in progress, AEG experts have valued Michael Jackson’s worth (name, performance and endorsement-wise) on the very low side while the plaintiff’s experts are doing just the opposite. Can this type of ‘expert’ testimony help/hinder the IRS claim, or are we talking apples and walnuts?

    • Zack O’Malley Greenburg: I’d say it’s sort of like apples and walnuts — in the trial they are talking more about MJ’s earnings potential had he survived. The IRS claim revolves around Jackson’s “value” at the time of his death. Net worth can be calculated, but placing a dollar amount on image and likeness is tricky (and I think it’s kind of outrageous to tax it!)

    P.S. Guys, it is almost 3 am here, so I’ll try to answer the rest tomorrow. Sorry…

    Like

  56. November 10, 2013 4:50 pm

    “One more point Helen, you have not mentioned all the conflict of interest referred to by Branca in the court docs filed by BO, or maybe that was not the point of this blog??” – TeamMichaelJackson

    If you are talking about the documents attached to Joe Jackson’s objections paper I intend to go over all them. You probably mean Michael Singer’s involvement mentioned in this point of Joe Jackson’s paper:

    If so then I have to say that there was NO conflict of interest at all. Both Branca’s firm and Singer’s firm were working for Michael (and he knew them both), only Singer handled litigation matters while Branca did not.

    Branca simply referred Michael to the second law firm that was working for him, that’s all. If Branca himself had used Singer for litigation matters only shows that he was of a high opinion of this firm.

    LeGrand was also of a very high opinion of Singer:

    26 …. my approach was
    27 to find a qualified law firm like Lavely Singer,
    28 Brian Wolf and Marty Singer.

    12 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: To your knowledge, while
    13 you were representing Mr. Jackson, how many law
    14 firms were involved in his affairs?
    15 A. Well, the Katten Muchin firm was providing
    16 representation in a couple pieces of litigation.
    17 The Ziffren firm, John Branca in particular, was the
    18 primary music counsel. Lavely Singer was providing
    19 representation on a variety of matters, mostly
    20 litigation-related. There was my firm. There was
    21 Paul Hastings law firm. There was Mark Geragos.

    This enormous number of law firms is explained by the need to urgently do something about Bashir’s film in January 2003.

    First Mr. Konitzer hired LeGrand to stop the film from being shown. Then Konitzer hired Mark Geragos. LeGrand in his turn hired Paul Hastings firm and several more lawyers in Britain to look into the possibilities they had there.

    But they could do nothing because Bashir had a “contract” on his hands which was signed by Michael. He trusted Bashir and signed the paper with only one paragraph of text on it – everything else was an oral agreement which Bashir did not follow.

    It is clear that Michael had not consulted Branca about that interview and never approached him to check up Bashir or his “contract”, and this must have been another sore point between them. Michael realized he had made a mistake but this realization didn’t make things easier.

    By the way a lot of things had been done in much secrecy from Branca – Wiesner himself says that the MJ Universe project was being evolved in secret.

    And one more interesting point – it was Konitzer who hired LeGrand, but when LeGrand suspected him of embezzlement he dismissed him. And Konitzer and Wiesner are also part of Intefor report!

    Like

  57. November 10, 2013 4:34 pm

    “There are further statements made by Tohme Tohme whereas Branca wanted to meet with Michael in 09, but Michael wanted nothing to do with him, I don’t feel there is any reason for TT to lie about this” – TeamMichaelJackson

    Tohme had a lot of reasons not to want Branca around.

    First of all Tohme did not want a single lawyer around Michael and he isolated Michael from Peter Lopez too. He intentionally wanted to make the deal with AEG single-handedly through his own lawyer Dennis Hawk, so that Michael did not have a chance to have the contract analyzed by anyone else.

    If Branca had come in earlier (as he wanted to) he could have put a stop to a lot of atrocities in that contract, and Tohme would have fallen the first victim to it. This is why Tohme absolutely didn’t want him around, same as he didn’t want Peter Lopez.

    Wiki says that the 51st Annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 8, 2009 and this was the time when the “contract” had been signed (at least AEG says so). Exactly at the same time Peter Lopez was brushed aside too.

    The fact that Branca wanted to get closer to Michael at that time shows that he was trying to stand up for his interests. Tohme naturally never wanted it.

    Like

  58. November 10, 2013 4:08 pm

    “Hi Helen, Love you, so this is about whether what is printed against Branca is true, or not!” – TeamMichaelJackson

    Hi, TeaMJ, I love and appreciate you too and sorry for releasing your comment only now – it was kept on hold due to many links.

    I suggest we should not jump to conclusions and unravel things slowly peeeling off layer after layer. I always do it that way.

    It will surprise you but I will agree with you, Katherine and everybody that during a long period of time Michael was resentful of Branca and extremely displeased with him. It was mostly connected with the way Branca handled his business. Michael wanted a new and innovative approach and preferred to Branca Mr. Konitzer and Mr. Weisner who at some point started working on MJ Universe – a bright new project which never materialized because it was based on sand. It required a good deal of money which Michael at that time did not have, and in addition to that Konitzer swindled him of at least $900,000 if not more as LeGrand testified.

    Of course Branca with his much less flamboyant approach could not compete with these two new managers in Michael’s life who promised him a rainbow in the sky. On January 31, 2003 Michael signed a General power of attorney for those two guys, and four days later, on February 4 2003 he fired his whole old team of accountants, lawyers, managers. Branca and Barry Siegel were fired together with everyone else – so technically it is correct that he was fired. But it was not due to any “embezzlement” – absolutely not.

    The situation was exactly the opposite – LeGrand suspected Mr. Konitzer of embezzlement and wrote him a letter asking to account for the money, and two or three weeks later LeGrand was fired too, same as Branca.

    Michael may have suspected Branca of embezzlement but it was not confirmed by the Interfor report, as LeGrand (who ordered the report) testified in 2005.

    When Konitzer and Wiesner proved themselves useless another player entered, and it was Al Malnik with the Goldman Sachs deal. To get the deal evaluated Michael did approach Branca again – whether he liked him or not. The Goldman Sachs deal never materialized either, partially because Branca warned Michael of the eventual loss of control over his assets. The other reason was that another team entered and it was Don Stadler and Randy Jackson who approached Prescient Acquisition Group and they brought in Fortress Investment Group.

    This is only an outline of the story but there is much much more to all that. If you give me some time I will write a post about it.

    As regards your comment there are some factual mistakes there. For example, you refer us to your October 2012 information http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/6300 that the Estate refused to hand over the AEG contract to KJ unless she signed off on A doc promising not to sue AEG.

    This is not quite so. I examined it much earlier than you – in 2011 in this post: https://vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/michael-jacksons-agreement-with-aeg-a-contract-or-a-letter-of-intent/ The essence of the problem was that without the court ruling the Estate could not release the AEG contract because the document didn’t belong to them but to AEG and AEG was not giving consent to disclosing it as it ‘could harm their business’.

    Here is an excerpt from the post showing how the events evolved:

    1) First the media heavily implied that the Estate attorneys were fully on AEG’s side:

    “Katherine insists she had no choice but to file official documents because, “The special administrators (of Jackson’s estate) have, up to this point, refused all requests,” insisting the attorneys for her son’s estate are “intent on keeping her in the dark as much and for as long as possible.”

    The lawyers and promoters she is targeting claim Jackson’s request is “burdensome and invasive.” The attorneys have also expressed concern that Katherine would not uphold a confidentiality agreement surrounding the concert deal:

    ”Without the safeguards necessary to ensure the continued confidentiality of the artist agreement and any proposed modifications, AEG cannot provide such information to Ms. Jackson or her counsel without risking serious harm to its business.” http://www.contactmusic.com/news.nsf/story/jacksons-mother-wants-comeback-concerts-contract_1111147

    2) “AEG cannot provide this information to Mrs. Jackson without risking serious harm to its business”???

    Is it the Estate which is making the above statement? To me it sounds like the official position of AEG whose business can be “seriously harmed” by disclosing the contract (with terms like those stated in that ‘contract’ no doubt it can). The Estate attorneys denied that it was them who imposed the restrictions:

    “A lawyer for McClain and Branca denied those allegations. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/29/local/me-jackson-mom29

    3) Radaronline explained the real reason why the attorneys couldn’t share the contract:

    Jul 28, 2009. “The executors have no secrets,” the insider said.
    “Any inference that we have not been forthcoming in providing information to Katherine Jackson’s attorneys is not accurate,” a spokesperson for the executors said.

    Legally, Branca cannot release the contract to Jackson with[out] AEG’s consent. The source says that Londell McMillan, Katherine’s attorney, will not agree to certain confidentiality agreements attached to viewing the document. http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/07/exclusive-john-branca-deposition-delayed

    4) The official response of the Estate attorneys to Katherine Jackson confirmed that the restrictions were placed not by them, but by AEG:

    “The Special Administrators have and will continue to provide timely information to Mrs. Jackson’s counsel regarding potential business opportunities for the Estate. Any inference that we have not been forthcoming in providing information to Katherine Jackson’s attorneys is not accurate.

    There is one agreement being requested by Mrs. Jackson’s attorneys where the other party to the contract has agreed to provide the document to Mrs. Jackson and her attorneys but requested that the terms be kept confidential and not be shared with third parties. Mrs. Jackson’s lawyers have refused that offer.” http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20090728006506/en/Statement-Howard-Weitzman-Attorney-John-Branca-John

    5) What party are they talking of? AEG Live of course, who demanded that Katherine’s lawyers should sign a special confidentiality agreement which wouldn’t let them sue their company because of the information contained in the contract (which makes me think they expected it):

    “In a separate filing, a lawyer for AEG said Katherine Jackson’s legal team had refused to sign a confidentiality agreement that, among other things, barred them from using the information contained in the contract in any legal process other than the probate court proceedings. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jul/29/local/me-jackson-mom29

    6) Fortunately the matter was resolved in Katherine’s favor in court which ruled on August 3, 2009 that AEG was to provide her with a copy of contract with Michael Jackson:

    8/3/2009 The judge has ruled that AEG has to provide a copy of their contract with Michael to Katherine Jackson. http://www.tmz.com/2009/08/03/michael-jackson-estate-hearing-guardianship-debbie-rowe/

    Like

  59. November 10, 2013 4:06 pm

    Well, I’m thinking that Probate would require proof of debt(s) to be paid and would frown on non-proof of millions of dollars paid to unknown parties. Perhaps that’s where I differ from others who mistrust Branca and whatever he does/says along with the very air he breathes.
    Or those who imagine the court is complicit in cheating Michael’s children out of their inheritance.

    As for the will, seems to me that Michael had 7 years between 2002-09 to draft another will that would supersede 2002. If he did, no one presented it to the court within legal time limits. Therefore, it doesn’t exist in the eyes of the court. It may be understandable that the family is not pleased with that outcome. Mrs. J did have the opportunity to contest which she decided against. Are we not to respect her decision?

    I personally do not think that Branca is the devil incarnate and from my perspective, the Estate is doing it’s best to provide a rightful inheritance to the children…who, by the way, along with charities…are the true and rightful heirs to their father’s legacy…no one else.

    Like

  60. November 10, 2013 3:17 pm

    I am sure there were alot of people who wanted Branca out of the picture. As far as him being put in charge of MJ estate, I cant think of anyone else that MJ might have wanted in charge.That was the smart move,,Seems Branca is still protecting MJ assets. Thank you for sharing all your research🙂 – Nan

    Nan, thank you. I am absolutely sure too that a lot of people wanted and still want Branca out of the picture. Some of them mean no harm to Michael and are simply misguided, but some are doing it intentionally as they mean no good to Michael and his children.

    My research is going on and that’s what I’ve come so late today. I’ve spent half a day looking just for one letter and one power of attorney too – fortunately I did find them.

    Like

  61. November 10, 2013 3:12 pm

    “Т.е. начали защищать Бранку? Как так быстро можно упасть? т.е. ничего, что он был уволен Майклом за игру против него с Сони? т.е. ничего, что возможно именно он подделал завещание, которго, вроде как, не было и в которому куча вопросов остаётся по сей день? Какой хороший Бранка!” – Mitnik

    Mitnik, first let me translate what you’ve written here in Russian so that everyone understands:

    “So you’ve started to support Branca? How could you fall so quickly? So it means nothing that he was fired by Michale for a game against him with Sony? So it means nothing that he forged the will which probably didn’t exist and to which we have a pile of questions until today? What good Branca!”

    Mitnik, now here is my answer to you:

    I don’t side with people. I side with the truth.

    Like

  62. TatumMarie permalink
    November 10, 2013 12:25 pm

    I hope that when Prince decides to handle the estate he will not be misled by conspiracy theories. I’ve read the article posted here, and it is well researched, but the anti-Branca info on other sites is based on hearsay and speculation. I have yet to see any REAL evidence that Branca betrayed Michael. They may have parted ways at times, but its obvious that it was due to mixing business with personal decisions on both their parts.

    Like

  63. Helen-Marie permalink
    November 10, 2013 6:45 am

    Helena, I wouldn’t normally contact you this way, but I wanted to let you know that this blog is being attacked by malicious spyware. Perhaps because of the nature of this discussion, who knows? (A bit of a coincidence though don’t you think?)

    Whilst on here this morning my computer blocked 2 very high risk attacks, which would have wiped my computer out if not for my security block. I thought it would be good to let everyone who contributes here know and pre-warn you to be on high alert.

    Be safe everyone x

    Like

  64. November 9, 2013 11:14 pm

    Dear Helena,

    I have been and continue to be very thankful to you, one of the rare few who remain in the MJ Community whom I trust and respect. One who is not receiving the perks, pats or meet and greet trips for supporting John Branca.

    You give us a place to bring and gather information by which we can make our own determinations. I believe in you. However, I do not agree with you on the subject of John Branca.

    I do not support Mr. Branca as the MJ Estate Executor. There is and never will be any getting around the fact he should not have been in possession of any of Michael’s documents after he and the other two were fired. I am still waiting on that typical MJ note, letter, contract or often illegally done recording of Michael where he speaks to John Branca about rehiring him or tells anyone he has rehired Branca. I for one do not believe in a Will with all of the children’s names incorrect or misspelled by the father who named them. If Michael made the errors with the children’s names, could not get that correct then he should not have been set up to prepare a Will at that time.

    I do not and will not forget his “now I am Michael Jackson ” comment to Mrs. Jackson just days after MJ’s death. A comment if made by another entertainer would’ve brought absolute death and destruction upon their head by MJ Fans. Do not forget he lied when reporting to the Media about the 30 million in the Trust Fund in June 2011. Nor do I forget the memo spoken of in Mr. Sullivan’s book, a book by the way several used information from during the AEG trial. The memo which said the Trust money would be withheld until Michael’s Mother was dead. I do not forget that with one memo he could have stopped the guttersnipes and bigots who claim they are MJ Fans from verbally mauling Michael’s Mother all over the blasted Internet. I do not forget that by allowing the foul propergators to have their way it eased the passage of the perception he should do what he wish with the MJ Estate without question, as if his.

    The above does not mean he is not a good manager, just an insensitive SOB who obviously wanted to be Michael Jackson.

    However, here is what I do believe. There will come a time in the not so distant future when the majority of the assets of Michael Jackson will be pocketed, carved up, divvied up or sold off without regard to or the consent of the rightful owners. I believe there will be almost no physical assets which do not belong to persons other than the children and each child will be lucky to inherit 50 million from the billion(s) dollar Estate while Branca and other will have taken10 times that much. I believe by the time Prince is able to take control of the Estate there will be few left to do so and the rest will still be tied up in legal red tape to the advantage of others due to John Branca. I believe any attempt to call for an accounting by the Fans is ignored or quelled by the more influential groups using negative comments to dissuade others. There will come a time when it will be too late, or there be too few to ask the questions, remember what really happened or our questions will be ignored as we have given the MJ Estate, which we built, over to others.

    Like

  65. November 9, 2013 11:07 pm

    Last one for now Helen, some key facts we saw in those court filing, open to your remarks, Lv http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/6318

    Like

  66. November 9, 2013 10:39 pm

    2005 Witness LeGrand, Questions by TM

    Q. Sony/ATV was owned 50/50 by Sony and Michael Jackson, correct?

    A. Yes

    Q. At the time you began an investigation into some of the people around Mr. Jackson that you were concerned about, one of the people you investigated was Mr. Branca, correct
    A. Yes

    Q. At the time Mr. Branca had been an attorney in LA doing music work for Mr. Jackson, right?

    A. Yes

    Q. Just to clarify, Mr. Branca was partner at the Ziffren law firm in LA, correct?

    A. Yes

    Q. That firm also represented Sony, correct?

    A. Yes

    Q. And you were concerned that Mr. Branca and that law firm might not be representing Mr. Jacksons interest properly because of their connection to Sony, correct?

    Prosecutor: Objection
    The Court: Sustained

    Q. Was it your believe when you started the investigation that Al Malnik, Tommy Motolla, John Branca and people at Sony were trying to find A way to get Mr. Jackson interest in the music catalog?
    A. I’m not sure I would include Al Malnik in that group, but I certainly was concerned that Branca and Mottola, in particular, had set the stage, so to speak, for Sony to be able to obtain Michaels interest in the Sony/ATV venture,

    Q. Were you concerned that Tommy Motolla and John Branca were working together to defraud Michael Jackson?

    A. Based on the suspicions that were expressed to me and my partner, we asked interfor to look into these rumors

    Q. Why did you investigate Branca?

    A. Because Mr. Konitzer indicated that he was very concerned about Mr. Branca and that Mr. Jackson expressed concerns about Mr Branca’s LOYALTY

    Q. Do you recall asking Interfor to do some investigation into an offshore bank account?

    A. It’s kind of the other way around. We asked Interfor to investigate Mr. Branca. The indicated to us that….

    Prosecution: Objection
    The Court: Sustained

    Q. Isn’t it true that you were trying to investigate an offshore account owned by Branca and Tommy Mottola?

    A. Yes

    Q. Why did you want to investigate that account?

    A. If there was an offshore account is which money was being deposited for the benefit of Mr. Branca, that would indicate very serious violations of Mr. Branca’s responsibilities to Mr. Jackson

    Q. The investigation indicated that Branca was involved I that account, right?

    A. The investigators report so indicated

    Q. And the investigators report indicated that Sony WAS involved in that account, right?

    A. The investigators reports indicated that SONY TRANSFERRED MONEY into that account

    Q. Sony transferred money to that account for the BENEFIT of BRANCA, right?

    A. That’s what was indicated in the report

    Q. Do you know why there was A decision to clean house at this particular juncture In Mr. Jackson business?

    A. Well, I know what Mr. Jackson told me

    Q. Why don’t you tell me what Mr. Jackson told you

    A. MR JACKSON TOLD ME HE NO LONGER HAD CONFIDENCE IN JOHN BRANCA

    The following questions were objected by the prosecutor and sustained by the court, but Mesereau got his point and Michael’s suspicions on COURT RECORD!

    Q. Did you think that Sony was paying Mr. Branca to SELL OUT Mr. Jackson>

    OBJECTED/SUSTAINED

    Q. Didn’t you investigate Mr Branca because you were concerned that he and Sony had set up an offshore account to funnel money to, so they could DEFRAUD Michael Jackson?

    OBJECTED/SUSTAINED

    Some facts we can’t be sure of but there are some we can, Michael would not have sat in court and allowed TM to talk about Branca as he did if he was still MJs attorney, notice TM says
    “At the time Mr. Branca HAD been an attorney in LA doing music work for Mr. Jackson, right?”
    “HAD”
    If anyone can find, via the court transcripts that Michael did rehire Branca after he fired him, then I would look at that as validation that MJ did hire JB after he fired him, otherwise going by what is posted in the media shows only speculation

    Michael fired Branca with A letter dated Feb 03, He asked Branca to comply with the requests in the termination letter, which Branca FAILED! Sigel complied with the letter, Branca did not, that in itself shows Branca as unethical!

    Helen i agree the date on the report and the letter of firing do not coincide, did you notice who the report was prepared for, do you think there may be another report that was never made public, also are you aware not all the pages of the report have ever been made public. Lv

    Like

  67. November 9, 2013 10:37 pm

    OPSIE there seems to be a huge comment of mine that has not been approved yet, so please wait for Helen to approve, thank you

    Like

  68. November 9, 2013 10:36 pm

    Hi Layne4, show me proof of debt then we can discuss this further, I already know that this is in probate court, and that they are overseeing it, can you show me court filings whereas Branca has paid of these “Phantom” $500 MILLION debts, i feel you may be missing my point, can someone point me to these debts on paper, certainly they would have been in irs tax filing of 09, but they are not, i say they dont exist and provided proof they dont exist, you say the debt exist, i kindly request you show me proof. Lv

    Like

  69. November 9, 2013 9:42 pm

    What I understand is that the Estate has been and remains in probate. This means that the court oversees financial matters including debt repayment. Therefore, one would have to assume that the court is approving repayment of debts that either don’t exist or are a fraction of what is being paid. I don’t see any sense in either of those scenarios. Seems to me there was a huge financial burden that has been, in great measure, reduced and paid through the Estate ie//Branca, et al. I suppose a knight in shining armor rescuing Michael’s financial situation is a bit over the top. However, any Estate including Elvis, Lennon, Tupac, etc. are legally bound to remove residual debt burden…it’s their job.

    Like

  70. November 9, 2013 9:31 pm

    There is a misconception about Michael being in all this debt and the hero Branca emerges to save the day, its so well scripted reminds me of a hollywood movie,, lols,, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePum2cH5mPo
    We now know all that to be false as we have not seen evidence of those debts and they were certainly were not reported in the tax filings by Branca, http://www.scribd.com/doc/164886060/IRS-VS-JOHN-BRANCA-JOHN-McCLAIN-Petition-for-redetermination-of-the-deficiencies-of-Estate-Tax

    I have been told by Michael Jackson blood relative Michael referred to Branca as the “Devil.”

    A lot of more evidence against Branca will be revealed through the HTWF case which is in the Appellate court at the moment you can follow that here http://teammichaeljackson.com/michael-jackson-estate-vs-htwf

    ps. sorry for the multiple post Helen. Lv xox

    Like

  71. November 9, 2013 9:22 pm

    One more point Helen, you have not mentioned all the conflict of interest referred to by Branca in the court docs filed by BO, or maybe that was not the point of this blog??

    And presently Zia Modabber is Estate attorney, i am certain that is another conflict of interest since Michael sued Michael in 06??

    Like

  72. November 9, 2013 9:12 pm

    Hi Helen, Love you, so this is about whether what is printed against Branca is true, or not!
    I feel the date of the report is not relevant as I feel that is the day the report was produced, the investigations would have been going on for months prior to that, the detective would have relayed their finding to their superiors, or LeGrand, who probably spoke to Michael, and Michael fired Branca even before the report was “produced”

    Next is the letter Branca sent “…this confirms I no longer represent you…” I don’t feel this is prove at all that Branca still worked for Michael, it is just a letter from Branca, I don’t feel it should be taken on face value as it stand.

    The Goldman Sachs deal as you can see Michael was not present at http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/3347/1hs8.jpg
    And there was a press release about that meeting that it was a conspiracy to take away MJs assets and to bankrupt him, the conspirators listed were those in that image, that press release has convienently removed from the web.

    And such an important meeting, every player is present, wouldn’t you think Michael would be too,,

    I would love to address each and every one of your points, but will just jump to the main points that are important to me which I can share in public

    Here, you have your opinions, we (anti-Branca) have ours, and we can never know the facts unless Michael tells us so, or those that were close to Michael.

    So here goes…
    I do not believe everything Sullivan has written in his book, he has spoken to people that talk about others which I don’t know are true, too much “he said, she said”.. hearsay..
    But there are some points where people have given him their own accounts, those I believe to be true, as there is no reason for Sullivan to make up blatant lies.

    Weitzman himself says
    “Weitzman quite reasonably pointed out that John Branca couldn’t be expected to respond to claims about the things that Michael Jackson had said about Branca during the more than six years that passed between his 2003 termination and Michael’s death.”

    From Howard Weitzman’s mouth. SIX YEARS had passed….. 03 to 09 would be six years. There is no other source better than this that we can go by. It’s practically from the horse’s mouth!!
    Source “Untouchable” P526:- https://anonfiles.com/file/de2694b5c13f3c75717f8e52fc814f42

    Brian Oxman said Mrs. Jackson, found notes at Carolwood

    “ John Branca has nothing else to do with my business from this day on, from this day
    forward, nothing.”

    Source The book “Untouchable” P521:- https://anonfiles.com/file/de2694b5c13f3c75717f8e52fc814f42

    I believe the above to be true, as Mrs. Jackson wrote in a sworn declaration, “John Branca was a man that my son was very worried about, Michael told me on more than one occasion that he did not like this man and did not trust him, he told me that John had stolen from him”
    Source: http://teammichaeljackson.com/declaration-mrs-jackson-2

    There are further statements made by Tohme Tohme whereas Branca wanted to meet with Michael in 09, but Michael wanted nothing to do with him, I don’t feel there is any reason for TT to lie about this, if anyone wants to speculate and say “well Branca is suing him, so he is making it up” I don’t believe to be true, because the details TT goes into when explaining what happened is too precise, he mentions dates events that were happening at that time, when someone lies they don’t have that much detail. And when TT quotes Michael we that love Michael know if those are Michaels words or not!
    “Tohme claimed that Michael had made it overwhelmingly clear he did not trust
    Branca. The attorney had arranged to be introduced to Jackson’s new manager by
    Randy Phillips at the 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony, and afterward Branca phoned to arrange a lunch meeting, Tohme said. When he told his client about it,
    though, “ Michael told me I had to cancel the lunch. He said, ‘You can’t have
    anything to do with Branca. I don’t want him near me.’”
    Source Page 410/411 “Untouchable”

    Finally John Branca was invited to MJs funeral, he did not attend there or the memorial!

    John Branca banned Mrs. Jacksons grand children from Calabassas, even A little toddler I think 3 or 4 years old, he banned Mrs. Jackson Husband who was not even part of the letter that was written.
    http://rolandmartinreports.com/blog/2012/07/michael-jacksons-kids-meet-with-court-appointed-guardian/

    Also Branca refused to hand over the AEG contract to KJ unless she signed off on A doc promising not to sue AEG http://teammichaeljackson.com/archives/6300

    Like

  73. Nan permalink
    November 9, 2013 7:46 pm

    this part

    The Wrap article tells us how that 5% came about.

    After cancelling the Dangerous tour Michael owed the tour promoters a fortune and one of his lawyers suggested selling the Beatles catalog for $75 million. Branca advised him against it and instead arranged a merge with Sony which brought Michael $150million cash from Sony. This is when he asked for a 5% fee on the deal which amounted to $7,5mln (which in my opinion, was a fair price for so big a profit).

    I always find it interesting that when MJ is put in dire straights , like the 93 accusations and the 2003 accusations, people suggest he sell his catalog.
    I happen to think Evan Chandler accusations came with strings attached to people who wanted MJ catalog and that is why FranK Delio said regarding that time in MJ life , they wanted to cut his power
    I have also read the testimony regarding Mr Branca back in 2005., .I never have had a problem with Branca, I just think people liked to put suspicions in MJ mind, about Branca, because the only person really protecting MJ and his assets., is Branca, everybody else was trying to take advantage of MJ
    I am sure there were alot of people who wanted Branca out of the picture.
    As far as him being put in charge of MJ estate, I cant think of anyone else that MJ might have wanted in charge.That was the smart move,,Seems Branca is still protecting MJ assets
    Thank you for sharing all your research🙂

    Like

  74. Mitnik permalink
    November 9, 2013 4:59 pm

    Т.е. начали защищать Бранку? Как так быстро можно упасть? т.е. ничего, что он был уволен Майклом за игру против него с Сони? т.е. ничего, что возможно именно он подделал завещание, которго, вроде как, не было и в которому куча вопросов остаётся по сей день?
    Какой хороший Бранка!

    Like

  75. November 9, 2013 3:34 pm

    “you don’t claim to know all the truths” – Helen-Marie

    I don’t claim to know the whole truth, but I’m ready to dig through tons of materials in order to get some precious grains of it as I myself am curious to know it.

    As regards Branca and other Michael’s business advisors in 2003-2004 it was also extremely interesting to read LeGrand’s testimony at the 2005 trial, Dieter Wiesner’s book and parts of Frank Cascio’s book (I suppose that the “Firm” he says Michael was unhappy with during making the Invincible was Branca’s firm).

    None of it was used in the present post as it would make too big a piece, but I hope to go on with it.

    “the mud has been well and truly thrown and stuck and will always cloud the judgement of fans who will never bother to look at the evidence for themselves.”

    Unfortunately this is a repetition of what was done to Michael. Just the same pattern. Ignorance and injustice.

    Like

  76. November 9, 2013 2:41 pm

    “I started to dig deeper and investigate for myself who John Branca was and finally see him as someone who was obviously loyal to Michael and his legacy.” – Helen-Marie

    Helen-Marie, the documents attached to Joe Jackson’s paper convinced me that he was very loyal to Michael (same as probably to all his clients).

    What I saw in those documents was integrity and honesty towards Michael, and an open and forthright approach to doing business in general.

    For example, when Sony asked Branca to represent them in acquisition of new songs for the Sony/ATV catalog, he sent both Michael and Sony letters explaining that potentially this situation could result in a conflict of interest, and he warned Sony in advance that if a conflict of interest arose he would be defending Michael’s interests in opposition to them.

    Only on that condition he agreed to represent Sony in their joint (Sony/Michael’s) acquisition of new songs and only when Michael allowed him in writing to act on their behalf too.

    I absolutely admire this approach and see a huge difference between the way Branca does his business with the way AEG does the same. The documents from both of them are their visiting cards and judging by the documents they are poles apart.

    Like

  77. November 9, 2013 2:15 pm

    “You still stand upright against injustice and vouch for your values.” – Susanne

    Susanne, thank you very much for understanding my motives and for your support. The truth is indeed the only thing that I am really searching for. And as regards injustice it is abhorrent to me in any shape and form – whether it concerns Michael, Branca, Katherine or anyone else.

    Like

  78. November 9, 2013 1:43 pm

    Reblogged this on Nonlocal Universe.

    Like

  79. November 9, 2013 10:04 am

    Helena, my respect to you for staying by your position to only represent truth and facts and for your courage to remain uninfluenced by trends, opinions, groups and unpopularity. You still stand upright against injustice and vouch for your values. You’re solid as a rock in this sea of MJ groups because you don’t change sides or jump on bandwagons to please everybody, but search only for facts. And this makes you very reliable and trustworthy. Thank you.

    Like

  80. Helen-Marie permalink
    November 9, 2013 6:33 am

    Thank you for this informative article Helena. I must confess, for many years after Michaels death I too was very much against John Branca and saw him as an evil conspirator.

    What changed my point of view was when I saw how he had managed to clear Michaels huge debts which would ultimately play a huge part in safeguarding the children’s future. It was only then that I started to dig deeper and investigate for myself who John Branca was and finally see him as someone who was obviously loyal to Michael and his legacy.

    As you have presented in your article, he could have turned his back on Michael many times, having being investigated by Michael would have been one instance, but what has become apparent is that he remained his business advisor for many years, even saving him from the mistake of parting with his major asset, the music catalogue.

    It is only after Michaels untimely departure that we see what a mistake that would have been and we ultimately have Branca to thank for that. Unfortunately the opposite has happened and the mud has been well and truly thrown and stuck and will always cloud the judgement of fans who will never bother to look at the evidence for themselves.

    I am constantly troubled by those who seem to shout the loudest amongst the MJ community on matters they really don’t know or understand and as of late the bullying and arguments amongst the fans has saddened me. I really think it’s time to move on from the stalemate that has been created across the web and get back to honouring Michael the way he deserves.

    I really wish there were a lot more blogs like yours Helena, you don’t claim to know all the truths, but you present an overview based on hard evidence and well investigated facts. I applaud you on the way you are not afraid to speak out on a subject, even if it’s not a popular opinion, it’s refreshing and something many should aspire to.

    Thanks again for this informative article.

    Like

  81. Carole Tia permalink
    November 9, 2013 5:47 am

    We all have different opinion on the estate,Branca… We don t have to agree on him but thank u for expressing ur option.

    Like

  82. November 9, 2013 2:16 am

    “While interesting, none of this information is relevant to the situation in June of 2009. Circumstances change, people change.” – Simba

    I’m far from finished, Simba and intend to continue. All I am asking of you is not to make the same mistake towards Branca as Michael’s detractors made towards Michael.

    Layne4 and TheresaB, thank you. I’m only fighting the injustice (as usual).

    Like

  83. simba permalink
    November 8, 2013 11:47 pm

    While interesting, none of this information is relevant to the situation in June of 2009. Circumstances change, people change.

    Like

  84. mjbluemoon permalink
    November 8, 2013 10:40 pm

    $$$$ R U 4 REAL! These ppl never wanted Mj 2 have anything .. nor his heirs!! $MH!! More corporation BS!

    Like

  85. November 8, 2013 9:16 pm

    Thanks for this, Helena. I certainly appreciate fact based information…educational and well researched.

    Like

  86. TheresaB permalink
    November 8, 2013 9:06 pm

    Thank you for this very well organized and factual, with supporting documentation, account of the business relationship between Michael Jackson and John Branca. This was very timely and much needed.

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. The”55 minutes thinking” – Part 3- Conrad Murray aka … | Nonlocal Universe
  2. Reblogging of “Defending John Branca” by Vindicating Michael. | MJ Truth Now

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