March 11th, 2010
03:44 PM ET
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) - Lawyers working for Michael Jackson's estate lined up in court Thursday to ask a judge to order that their legal fees be paid.
One firm is billing the deceased pop star's estate about $60,000 a month and another invoice given to the judge was for $1.2 million.
Attorney Paul Hoffman said it is money well spent because "several very interesting projects that break new ground" will be announced soon. He offered no other details.
An army of lawyers have battled in probate court since last July over who will control Jackson's legacy, music and property in the wake of his June 25, 2009 death.
A will that Jackson signed in 2002 named John Branca, his lawyer then; and John McCain, a music executive, as executors, but the Jackson family challenged them for control. Katherine Jackson, the singer's mother, gave up her fight last fall, but his father, Joe Jackson, continues his effort.
Jackson died owing major debts, but his investments in music catalogues and the rights to his name are believed to be worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.
Hoffman said an appraisal of Jackson's estate should be completed soon.
The estate negotiated an $80 million deal with Sony Entertainment last summer that resulted in the "This Is It" documentary released in October.
Joel Katz, a lawyer specializing in entertainment deals, billed the estate $1.2 million for his firm's work, according to court papers. Hoffman said Katz cut his fees by $300,000.
The lawyer who represents Michael Jackson's three children told the judge
The will is still in the probate process, requiring Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff to approve major expenses. He said he would issue an order Monday to pay the lawyers.
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