March 11th, 2010
03:44 PM ET

Michael Jackson deals coming as lawyers line up to be paid

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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
she thought the attorney fees were reasonable. Prince Michael, 12; Paris, 11; Blanket, 7, and Katherine Jackson each have a 20 percent share of the estate. The remaining 20 percent will go to charities that have not yet been chosen.

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.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Jack

    WOW, some great posts on here re: MJ. I, too, believe he got a raw deal in the media which can put a slant on a story and make the public believe MJ was a dirty, slimy, Chester, Chester child molester. To: Brittany - I agree with your post 100%. We had something great in MJ and it took his death for the world to know his true genius.

    We thought MJ was strange for placing blankets and sheaths over his children's faces to protect them. Now it seems MJ had plenty of sense because as he would tell his children, "The world is cruel."

    But, we also have to thank the media for showing us footage of MJ with his children, being fatherly, celebrating birthday parties, trying to show his children how to dance (Lord, they don't have any rhythm) and for just being loving. Paris' speech at the memorial service will forever be etched in history when she said, "Daddy was the best father..."

    March 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Admin

    Where were you all when he was being called a pedi**le in the media. Everyone was on that banwagon, then he dies and the same people are like OMG he was the best I can't believe he is gone. I'm sorry for his children who loved him dearly. But for the bandwagon jumpers, you are all pathetic.

    March 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kiama

      to Born in the fifties: And no message could be any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change.
      You got to stand up, stand up, stand up. Make that change.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. shell517nj

    born in the 50's...could not have said it better....

    March 15, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. born in the 50's

    Joe, I feel sorry for you. Mo, you are so right, I couldn't have said it better myself. And...Disgusted Reader, did you ever stop to think that maybe Cookla who you ripped apart so cruely is not American? Maybe English is not this persons' first language. Are you bilingual? And furthermore this article is about MJ whom you obviously don't care about, so why are you on here? It's time for the haters to take a look in the mirror. You can make that change.

    March 15, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. law

    Come on people, what the attorneys are doing is within their rights of the law. It just so happens you are hearing about it because of MJ's status.

    Just let them do their job, be done with it so the kids can move on.

    March 15, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. Disgusted reader

    Hey, Cookla, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously when your grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and use of capitalization are so miserably poor? Where did you get the bizzare notion that you have to put an apostrophe in almost anything that ends in the letter "s", e.g. star's, alway's (twice), Debt's, need's (twice)? Are you one of those people who think that educated people use apostrophes so you're going to use them liberally even though you obviously don't know what the hell you're doing? "When a person has deceased" - do you mean "died"? "Any more greive" - do you mean "grief"? "Let us know were then money has gone" - ???? "all there best" - do you mean "their"? If you never made an effort to pass third grade English, and you can't be bothered today to pull a dictionary off the shelf or run a spell-checker to check your spelling and grammar, then how could you possibly imagine that you deserve for anyone even to think about giving you a job? Instead of whining about your plight, how about going back to school, learning how to write at an 8th grade level or better, acquiring some marketable skills, and landing yourself a job doing useful work for someone?

    March 14, 2010 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  7. bev

    Jackson was legally married to the birth mother of his two oldest children at the time of their birth. Regardless of who provided the sperm, those children are his legally and emotionally - he was the only father they ever knew. He arranged to have his third child carried by a surrogate and perhaps even adopted the baby. that child is legally his also. Hid is legally and morally their father, regardless of DNA. And by all accounts he was a loving, affectionate, doting father who also taight his children manners and respecdt for their elders.

    March 13, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pleasure

    Joe March 11th, 2010 9:21 pm ET
    One other thing. The kids should get nothing. One look at them and you can tell they are not his children. I would ask for a DNA test and if they pass give them part of the estate. If he willed any portion to them then so be it, but they are not entitled solely because they are his kids. These kids have no Jackson blood in them.

    You are really sick and should see a doctor instead of posting hateful messages. You are just jealous hahahaha! Poor pathetic soul....

    March 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Head Diva In Charge

    He still can't get peace. It's so sad.......I will always believe that MJ was a great man who just didn't know how to navigate the world of celebrity. I felt bad when he died not only because I was a fan but because I felt that there were so many avoidable things that pushed him to the brink of destruction. I understand there is money owed, but hopefully people will remember there are children left with no father and a family that is still grieving.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mo

    Joe, I was adopted into a very wealthy family and when my parents died, I was entitled to everything they had. What are you talking about? They were MY parents and I was THEIR child. Funny thing was I looked just like my mother and there was no shared DNA there. How dare you! You heard Paris. He was the best father in the world. They deserve everything he had. Michael wasn't 'just a singer'. No one will ever come close to matching his talent. He might have been a little weird sometimes, but you can blame that on his father. He was the one that robbed him of his childhood and he was just trying to relive a little bit of it. That's all he wanted. He didn't hurt anyone and was never convicted of doing so. You are a cruel person and I pity you.

    March 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lynn

    Michael was a gem.
    Jealousy, greed & wrongful accusations from others destroyed his beautiful naive soul. I'm surprised people are cruel enough to think someone as innocent, simple & kind as MJ can exist! May the most creative & passionate artist of our time rest in peace.

    March 12, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. Gregory Coates

    Thats really messed up how when hes alive everyone hates him, they pull him down call him a child molestore.....but when hes dead everyone prasises him? Go on google and type kid lies about micheal jackson molestation it clearly states that the kid said his dad MADE HIM say Micheal Jackson touched him. And after all that people are still trying to shunn him down! LET HIM REST IN PEICE And give the money to his CHILDREN and his FAMILY

    R.I.p MJ King of pop

    March 12, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Helen

    If you can not say anything positive DO NOT say anything at all. Gosh he is gone and left children here to carry on his legacy. As for the so called Lawyers well they are being ridiculous with their greed for the dollar and could care less about the family. Just goes to show there is no justice with lawyers just a down hill battle to drown individuals.

    March 12, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Anne

    It is a very good thing that the kids have no Jackson blood in them judging by the way they have lived their lives. They got all the best of MJ without any of Joe Jackson's genetics.

    March 12, 2010 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. Get serious

    1. Just because a person is dead, their debts are NOT erased.
    2. Jackson did not live within his means.
    3. Attorneys deserve to be paid just like you...the fees are discussed up front. Those of you harping should instead send a cut of YOUR salary to the children if you feel they need the $$$.
    4.Even if the children are not BIOLOGICAL offspring, they have always been known as his children. Even if they are not his "blood" for all we know he adopted most state laws MINOR children need to be provided Joe are YOU going to adopt them?

    March 12, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  16. joe's an idiot

    I pray for the children-Lord only knows what they will have to go through as adults having to read posts such as Joe's . Joe shut your mouth you disgust me. Nobody asks to leave this world as you state. Anyone that tells others to get a life obviously has no life of their own. Go post on idiot joe maybe you'll find a friend.

    rip mj

    March 12, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  17. kathy

    Michael is being vindicated in death.
    There is a hole in the universe without him.

    March 12, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  18. Chiqui68

    Dear Joe,
    Why don't you snap out of it? If you don't like MJ then don't read the article and stay out of it. No use upsetting yourself and posting comments like that. You must be working for the media???

    March 12, 2010 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
  19. shell517nj

    I pray that God watches over his kids and the childrens best interest is everyone's first priority.. Sad. Really! He didn't deserve this..

    March 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Joe

    One other thing. The kids should get nothing. One look at them and you can tell they are not his children. I would ask for a DNA test and if they pass give them part of the estate. If he willed any portion to them then so be it, but they are not entitled solely because they are his kids. These kids have no Jackson blood in them.

    March 11, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Joe

    He was a freak when he was alive and you crazy losers worshiped him. You all need to get your own lives. He is gone. Sad he had to go so fast but that is the way it is. He asked for it. He knew what he was doing but expected he was rich enough to cheat death. He found out different. Plus he was scum for keeping spending millions he didn't have and owing everyone in the world. He was just a singer. C'mon people!! Snap out of it!

    March 11, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • tkay

      Michael was a young black american boy who was blessed with a gift and he became iconic through he love for life and land his spiritual connection was what he was persecueted for. Yes he was not only a singer his was a human being. U people crucified him how much could one person take. It's okay now because where he is now you better hope and pray you make it there. Love You Michael Forever Young. RIP

      June 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  22. sonia

    we love u

    March 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  23. sonia

    All I wanted to say that they should leave Michael alone he's already dead. Just give his children what is rightfully theirs.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  24. sonia

    Tell me why people like a hand out. Michael worked his butt off so that his children can have a better life and those blood suckers are holding out their palms. Get a fricking job already.

    March 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Lee

    These law firms are just sick, no wonder MJ could never pay off his debts. Now they line up for their fees when MJ doesn't exist in human.

    March 11, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  26. craig

    Still love you Michael.

    March 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  27. MM

    The dogs come out and want his monies. I think the greedy attornies should cute there rates and think about the kids he left behind. I think they should all "Leave him alone". Get a life.

    March 11, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  28. carol kesling

    @ brittany... truer words have never been spoken, well said !!!!

    March 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Brittany

    it is messed up that when he was alive everyone left him alone and now since he's gone everyone wants a piece of him. the reason they gave him awards and attention is because they finally realized that he was something really special and innocent after all. and i really do believe in the quote, ' You really don't know what you got till it's gone' and when he died we really did have something special and the media knew that as well and now that want to be all nice, it just makes me mad of how us in today's society are. God Bless the Jackson family

    March 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Str8 outta TX

    pretty messed up how nobody f***s with him when he is alive, and in fact, calls him child molester or what have you. however, when he dies he gets all types of awards and attention.

    March 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Cookla

    We Love MJ alway's will so that is your profit please let his Chidren have a happy normal life MJ and his Family have only given the world all there best time for you to rest PLEASE XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    March 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Cookla

    What is wrong with you people l understand we lost one of the greatest star's ever BUT l didn't hear about you fighting when he had to go to court no you shunned him at the time no support for his Family or Children now he is dead your all fighting for what you can get from his DEATH l alway's knew any Debt's were gone when a person has deceased but for you to fight on is Pathetic let MJ rest in Peace please and let his Family live without any more greive it is costing you more to get what you want why the hell bother be kind give the money to somebody who really need's it like me l struggle every day just to get by like so many people in this world you live a good life give me a job please would be grateful for anybody who need's less than you make a day c'mon do the rite thing stop fighting for what you already have who is trying to survive in America-Europe from the credit crunch FOR US and the FANS also for anybody let us know were then money has gone Bless you and everybody who read my message xxxxxxxxxxxx

    March 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • All-time MJ Fan

      That's why they killed him. They knew he was worth more dead than alive. It will all come out. MJ's legacy (name, catalog, etc.) all belongs to his children, but the greedy, blood-suckers that killed him controls it all. This is wrong! All wrong and the evil of money is behind all of this. MJ was all about love, not this mess!

      I believe MJ's entire family (not just father, but mother and brothers) need to come together and get control of Michael Jackson's name and...legacy for his kids sake. The mother and kids have the power to do it! I don't know why they don't understand that! Lest we forget, if Joe Jackson had not started the Jacksons, Jackson5, then there would never had been the iconic genius of Michael Jackson!

      June 22, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |

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