Jackson-AEG Trial: Where's The Emotion? - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Jackson-AEG Trial: Where's The Emotion?

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Los Angeles, CA -

We're talking about the tragic death of a musical genius...and ‘genius'' is a word that actually applies to the case of Michael Jackson... even though it's overused in other places. In courtroom 222 of the LA County Courthouse, closing arguments are playing out in the seemingly endless (five month) civil lawsuit brought on behalf of MJ"'s mother and kids against entertainment giant AEG. 


There has been a lot of testimony about Michael's use of prescription meds, about how fragile he was in the days before his 2009 death, about how AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray..no.. wait about how Michael hired Dr. Murray but AEG negotiated the deal and paid him. 

Months of testimony, and while there were occasional tears and anger (see surrogate mom/wife Debbie Rowe) so much of it was dry, unemotional, facts and figures and contracts and emails and slides and graphics. Both sides have major league attorneys.. bottom line, the case rests on the issue of who hired Murray. If it was Michael and not AEG, case over, AEG off the hook.. If jury decides it was AEG who brought in Murray then there are a whole host of questions that they have to answer to determine liability... and how much . Are we talking a billion dollars as some have said? Attorneys haven't put a price tag on it.  How much is the loss of a genius worth ? In lost income, in intangibles to his mother and family ? Those are the questions the jurors must dispassionately discuss.  We know Paris has already tried suicide... Prince seems ‘'OK'' by most standards, and "Blanket "? No one has a clue. 

In court Mrs Jackson is surrounded by the occasional child a driver/guard or two. She typically comes in late... She never speaks.  She's in her 80's, is moving slow. Her eyes, behind glasses seem to have a lot of sadness in them.  Sometimes she greets the dozen of so Jackson fans who are here all the time because either they really loved Michael or they have no life whatsoever, or both.  Mrs. Jackson's  been in and out of courtrooms as the Jackson family matriarch so many times for so many reasons she's probably lost count... could probably get an honorary law degree.  Haven't seen Dad Joe here.. but I haven't been here every day. It will soon be in juror's hands... a billion dollars ? Maybe.  There seems to be a built in bias among many against large corporations... and of course everyone loved Michael.  His life was truly fascinating.  Ups and downs.


 Hopefully the jurors will speak out after it's over.  And remember, it's civil, not criminal.  "Only" 9 out of 12 have to agree.    

Oh ..One more thing.... the much maligned convicted manslaughterer, Dr. Conrad Murray, will likely be paroled next month. Everyone's angling for the big post release interview... which will no doubt consist of a lot of expressions of outrage over (his view) being wrongly convicted.. and he does have an appeal pending. So once this trial is over, MJ will still be in the news... too much ? perhaps.

(FOX 11 / AP) Michael Jackson, immortalized by music videos, will be the star of closing arguments by his mother's lawyers in the civil negligence case against concert giant AEG Live LLC.

The videos have been shown frequently during testimony in the 21-week trial to remind jurors of Jackson's musical triumphs as well as the rehearsals for his ill-fated "This Is It" concert tour when some witnesses claim he was ailing.

The lawyers who brought the suit on behalf of Katherine Jackson and the superstar's children are scheduled to speak on Tuesday and have been allotted four hours for their initial presentation. Attorneys for AEG will speak on Wednesday, also for four hours. The plaintiffs, who have the burden of proof, get to speak a second time. In that grand finale, probably on Thursday, they are likely to tell jurors how much money the Jacksons are seeking for the loss of the world famous pop star.

They are expected to ask for more than $1 billion, citing testimony of experts who said Jackson had a long lucrative career ahead of him when he died at the age of 50.

Final arguments are likely to draw a crowd, leading the judge to move proceedings from her tiny courtroom to a larger courtroom that can accommodate media, spectators, lawyers and Jackson fans who line up daily for a lottery to win seats in the courtroom.

The fans huddle and discuss the case in the hallway and wait to see Katherine Jackson enter the courtroom. Some wear T-shirts emblazoned with her picture and messages of support.

AEG Live is accused of negligently hiring Dr. Conrad Murray, who was convicted in 2011 of giving Jackson an overdose of the anesthetic Propofol as he tried to sleep during preparations for comeback shows in London.

The company claims it was Jackson who insisted that Murray treat him because the former cardiologist was giving him Propofol as a sleep aid.

AEG Live drafted a contract for Murray's services, according to testimony, but it was never signed by anyone except Murray before Jackson died.

On Monday, members of the jury heard Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos gave them legal instructions. Everyone has biases, she said, but they must not be swayed by prejudice, sympathy or public opinion while deliberating. They also were told how to evaluate evidence and witnesses.

If the jury finds that damages should be assessed, the judge said they must not consider such issues as the grief endured by the Jackson family or the wealth of both sides in the bitterly fought case.

The instructions lasted about 30 minutes, a relatively short time because there is really just one central issue in the case: Who hired Dr. Conrad Murray? Was it AEG Live or Michael Jackson?

A unanimous verdict is not required. Only nine of the 12 jurors must agree.

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