California appeals court to hear arguments from Michael Jackson’s father in estate case

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Calif. court to hear Jackson dad’s estate appeal

LOS ANGELES — An appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday on whether Michael Jackson’s father should be allowed to challenge the administrators of his son’s already lucrative estate.

Joe Jackson has appealed a probate court’s dismissal of his objections to the appointment of attorney John Branca and music executive and family friend John McClain to oversee the pop singer’s estate.

A judge ruled in November that the elder Jackson did not have standing to intervene in the case and was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing to contest the administrators.

Such a hearing would allow Joe Jackson’s attorney, Brian Oxman, to air complaints about potential conflicts of interest and the validity of the pop singer’s 2002 will, which specifically omitted his father from receiving any money.

Attorneys for Michael Jackson’s estate have noted the probate court’s findings against the elder Jackson, and said in motions to the appeals court that the ruling came after considering Oxman’s arguments in the most favorable light.

Oxman was also allowed to argue at length during the November hearing, the estate also said in its filings.

The attorney raised issues on behalf of Joe Jackson after the singer’s mother, Katherine, dropped any of her potential objections to the appointment of Branca and McClain. Katherine Jackson and her son’s three children are the primary beneficiaries of the singer’s estate, which has earned tens of millions since his death at age 50 in June 2009.

The estate also noted that Joe Jackson sought a stipend, but later chose to withdraw that request. The Jackson family patriarch has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court against Conrad Murray, the doctor charged in connection with his son’s death.

Murray’s lawyers have asked a judge to dismiss that case, arguing in part that Joe Jackson doesn’t have the right to sue for wrongful death.

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