In the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death, there have been a number of lawsuits and legal claims pursued. From disputes over the custody of his three children, to a wrongful death lawsuit against a concert promoter that is currently underway, to a recent child molestation claim filed against the late king of pop’s estate–it seems that fame and controversy continue to follow Michael Jackson even after death. One lawsuit that has gotten a bit less press than these others is a legal malpractice claim filed by Michael Jackson’s ex-publicist.
The woman is accusing her former lawyers of botching her claim against Jackson’s estate for unpaid fees amounting to $44 million.
The publicist reportedly began working for Jackson in 2003, serving as both a publicist as well as a business manager. During her time working for Jackson, she claims that she helped to manage public relations for the artist as well as various multi-million dollar transactions. She filed a lawsuit against Jackson in 2009, while he was still alive, to seek unpaid fees. The claim was redirected toward his estate when he died of a drug overdose later that year.
In May 2010, a judge ruled against the publicist. The publicist has now accused her attorneys of making several negligent decisions in handling this case–including failing to amend her complaint when Jackson died and failing to file an appeal before a deadline expired.
Meanwhile, the publicist is still waiting to hear back about an appeal she filed in the original case with the assistance of another attorney. She filed the legal malpractice claim before waiting for the results of the appeal due to the short statute of limitations for legal malpractice claims.
Legal malpractice claims, as well as civil appeals, are complicated matters. Those who are considering filing either of these types of claims may benefit from discussing their cases with attorneys who are experienced in these areas.
Source: The Blog of LegalTimes, “Michael Jackson’s Ex-Publicist Sues for Legal Malpractice,” May 7, 2013