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Jackson kids now have lawyer; estate debate continues

  • Story Highlights
  • Judge appointed attorney for interests of Michael Jackson's children
  • Discussion between estate, AEG Live is ongoing
  • Executors have deal in mind, Katherine Jackson has expressed objections
By Alan Duke
CNN
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The newly named lawyer for Michael Jackson's children makes her first court appearance Monday as a judge decides if he'll approve a contract between Jackson's estate and concert promoter AEG Live.

Michael Jackson's estate will be the subject of a court hearing today.

Michael Jackson's estate will be the subject of a court hearing today.

Jackson's mother, Katherine Jackson, who has custody of the three children, objected to provisions of the deal that would give AEG Live a share of rights to video of her son's final rehearsals.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff appointed estate law expert Margaret Lodise last week to represent the children after he decided their interests might sometimes conflict with their grandmother's.

Despite warnings by estate lawyers that a delay could cost millions of dollars, Beckloff delayed his decision on the AEG Live contract one week to give the children's new lawyer time to weigh in on the deal.

The contract would provide for an exhibition of Jackson memorabilia that would travel to at least three cities, according to Kathy Jorrie, a lawyer for concert promoter AEG Live.

"The longer we wait, the more time passes, frankly, the less interest there will be on the part of the public to come see it," Jorrie said.

The judge has already approved a contract to allow Columbia Pictures to use video that AEG Live shot of Jackson's last rehearsals for a documentary due out this fall. Columbia is a division of Sony Pictures.

Sony Pictures said it would deliver the movie -- "This Is It" -- to theaters starting October 30 "with the full support of the estate of Michael Jackson."

Court papers filed last week revealed that Columbia Pictures would pay a minimum of $60 million for the rights to make the Jackson movie.

Katherine Jackson's lawyers, while endorsing the movie deal, have objected to terms given to AEG, saying they are too generous to the company.

Jackson's lawyers objected to the estate's agreement to let AEG recover all its expenses from that money, then take 10 percent of the remainder. It also gives the company a perpetual share of the profits from the video rights.

AEG Live's lawyer said the company had made many concessions to the estate and could not make more.

The judge previously has said he might approve the contracts even over Katherine Jackson's objection.

Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson's older brother, told CNN's Larry King recently that he likes the deals, which he said could bring in nearly $100 million into the estate.

Katherine Jackson and Michael Jackson's three children are the main beneficiaries of the estate, which is controlled by Jackson's former lawyer, John Branca, and longtime Jackson friend and music executive John McClain.

Branca and McClain were named in Jackson's will as executors. Katherine Jackson is considering a challenge of their control of the estate.

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