Jackson Wrongful Death Trial Hits Home Stretch

By: Dana Brenklin

As jurors in the Jackson wrongful death lawsuit were greeted this afternoon, it was brought to their attention by Judge Palazuelos that we are now entering the home stretch of this 5 month long trial.

Jurors in the case were off for the last week and a half due to a family emergency with one of the jurors. That doesn’t mean that the attorneys were not being productive. Attorneys on both sides were in court almost every day last week battling it out, discussing verdict forms, jury instructions and everything else that will help get us to the finish line in a decent and orderly fashion.

Attorneys even had one last meeting out of the presence of the jury this morning. Once court got underway, some may have been surprised to see Mrs. Jackson in the audience and not in the witness box. It seems that defense’s Marvin Putnam had a change of heart and did not call the Jackson matriarch to the stand as his last witness. Some heard yesterday that she would not be taking the stand and instead Michael’s son Prince’s deposition would be shown or at least portions of it.  Well, that was not the case either.

The defense finished their case with Dr. Metzger’s video deposition. If you recall, that is where the defense left off last week.

Dr. Metzger testified to Michael being secretive and not telling him about other doctors he would see when he wasn’t in Los Angeles. He did say that Michael suffered from insomnia and that when not under stress his insomnia could be treated with Tylenol PM. Metzger says that he saw Michael in April of 2009 and stated completely opposite of more than a few witnesses, that Michael looked lucid, was bright eyed and not skinny, but muscular.

Several witnesses have testified in direct contrast to that, saying that Michael was dying, scared, skinny and incoherent.

The doctor that the former Mrs. Jackson, Debbie Rowe says was the only doctor that cared about Michael Jackson said they talked about the “This Is It” shows and they brainstormed on how to deal with his sleep issues during the upcoming shows. He says they never settled anything and that was the last time he saw or spoke to the king of pop.

Doctor Metzger says that Michael was a great and loving father and he was a very generous and caring man.

Plaintiff’s Brian Panish brought on a rebuttal witness at the end of the day, a Detective Scott Smith who says that the Defense’s Putnam and their witness and outside counsel Kathy Jorrie said there was going to be a two to three year show after “This Is It”. The defense argues the statement was taken out of context. Plaintiff’s Brian Panish asks the witness would he have written down in the report maybe or potential had she said that and also asks him if he was trained make such a distinction and the witness answered, “yes”.

Plaintiffs will call Dr. Metzger live against the defense’s objection tomorrow to clarify a few things and Friday should start the preparations for closing arguments set to begin Monday.

The case should be handed to the jury by next Thursday. The jury will be partially sequestered and closing arguments will be held in a larger courtroom.

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Good Morning Coffee

By: Dana Brenklin

September 18, 2013

 

Do you drink coffee every morning?  Are you the one who not let a day go by without your morning dose of Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Folgers, etc.,?

Well, that might be a bad habit, very bad habit.  I have always thought of coffee like any other drug, cocaine, cigarettes, alcohol and more.  I may be on to something.  Coffee itself might not be that bad, but most of us don’t just drink coffee.  Most drink coffee with either tons of milk, sugar, cream and/or espresso and more sugary things and that is where a lot of the problem lies. 

Did you know that coffee can cause memory loss and anemia?  A daily dose of this drink can lead to a stiffening of arterial walls and aggravate pre-existing condtions, such as migraines and sleep disturbances.  You hear people all the time complaining of not getting enough sleep and headaches.  Well, how much coffee you are drinking may have something to do with it. 

We all know that coffee is loaded with caffeine and people with pre-existing anxiety disorders should definitely stay clear of coffee.

Research also says that some regular coffee drinkers that drink in moderation experience some amount of depression and fatigue when discontinuing their consumption of the drink.  However, it has been better documented in heavy drinkers.

At least 15% of Americans have stopped drinking coffee altogether, citing concerns about their health and complaints of the side effects.

Americans should really being drinking water in my opinion.  Go natural if you need a boost or better yet, go to bed at a decent time and you won’t have the need for something to keep you awake during the day.  I can hear you already, my life is too hectic or my spouse or my children, this, that or the other.  What we all need to do is put together a better schedule and adhere to it and maybe then we can become the healthy and happy people a lot of us would like to become.  I hear people all day long saying they don’t have enough energy and they didnt get enough sleep the night before and most of the time these are heavy coffee drinkers that are saying this.

The people doing the juicing, eating live food and drinking water are usually feeling great, they are bouncy and they are happy.  Now, let’s be real, they are not happy all the time, they aren’t skipping to work, but these people usually feel and look a lot better than those of us drinking coffee, eating dairy and meat, although the dairy and meat is a blog for another day. 

Another point, if you didn’t know,if you have acid reflux or an associated disease, coffee is not the drink for you.  Coffee only makes this problem worse.  

I know some of you are thinking coffee helps my headaches.  Yes, caffeine does alleviate headaches, but chronic caffeine use and withdrawals can cause headaches as well, so be careful. 

Bottom line is if you are drinking coffee daily to stay awake, try and get to bed earlier or try changing your diet.  Coffee is an artificial stimulant.  Try drinking more water and eating live food, along with exercise.  I’m sure your health and outlook on life will change too.

That is all I have for today.  Peace, blessings, happy and healthy living.  db 

 

The Big Cheese Backs Down: AEG Live Attorneys will Not Call Mrs. Jackson Back To The Stand

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By Dana Brenklin

September 17, 2013

AEG Live attorneys have changed their mind about calling Jackson Matriarch back to the stand Wednesday.  Instead, they will be playing a portion of Prince Jackson’s video deposition before resting this week.

Court has not been in session for the last week due to a juror having a family emergency.  Closing arguments are expected as early as next week.

Last week in court, out of the presence of the jury, the judge in the case warned AEG Live Attorney Marvin Putnam against calling Mrs. Jackson and Jackson’s attorney said their reason for calling her back was to show greed.  The judge said that relatives in a wrongful death lawsuit will tell you that no amount of money will take the place of their loved one.

Putnam has referred to a statement of damages letter multiple times, but the judge ordered him not to ask the king of pop’s mother about that letter.

Plaintiff’s Deborah Chang said in court last week that it was very difficult assessing how much money Michael Jackson would have made had he not been given a fatal dose of propofol by Dr. Conrad Murray June of 2009.

The defense will rest their case Wednesday and plaintiff’s will call at least five rebuttal witnesses.

Dina Lohan Arrested For Driving While Intoxicated

Well, wonder why Lindsay has a problem. I had no idea that her mother had a problem as well, nor did I look into her parents life or her life for that matter, but in light of this, I see where Lindsay’s problem stems from now. db

Well, wonder why Lindsay has a problem. I had no idea that her mother had a problem as well, nor did I look into her parents life or her life for that matter, but in light of this, I see … Continue reading

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By Dana Brenklin

Katherine Jackson To Be Called Back To Testify

Debbie Rowe

By: Dana Brenklin

September 11, 2013

Although the jury was not present today and hasn’t been all week as one of them has had a family emergency, there were still fireworks in the case of Jackson VS AEG Live in a downtown courtroom today.  Very few members of the media were present, but attorneys fighting for AEG and Mrs Jackson were ready to rumble when court began today.

They argued several motions Monday and said they would not convene until today.  As the day started off Superior court Judge Yvette Palazuelos called off all of the issues that were to be discussed in this 5 month long trial that is very close to ending. 

The lawyers started with damages and how to award damages, who was at fault and more.  Defense’s Marvin Putnam said he will question Mrs. Jackson about the ridiculous amount of damages she wants the jury to award if they find AEG at fault, against the judges’ best advice.  The Judge says he can question her, but he is not to refer to a statement of damages letter sent to him by Mrs. Jackson’s attorney.

Plaintiff’s Deborah Chang said it was very difficult assessing what Michael Jackson would have made had he not died in June of 2009.  When discussing the non economic damages Chang spoke of Paris Jackson, Michael’s daughter who attempted suicide earlier this year and said the damages could be enormous given what happened to Paris.

Katherine Jackson testified earlier this year, saying she wanted to know what really happened to her son.  Mrs. Jackson will be the final witness in the defense’s case. 

The defense still plans to rest their case next week.  Plaintiff’s counsel plans to call at least 5 rebuttal witnesses.  Closing arguments are expected as early as next week.

If AEG is found liable the jury could award damages based on money that Michael would have made and based on the children and Mrs. Jackson’s loss of support. 

The trial continues.

Judge Dismisses Two AEG Live Executives In Jackson Lawsuit

By: Dana Brenklin

Sept 9, 2013

Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos dismissed AEG executives Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware from a negligence lawsuit filed by Katherine Jackson, mother of pop star Michael Jackson, however she has allowed the case against AEG Live, LLC to continue on its course.

The Los Angeles judge said that plaintiffs had not shown enough evidence to say that two executives Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware were responsible for Michael Jackson’s death.  The jury will decide whether or not AEG Live hired Dr. Conrad Murray, who is currently serving a four year manslaughter sentence for giving the pop star a lethal dose of the anesthetic Propofol.

With two of the defendants out and the main party still in, this could make deliberations a lot easier for the jury.

Plaintiff’s attorneys have blamed Phillips and Gongaware for the last 5 months of ignoring signs and red flags of Michael Jackson’s failing health.  AEG attorneys deny any wrong doings.

AEG Live attorneys argued this morning that Katherine Jackson’s lawyers have not proven their case, with defense’s Marvin Putnam saying that it would be inappropriate to hand this over to a jury.

The lawsuit will continue against AEG Live, LLC and the defense still plans to rest next week.  Mrs. Jackson’s lawyers say they have at least 5 rebuttal witnesses.

This may or may not be the end of Randy Phillips’ and Paul Gongaware’s troubles.  If Mrs. Jackson wins her lawsuit, depending on how much money is dished out, Anschutz Entertainment Group’s Phillip Anschutz could go after the very two who were dropped from the lawsuit today.  They are by no means in the clear.

On another note, jurors are not expected back until next Monday.  Due to a family emergency with one of the jurors.  There will be no testimony this week and both parties will work on witness scheduling, motions and arguments this week.  Defense’s Putnam says they may call Katherine Jackson back to the stand next week.

Closing arguments are expected next week.  The trial continues.

Recovering Drug Addicted Dr. Gives Michael Jackson “Grave Prognosis”

 

Mrs. Jackson was not in attendance today as she has been absent during most of the defense’s Case.  Today addiction medicine specialist Dr. Paul Henry Early took to the stand for a second day of questioning. 

 

Wednesday addiction specialist and recovering heroin addict Dr. Early’s credibility was severely scrutinized by plaintiff’s Kevin Boyle, after saying yesterday that Michael had been playing Russian roulette with each dose of propofol he was given by his doctor back in 2009.

 

Early was questioned about two blogs he wrote, one, just weeks after Jackson’s death and the other one after Conrad Murray was convicted of manslaughter for the death of the King of Pop.  “Michael Jackson: Addiction and The Privileged” and “Murray Convicted – Addiction Wins”.  The witness says that he did not mean that Michael was addicted, he just wanted to shed some light on the subject and that if he died from a propofol overdose that it would not be a far stretch to say that he was addicted.   The doctor was questioned about guidelines and ethics about diagnosing people in the public eye.   He said he was following the guidelines and did not break any rules.

 

This is not all the doctor came under fire for.  The doctor says that AEG Live, LLC funded his research on propofol with $53,000, which plaintiffs say created a conflict of interest and they also cite and bring to the court’s attention again, a code of ethics.  Boyle says that the instructions are that he is to add in the research article who funded his research and that it is supposed to be on the title page and the witnesses recognition of AEG Live shows up on the 7th page of his article.  The witness says that he was not trying to hide anything, he followed the guidelines and has no say so on how it is formatted once he submits the article.

 

Wait, that is not all.  Dr. Early was also asked about his drug addiction.  Yes, drug addiction.  The doctor has an opioid addiction and says that he has used that experience in rendering an opinion in this case, but the doctor was not addicted to pain killers.  The doctors drugs of choice were Oxycodone and the street drug heroin.  The doctor he collaborated with on the research for the article that AEG Live, LLC funded was also a drug addict, lost his license, was convicted of a felony and this was not told by the witness until he said that his partner was in between jobs and plaintiff’s counsel Kevin Boyle dug a little deeper. The witness says he has since earned his license back and is practicing on a probationary status.

 

Closing arguments should be heard by the week of September 23rd and the jury learned this week that they may be partially sequestered during deliberations.  The defense plans to end early and plaintiff’s counsel Brian Panish says they have a few rebuttal witnesses that should take about three days. 

 

The trial continues

 Dana Brenklin

Serena Williams VS Sloane Stephens: Women’s Tennis Carries On

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Before I get started, let me say that this photo does not belong to me and I hope the owners don’t mind.  If you own this picture and would like credit, I don’t mind giving credit and if you want me to take it down, I understand.

Now, I watched this epic match today between African American woman Serena Williams and African American woman Sloane Stephens and I could not help but remember when there were no African Americans in tennis, well Arthur Ashe.  I did not watch much tennis when I was a child and for that reason.  I am not a racist, I am just a very proud African American woman.

I recall my father trying to teach my mother and I tennis, but he doesn’t have much patience, so that didn’t last and then came Venus and Serena.  Two girls from Compton, CA..  I thought, “wow”, the first time I saw them. I had never seen anything like them.  They were awesome and they stayed around and the younger one became arguably the  greatest tennis player ever.

Well, Venus and Serena have had some health issues and Serena has rallied back with Venus hanging around to play doubles with little sister.  So, with that said, we have only one African American woman in tennis excelling and then comes along this kid, Sloane Stephens and I honestly believe this kid is going places.

I haven’t seen anyone give Serena a real challenge and run for her money since she and Venus were at the top of their game.  Sure, Serena has lost matches to more than her sister, but I still had not seen such a challenge for her.  Maybe it’s because I don’t watch every match or maybe it’s because she just hasn’t played anyone that great or because there aren’t any great players around, well, besides Venus and Maria Sharapova to play Serena.

Anywho, this little girl, this kid is awesome and I think this rivalry will go on for a while, reminiscent of Venus and Serena, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Lakers and Celtics. Watch this kid, she isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and neither is Serena for that matter.

Women’s tennis has new life with Sloane Stephens and she wouldn’t even be recognized if it were not for champion Serena Williams and sister Venus Williams.  They have opened the door for Sloane and for future champions of all races.

Women’s tennis is not dead.  Serena kept it going and now Stephens is here to assist.  This is an exciting time for American Women’s Tennis.

Stay tuned.