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Despite a long delay, another lawsuit is cleared to move forward against Michael Jackson’s estate.

Thome Thome, Michael Jackson’s former manager, has attempted for years to sue the estate for commissions he feels is due him for the sale of the Neverland Ranch and Jackson’s music. The estate has claimed that Thome was fired before Jackson passed away and not entitled to any money. A judge has now cleared the way for the suit to continue.

Originally, the case was delayed while the California Labor Commission decided on the legality of Thome’s contract with Jackson under California’s agency laws. The Commission ruled that part of the contract was illegal, but declined to throw out all of the contract.

Thome was also asking for attorney’s fees from the estate. The estate objected claiming that the allowable fees in the contract were for actions against third-parties, not Jackson or his estate. Jackson’s estate asked that Thome’s complaint be thrown out for that reason. The judge in the case declined to dismiss the complaint and will allow the complaint to be amended to exclude the request for attorney’s fees. The case is scheduled for trial May 3, 2016. The Hollywood Reporter reported these developments in “Judge Allows Michael Jackson’s Ex-Manager to Amend Complaint Against Estate.”

Since other law suits are pending and the IRS is claiming a large estate tax bill, it is likely there are many more challenges facing the estate.

Reference: Hollywood Reporter (March 29, 2016) “Judge Allows Michael Jackson’s Ex-Manager to Amend Complaint Against Estate.”

For more information on tax planning and estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.