Robson/ Safechuck lawyers continue their attempt to try these cases in the media. Over the weekend Vince Finaldi took part in a legal radio show at a local LA talk radio station. Robson case was one of the topics discussed at the show. I prepared a transcript of the radio show. This way no fan will need to go to the radio website to listen to the show. Keep in mind that I type the transcript as I listen so it’s not perfect.

In addition to providing the transcript, I also wanted to add some commentary about the statements at the radio show. Therefore I invited MichaelJacksonAllegations and a friend to help me with that. So here we start.

Alan Gurvey: We want to welcome now Vince Finaldi with Manly, Stewart and Finaldi. He is been in the news recently because of a few clients he represents. Importantly he represents two gymnasts who are alleging sexual abuse by a former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. He also represents Wade Robson. Wade Robson is or was celebrity choreographer worked with Nysnc and Britney Spears. He is alleging that Michael Jackson operated a sophisticated child sexual abuse ring. What’s interesting is that next week we are having Tom Mesereau on the show. Tom actually defended and won the case with Michael Jackson in 2005. I talked to Tom last week on the phone. He was telling me Wade Robson was his key witness and one of the reasons why Jackson was acquitted of charges. First Vince Finaldi welcome to Gurvey’s Law.

Vince Finaldi: Thanks for having me guys.

Alan Gurvey: It is great to have you. Let me ask you, just follow up on that. Let’s talk about Wade Robson first and the Michael Jackson situation and then we’ll talk about Larry Nassar. So give us a little background. I don’t know if you dispute it or not. But the record seems to suggest that back in 2005 Wade Robson did not say anything that would harm Michael Jackson. In fact he was the first witness that really helped him. How did things change now fast forward to 2016?

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Estate's Opposition to Robson's request to amend his complaint:

First allow me to provide a brief history of Robson’s civil case against MJ Companies to better explain the developments in this case.

Robson filed his original complaint against Doe defendants on May 2013 with only one cause of action of childhood sexual abuse. On February 2014, Robson amended his complaint to name the Doe defendants as MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures (aka MJ Companies). Estate filed a demurrer on June 2014 and a demurrer hearing was held on October 2014. During that demurrer Estate argued that corporations cannot engage in childhood sexual abuse. Judge granted Estate’s demurrer but gave Robson a chance to amend his complaint.

December 2014, Robson filed his third amended complaint, this time alleging several causes of actions against the MJ Companies including a negligence claim. On March 2015, Estate filed a second demurrer and the hearing for the second demurrer was on July 2015. This time judge denied Estate’s demurrer saying that it requires a factual determination in a proceeding beyond demurrer.

In a demurrer the Judge needs to accept everything alleged in the complaint as true and only determines if there is a legal basis for the lawsuit. Defendants cannot bring counter evidence about the claims in the complaint, they can only argue legal aspects. Therefore in his demurrer ruling, Judge was saying he needs more information to decide and that could only happen after discovery when both sides present their evidence, witnesses etc. That information would allow the Judge to determine if these claims have any merit at all and if it can satisfy the exception conditions. So the dismissal issue will get revisited at summary judgment.

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Since Judge Beckloff’s move to Santa Monica earlier this year, the documents related to the civil cases Beckloff oversees are no longer scanned and added to the online documents system. That meant we only had the public case summary information available to us. Unfortunately case summary system only provides limited information, showing the names of the documents filed, hearing dates and outcomes. While it provides some information, we still have to guess what is happening. As the case summary system showed some new documents at Robson case, I thought it would be best if we can try to get the documents so that we could learn the new developments in both Robson and Safechuck cases. Luckily Betty Brynes graciously agreed to go and get the documents. We wouldn’t have this information if it wasn’t for her. I’m grateful for all her help.

The last information we had about Robson case as follows:

  • -       September 21, 2015 - Judge overruled Estate’s demurer, Robson’s case proceeds to the next phase of discovery and summary judgment.
  • -       November 23, 2015 - Estate appeals Judge’s ruling on demurrer.
  • -       February 17, 2016 – Estate’s appeal has been denied.
  • -       March 3, 2016 – Case schedule including a tentative trial date is set.
  • -       July 13, 2016 – Robson changes lawyers. Manly, Stewart, Finaldi are his new lawyers.

This brings us to August 2016. Case summary has shown two things: mental evaluation of Robson and Robson’s deposition. The motions we got from the court helped us tremendously to learn what happened over the last few months.

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This post won’t be my standard “summary of the court documents” blog post. I won’t be making a long list of legal aspects of the complaint. While I will refer to some elements in Robson’s new revised complaint, I will mostly write my personal take on the revisions. Consider this a disclaimer.

I regularly add the relevant court documents to my blog posts and you will find a copy of Robson’s proposed revised complaint below. You might wonder how I got this document. This time I didn’t get it from the court. I was able to get a copy because Robson’s new lawyers wrote a press release and added the document to it. In the less than 2 months they have been on the case, this is the second press release they have done with a negative document attached to it. This makes it clear that these new lawyers are attempting to try to this case in the media. Furthermore the once sealed and redacted complaint is no longer redacted. One can only assume they want the salacious media stories to force MJ Estate into a settlement.

Here is the document:

On September 7, Robson lawyers email Estate lawyers saying they want to amend Robson’s complaint. Simply put they want to remove the sexual abuse causes of action and add negligence causes of action. Estate replies they believe it is too late to amend the complaint and say they won’t agree to a new complaint. Therefore Robson lawyers file a motion with the court asking the court to allow them to proceed with a new revised complaint. In their motion they add a copy of their proposed revised complaint. A hearing on this matter will be heard on October 7th and the judge will decide if he will allow a revised complaint or not.

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Since Judge Beckloff’s move to Santa Monica earlier this year, the documents are no longer scanned and added to the online documents system. Betty Brynes graciously agreed to go and get the documents. We wouldn’t have this information if it wasn’t for her. I’m grateful for all her help. In this post I’ll do an update about Safechuck case and I’ll do a separate post about the Robson case. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss it.

The last information we had about Safechuck cases are as follows:

  • -          In September 2015, Judge dismissed Safechuck’s probate claim against MJ Estate.
  • -          In June 2015, Judge reviewed filings and allowed the start of Safechuck’s civil case against MJ Companies. 
  • -          In July 2015, Safechuck have filed his civil complaint. Then amended his complaint in October 2015
  • -          In December 2015, Estate have filed their demurrer against Safechuck civil case.
  • -          A hearing on the demurrer motion was set for March, 2016.

I can now report that Judge Beckloff ruled on the demurrer on August 23rd, 2016 – just 10 days ago.

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