KWIKA Prevails as Appeals Court Hands Michael Jackson Estate Huge Win
The Estate of Michael Jackson, represented by KWIKA’s Howard Weitzman, Jonathan Steinsapir and Zachary Elsea scored a total victory in Quincy Jones v. MJJ Productions, Inc. when an appeals court reversed a $9.4 million 2017 verdict regarding royalties from Michael Jackson projects, including This Is It and rejecting every single argument Jones pressed on appeal. Jones had originally asked a jury to award him over $30 million in 2017, but the jury rejected most of Jones’ claims and awarded him less than 1/3 of that. Now, the California Court of Appeal has reduced Jones’ verdict to roughly $2.5 million, an amount that the appeals court itself noted that the Estate of Michael Jackson was prepared to pay long before the trial began. The Court of Appeal accepted every single argument the KWIKA team made, including that the primary contractual issues in the case could only be resolved in one way, as KWIKA had consistently argued from the beginning of the case, knocking out roughly $6 million of the verdict. The appeals court also rejected Jones’ cross-appeal that he should have been awarded interest on his verdict, finding that “Jones is substantially to blame for the delay in payment given that he forced [the Jackson Estate] to litigate unfounded claims for millions of dollars that it did not owe.” The appeals court also roundly rejected Jones’ unique claim that the Estate had somehow engaged in “financial elder abuse” concluding instead that it was “Jones [who] grossly overreached in his demands for payment.” In all, this was yet another victory for KWIKA in its decade-long representation of the Estate of Michael Jackson.