Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Debra Brazil, Prosecutor in the Conrad Murray Trial, appointed to to L.A Superior court Judge

Debra Brazil who assisted David Walgren in prosecuting Conrad Murray was recently appointed to Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles. Following David Walgren who was appointed Judge in April of 2012.

Congratulations Debra Brazil 

The California governor's office on Thursday announced the appointments of 18 Superior Court judges, eight of them in Los Angeles County - and Riverside County's first Native American judge. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Deborah S. Brazil, to the Los Angeles County bench.

Brazil, 54, of Los Angeles, has been a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles since 1997. She earned her J.D. at Southwester Law School

The King of Pop vs. the IRS - Beat It !

Check out this article by Robert Woods, a tax attorney with a nationwide practice, author of “Taxation of Damage Awards & Settlement Payments” and 29 other books. He seems to think The Estate has a legitimate argument against the exuberant taxes the IRS is trying to level against the Michael Jackson's Estate

Some background: Michael Jackson’s estate challenged a tax bill calculated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, arguing that it overvalued assets it's assets. The $702 million tax bill revolves around Jackson's Neverland Ranch, his personal property, image and likeness and several recording properties. Jackson's attorneys did pay estate taxes when the pop star passed. but the value of the estate is in question by the IRS, which may lead to a lengthy dispute in the U.S. Tax Court.  "The estate believes the estate's tax return properly reflected the interests of Mr. Jackson as of the date of his death." Qbee

Trust Me, Michael Jackson Is Still Paying Taxes

The King of Pop vs. the IRS - Robert Wood
Michael Jackson faced many legal struggles during his storied career. He fought sex abuse charges, copyright infringements and concert contract disputes. Sadly, the King of Pop died unexpectedly on June 25, 2009. Even now, though, his estate faces one more pitched battle in court, this time about estate taxes.

Michael Jackson has actually made a lot of money since his passing. His name, image and ongoing musical success have continued to pull in considerable income for his estate. Reports suggest that the Jackson estate has collected hundreds of millions of dollars.

There was a $60 million advance for the film “This Is It” and a new recording contract worth up to $250 million. There was also the high-grossing Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil. His estate reportedly collected $170 million in 2011 and $145 million in 2012. As always, the Internal Revenue Service wants its cut.

Indeed, just as with a living individual, the income collected by an estate is subject to income tax. Accordingly, the estate has reportedly already paid over $100 million in income taxes. You might assume that after collecting all that income tax, the IRS wouldn’t ask for more. But, estate tax is another matter. The IRS and Jackson’s estate are locked in a Tax Court battle over estate taxes.

The IRS claims that Mr. Jackson’s estate owes a whopping $505.1 million in estate taxes, plus $196.9 million in penalties. Fortunately for the estate, the penalties are based on the taxes due. If the tax charge is struck down, the penalties should go with it.

Unlike income taxes, Move up Move down estate taxes are levied on property transferred from the decedent to his heirs. The tax due depends on the value of an estate as of the date of death, minus deductions. Alternatively, the estate can elect to value the assets six months after death. Executors often determine which value is lower and report that figure.

Federal estate tax law currently allows $5.25 million per person to be passed tax-free. But in 2009, the year Jackson died, the exemption was only $3.5 million. Excess assets for those who died in 2009 are taxed at up to 45 percent. As you might imagine, Jackson had significantly more than $3.5 million in assets.

Under the estate tax, only net value—assets minus liabilities—is taxed. That’s a key concept for Jackson, who reportedly had many assets but many debts too. Beyond this fundamental rule about debts, specific assets must be valued. Jackson owned a 50 percent share in a valuable Sony music catalogue, his own music catalogue, real estate and art.

And, who can forget Neverland Ranch? For most decedent’s property, it’s usually possible to determine the value of real estate based on other parcels, possible development use, restrictions, etc. Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, on the other hand, is truly unique and is, arguably, tied to Jackson’s image. These facts make its value particularly difficult to fix.

The core of the tax dispute concerns the value of the pop icon’s image, likeness and intellectual properties. The IRS is said to have valued the estate’s rights to Jackson’s image and likeness at $434 million. The estate pins that value at $2,105 (not a typo). Clearly, both sides are exaggerating, and both will probably have to compromise.

However, the estate has a legitimate argument that the meteoric rise in Jackson’s fortunes after his death couldn’t have been foreseen. Future payments to the estate for Jackson’s continuing sales are valued for federal estate tax purposes by the projected future worth discounted to present value. Those calculations aren’t easy when the subject’s earnings have fluctuated wildly.

Yet, Jackson’s past legal and public relations challenges may help his estate’s tax case now. When he died in 2009, Jackson was said to be spending more than he was making. His album production was low, and the value of his likeness and image was on the decline. Between sexual abuse charges, controversies over his physical appearance, gaffes with his kids and his Martin Bashir interview, Jackson’s star was fading, not rising.

His estate can be expected to exploit this history. The estate might claim that the “This is It” movie was successful because of the star’s death, not in spite of it. Viewed objectively before his passing, one could argue that his scheduled concert tour was a huge gamble. And, even if it had succeeded, there are degrees of success.

As you would expect, the Jackson estate employed an appraiser to value the assets, and the IRS has one too. As such, this will be a legal battle as well as a battle of the appraisers. Mr. Jackson’s fortunes soared after his death, as reflected in the estate’s high earnings, on which it paid income tax. But, that does not mean the estate was worth all of that money on the date of his death.

Because estate tax matters so often hinge on valuation, there are special IRS penalties. If the estate is found to have misrepresented the value of items on its federal estate tax return, these penalties could run as high as 40 percent. That only adds to the Thriller-sized dollars at stake.

Of course, most disputes end up being compromised. With the polarized valuation figures here, there is considerable room between the IRS’ and the estate’s numbers. But, with a treasure trove of debts, lore and gossip at its disposal, I would wager that the estate may have to compromise much less than the Service.  Beat it, IRS.

Source: Robert Wood - Dec 30, 2013

Robert W. Wood is a tax lawyer with a nationwide practice ( The author of more than 30 books including “Taxation of Damage Awards & Settlement Payments” (4th Ed. 2009 with 2012 Supplement,, he can be reached at This discussion is not intended as legal advice, and cannot be relied upon for any purpose without the services of a qualified professional.

Discuss this case in detail with other fans by Joining the fanboard

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One-of-a-Kind, Michael Jackson-Inspired Guitar for Jason Becker

I came across this Article on FB from Guitar World about a custom MJ /Billie Jean inspired guitar created by Carvin Guitar for Jason Becker. I think it's very beautiful and does reflect Billie Jean and Michael's style ~ Qbee

Carvin Creates One-of-a-Kind, Michael Jackson-Inspired Guitar for Jason Becker

"Even as I was trying to become a rock god, Michael Jackson was the ultimate magic rock star to me," Becker said. "I loved his music, his scene and style. He transcended musical categories. "Everyone dug Michael, and I was no exception. I was inspired by his flash, uniqueness and kick-ass music. I wanted to be slick like him. It also didn't hurt that he liked to rock and used Eddie Van Halen on 'Beat It.' ~ Jason Becker.

"I've always wanted a guitar that reflects his style."

See what Carvin came up with!

Below, check out a brand-new video that shows the story behind Jason Becker's 
one-of-a-kind, Michael Jackson-inspired Carvin guitar.

This video features a MJ inspired track called  Nate, You Funky Mofo! (16 yrs old) 
 from Becker's Boy Meets Guitar Album .

For more about Carvin, visit

Friday, January 17, 2014

Michael Jackson ONE Wins 3 Categories in 2013 BroadwayWorld Las Vegas Awards

BroadwayWorld Las Vegas  announced  winners of the Best of Vegas.  Cirque du Soleil - Michael Jackson ONE Has won in 3 categories.  Best Choreography (Strip Show) Jamie King,  Best Spectacle Show  and  Best Theater.   ~ Qbee

2013 BroadwayWorld Las Vegas Awards Winners

2013 BroadwayWorld Las Vegas Awards Winners Announced - Donny & Marie, Ellen DeGeneres & More Win!

Votes are cast; polls are closed; and results have been tabulated! 

This was our biggest year yet! After a record number of voters in more than 50 regions worldwide, BroadwayWorld is very excited to announce the 2013 Las Vegas winners! Thanks to all who voted, and huge congratulations to all the winners!

And the winners are....

Best Band
Donny and Marie - Donny and Marie Showroom

Best Book Musical
Jersey Boys - Paris Las Vegas

Best Broadway Road Company (limited run, The Smith Center)

Best Choreography (Strip Show)
Jamie King - Michael Jackson ONE - Michael Jackson ONE Theatre at Mandalay Bay

Best Comedian (Female)
Ellen Degeneres

Best Comedian (male)
Don Rickles Orleans

Best Comedy Club
Brad Garrett's Comedy Club MGM

Best Concert (Long Run)
Donny & Marie Donny & Marie Showroom/Flamingo

Best Concert (Short Run)
Bruno Mars

Best Concert Venue
Fremont Street Experience

Best DJ
David Guetta XS

Best Free Attraction
Bellagio Fountains

Best Hotel Architecture (Non-Theme)
Best Hotel Architecture (Theme)
The Venetian

Best Impersonator/Tribute Artist
Frank Marino - Divas Las Vegas - The Quad

Best Magician/Illusionist
David Copperfield Hollywood Theatre MGM Grand

Best Museum or Attraction
50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic The Venetian

Best Nightclub
Light, Mandalay Bay - Light Group

Best Performance By A Featured Actor In A Musical
Gabriel Burrafato - Vegas! The Show - Saxe Theater

Best Performance By A Featured Actress In A Musical
Lauren Tartaglia - Jersey Boys - Paris

Best Performance By A Lead Actor In A Musical
Ben Stobber - Evil Dead - V Theater

Best Performance By A Lead ActressIn A Musical
Carrie St. Louis - Rock of Ages - Rock of Ages Theatre

Best Performance In A Play (off-Strip)
Brandon Alan McClenahan - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Onyx Theatre

Best Resident Show
Rock of Ages - Rock of Ages Theater (Venetian)

Best Show By A Local Theater Group
Oklahoma - Las Vegas Academy Thespians - Lowden Theater

Best Spectacle Show
Michael Jackson ONE - Cirque - Mandalay Bay

Best Theater
Cirque du Soleil - Michael Jackson ONE - Michael Jackson ONE Theater at Mandalay Bay


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lloyd's of London Settles Insurance Policy Lawsuit with Michael Jackson Estate

Such a busy week for court cases related to Michael Jackson. I will be so glad when  all the litigation is over and we can just focus on celebrating  Michael  and his music. A new Album would be a very timely way to do  just that.  I hope it is announced soon. ~Qbee

A lawsuit over the $17.5 million policy payout related to Michael Jackson's planned comeback concerts has been settled.

 Lloyd's of London underwriters had been seeking to nullify the  non-appearance and concert cancellation policy, that it issued just months before Jackson's death in June 2009

Paul K. Shrieffer, who represented Lloyd's and Howard Weitzman, attorney for Jackson's estate announced the settlement on wednesday before a hearing that would decide what evidence could be presented at trial.  They did not offer any details about the settlement and did not know how the judge was planning to rule on the evidentiary hearing,  before announcing they had resolved the case.

If the case had gone to trial it would  have put the focus once again on Jackson's health in the weeks and months before he died.  A trial had been scheduled for Feb. 24.

Also on Wednesday, an appellate court Denied Conrad Murrays appeal and unanimously upheld the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Murray, who gave Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol.

In  another case related to Michael Jackson on on Monday,  the judge refused to allow  a retrial in a lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother Katherine,  against AEG Live that contended it negligently hired the doctor convicted of killing her son.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Michael Jackson The Most Deserving Grammy Winner Of The Past 30 Years

According to  Michael Jackson is the most deserving grammy wnner of the past 30 years. Quite an accomplishment when you see all the contenders (other nominees) ~ Qbee

Album of the Year Grammy Winners: The 10 Best

The Grammy Award for Album of the Year is the most prestigious award at the music industry's most prestigious awards show, and often its most divisive. Many have complained that the Grammys are perpetually out of touch (only two hip-hop albums have ever received top honors, for example), but even noted Grammy detractor Kanye West would agree that the Recording Academy gets it right once in a while. 

Here are our picks for the most deserving winners of the past 30 years — the new classics, if you will.

10. Bonnie Raitt's Nick of Time, 1990

After 20 years as a much-respected but little-heard critical darling, Bonnie Raitt finally broke into the mainstream with her "first sober album." It was a smashing victory for the blues, and helped to pave the way for the blockbuster success of Raitt's follow up, Luck of the Draw.

9. Arcade Fire's The Suburbs, 2011

Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was somehow passed over for an Album of the Year nomination (this eyeroll's for you, Academy), but there was some solace in the fact that Arcade Fire's vast and romantic third album somehow triumphed over a handful of overproduced blockbusters.

8. Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind, 1998

Few would argue that Time Out of Mind is Dylan's greatest album, but that doesn't mean it was any less deserving of the top honors in 1998. With its dreary and desolate production by Daniel Lanois, the album ushered in a new era of critical triumph for the living legend. Also, Soy Bomb. Never forget Soy Bomb.

7. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, 1996

Alanis' breakthrough album was not just one of the top selling releases of the 90s, but a defining moment in alternative rock, opening up the airwaves for feminist confessionalists like Fiona Apple and Liz Phair. For those of us who came of age in the '90s suburbia, it was also completely badass.

6. Adele's 21, 2012

The word "powerhouse" now belongs to British songstress Adele thanks to this album, which will be lauded as one of the greatest breakup albums of all time for decades to come. There's nothing more universal than heartbreak — chances are your mom owns a copy.

5. Outkast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below, 2004

There would have been a mutiny from music lovers (and Kanye, probably) had Outkast's wildly ambitious double album not taken top honors at the 2004 Grammys, as many felt the duo's brilliant previous album Stankonia had been unfairly passed over for the honor a few years before.

4. Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Oh Lauryn, how we miss thee. Perhaps the ex-Fugees singer's debut solo effort was a little too perfect, as it propelled Hill into an uncomfortable level superstardom... and then reclusion. But even if we'll never get a proper follow up, the fact remains that this album was a complete triumph on all fronts.

3. U2's The Joshua Tree, 1988

U2 was already a household name when The Joshua Tree was released, but this was the album that cemented their reputation as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. An ambivalent exploration of America, the rootsy, guitar-driven album was vastly different from everything else on the airwaves at the time.

2. Paul Simon's Graceland, 1987

If you don't love the music video for "You Can Call Me Al," you're probably a serial killer. Also, Paul Simon thinks this universally acclaimed album might have contributed to the end of apartheid by familiarizing people with the music of South Africa and, by extension, its politics. So that's nice.

1. Michael Jackson's 
Thriller, 1984

This is the album that brought us "The Girl Is Mine," "Billie Jean," "Beat It," "P.Y.T.," and launched Michael Jackson, King of Pop and ultimate video star. It was the defining album of the 80s, and one of precious few Album of the Year winners that critics universally regard as one of the greatest of all time. The Grammys would have practically ceased to exist had theFlashdance soundtrack won that year.

Other nominees: David Bowie's Let's Dance, Billy Joel's An Innocent Man, The Police's Synchronicity, Flashdance Soundtrack, Peter Gabriel's So, Janet Jackson's Control, Barbra Streisand's The Broadway Album, Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life, Whitney Houston's Whitney, Michael Jackson's Bad, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris' Trio, Prince's Sign o' the Times, Madonna's Ray of Light, Sheryl Crow's The Globe Sessions, Garbage's Version 2.0, Shania Twain's, Dixie Chicks' Home, Eminem's The Eminem Show, Nelly's Nellyville, Bruce Springsteen's The Rising, Foo Fighters' Wasting Light, Lady Gaga's Born This Way, Bruno Mars' Doo Wops and Hooligans, Rihanna's Loud, Mariah Carey's Daydream, Michael Jackson's HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I, Joan Osborne's Relish, Pearl Jam's Vitalogy,  Radiohead's OK Computer, Paula Cole's This Fire, Paul McCartney's Flaming Pie, Babyface's The Day, Eminem's Recovery, Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster, Katy Perry's, Don Henley's The End of Innocence, Fine Young Cannibals' The Raw and the Cooked, Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever, Traveling Wilbury's Traveling Wilbury's Vol. 1, 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Disney Infinity Executive Producer Wants Michael Jackson's Captain EO in the Game

A very interesting  feature on HDRoom today. I would be so Thrilled to see Captain EO  become a  "toys to life"character in Disney's video game. Looks like Disney's,  Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi  want to see this  become a reality as well ~ Qbee

Disney Infinity Executive Producer Wants Michael Jackson's
Captain EO in the Game

Disney Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi shared an intriguing tweet earlier this evening that reveals a character he desperately wants to see in the popular "toys to life" Disney Interactive video game in the future. That figure is none other than Captain EO as portrayed by Michael Jackson, and Vignocchi has some strong words regarding his love for the character.

I took my first family trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida as an adult this past fall and of course took my kids to see Captain EO at Epcot. Their dad was far more into the trip down nostalgia lane than the were. In fact, they were more interested in trying something else out rather than a return trip into director Francis Ford Coppola's trippy outer space realm. I openly admit that while watching Captain EO, the thought of a Disney Infinity figure based on the Michael Jackson hero character crossed my mind.

Captain EO is best remembered as a product of the 1980s, and the children of that time -- myself included -- are the ones buying Disney Infinity figures for their children. Today's kids may be all into Anna, Elsa, Lightning McQueen, Sully and the other more recent Disney characters, but I've seen more than one adult enthusiastically grab a Jack Skellington for their kids because those are the characters they relate to from their childhood and want to share them with their kids.

Here's Vignocchi's tweet as he wrote it:

I'd love to see Vignocchi follow through on this social media proclamation ....