On November 7, 2013

Colorado residents may have heard that Quincy Jones is filing a lawsuit against the estate of the late Michael Jackson. Jones claims that the estate owes him production fees and royalties for many of Jackson’s hits.

According to the Jackson Estate, Jones worked with the pop singer for 35 years, and the man helped produce Jackson’s solo albums, “Thriller,” “Bad” and “Off the Wall.” The statement also asserts that Jones has been appropriately compensated for all of his efforts.

Jones is seeking at least $10 million from the Jackson estate and Sony Music Entertainment. His lawsuit alleges that songs were re-edited in order to deny him the royalties and fees to which he was entitled. He alleges that “Billie Jean,” “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Thriller” were some of the songs that were re-edited to deprive him of compensation.

Other music for which he seeks compensation is that which is included in the movie “This Is It,” as well as music that is part of two different Cirque du Soleil shows. Additionally, Jones asserts that he should have received a producer’s credit on the music that was part of the film. He is asking for an accounting of the profits that the estate has received to help him to determine the amount that he is owed.

While much of the controversy surrounding the administration of Jackson’s estate is not likely to affect the estates of others, many aspects related to probate administration can be contentious. A lawyer may be able to help families by establishing clear wills and trusts so that the clients are able to avoid complications of this nature.

Source: Yahoo, “Quincy Jones sues Michael Jackson’s estate“, Anthony McCartney, October 26, 2013

Categories: Probate Litigation