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QUINCY VS. MJ VERDICT: THE THRILLER CONTINUES

The jury in Quincy Jonesbreach-of-contract case against the Michael Jackson Estate awarded him $9.4m Wednesday (7/26), a sliver of the $30m he sought, but it appears even that award will be subject to challenge.

The jury, the Estate believes, was unqualified to rule on contractual matters and the judge should not have empowered them to interpret clauses that their verdict shows they didn’t understand. One example regards remixes, in which the CBS/Epic first-crack obligation supposedly owed to Jones for requested re-recordings was erroneously applied to projects like the film This Is It and Cirque du Soleil’s Jackson-themed stage productions, which were overseen by the Estate and had nothing to do with the label. How much of Jones’ award might be set aside on appeal?

Estate attorney Howard Weitzman issued the following statement:

“While the jury denied Quincy Jones $21 million—or more than two-thirds of what he demanded—from The Estate of Michael Jackson, we still believe that giving him millions of dollars that he has no right to receive under his contracts is wrong. This would reinterpret the legal language in, and effectively rewrite, contracts that Mr. Jones lived under for more than three decades, admitted he never read, referred to as ‘contract, montract,’ and told the jurors he didn't ‘give a damn’ about. Any amount above and beyond what is called for in his contracts is too much and unfair to Michael's heirs. Although Mr. Jones is portraying this as a victory for artists' rights, the real artist is Michael Jackson, and it is his money Mr. Jones is seeking.”

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