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CMU Beef Of The Week #158: The Jacksons v AEG Live (Part Two)

By | Published on Friday 24 May 2013

Michael Jackson

Well, the Jackson family’s attempt to extract billions of dollars in damages from AEG Live by proving that the company was in some way responsible for the actions of Conrad Murray, the former doctor found guilty of killing Michael Jackson through negligence, continues. And it really is a gift that keeps on giving. I know it’s wrong to be so flippant about a trial that stems from someone’s tragic death, but… wait, no it isn’t, this trial is ridiculous.

So anyway, earlier this month we looked at the level of pedantry that ran through the initial week of proceedings. First there was a squabble between the two sides that led to the judge ruling that only one Jackson sibling would be allowed into the court at any one time – and then only if their mother was present. And second, there was AEG’s lawyer eventually conceding that Michael Jackson was dead, having previously refused to do so on the grounds that if both sides agreed on this, it might help the Jacksons’ case.

This week it’s been all about the sweets – and you know how much we love a confectionary angle to a legal story. On Tuesday, CNN reports, AEG’s lawyers gave a big bag of peppermint sweets to the court’s bailiff to give to the jury, for a little treat between the tedious testimonies. The jury didn’t know that the sweets came from AEG’s legal team, but that didn’t stop The Jackson’s lawyer Brian Panish from complaining about it.

Panish said that if the jury found out who had bought those minty treats for them, that could unfairly swing the trial in AEG’s favour. Because any jury will definitely make a multi-billion dollar decision based on the gift of a handful of boiled sweets.

After some to-ing and fro-ing, a compromise was reached. It was too late to retract the sweets already given (they having been eaten by this point), so it was decided that moving forward either side would be allowed to provide the jury with snacks whenever they wanted to. However, these snacks must always be placed on the bailiff’s desk before the jury arrive in court, so that they can’t know who bought them.

As that’s seemingly what happened in the first place, I’m not sure why they’re suddenly so sure that the jury won’t find out who bought in any snacks. Presumably it means that each side will now feel they have to provide food on a daily basis – so it will be interesting to see if the value and amount of food on offer increases over time, and if in the later weeks of the trial the jury can actually get into the room – either due to gifts blocking the door or their expanding waistlines.