April 1st, 2005 Trial Analysis: Jeff Klapakis (Cross Examination), Jack Green, Larry Feldman, and Jesus Salas (Direct Examination), Part 2 of 4
Here is Feldman’s description of Jordan Chandler in 1993; notice how Mesereau was able to get Feldman’s complimentary and unprofessional remarks stricken!
24 Q. Okay. Now, before we get too far down the
25 road with Mr. Dickerman, I neglected to show you a
27 Your Honor, I’ve had a photograph marked as
28 7-76, 776 for identification purposes. I’m 4503
1 approaching the witness. I’ve shown it to counsel.
2 Mr. Feldman, do you recognize the person
3 depicted in that photograph?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Who is that?
6 A. Jordie Chandler.
7 Q. Is that an accurate depiction of what Jordie
8 Chandler looked like?
9 A. He was much better looking, I can tell you,
10 at that age. He was adorable. That’s kind of
12 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike the
13 gratuitous remarks.
14 THE COURT: Stricken.
15 MR. SNEDDON: Move that 776 be admitted into
16 evidence, Your Honor.
17 MR. MESEREAU: No objection, Your Honor.
18 THE COURT: The answer was stricken to the
19 question as to whether or not it was an accurate
20 picture of Jordan Chandler. That hasn’t been
22 MR. SNEDDON: I thought you were just
23 striking the last part.
24 THE COURT: I struck the whole thing.
25 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Is that photograph, 776, an
26 accurate depiction of Jordan Chandler at or about
27 the time that you knew him?
28 A. Yes. 4504
1 THE COURT: All right. It’s admitted.
2 MR. SNEDDON: May I publish it, Your Honor?
3 THE BAILIFF: “Input 4,” Your Honor.
4 THE COURT: Yes.
5 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: All right. Mr. Feldman,
6 the exhibit that is on the Elmo there, 776, that’s
7 the one you just identified as the individual
8 depicted as Jordan Chandler, correct?
9 A. That’s correct.
Next, Feldman explained his relationship with William Dickerman, the referral agreement between the two that guaranteed that Dickerman would receive a percentage of any settlement that Feldman won on behalf of the Arvizos, and just how the referral of the Arvizos came about:
10 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
11 Now, let’s get back to Mr. Dickerman. You
12 indicated that you had at least one prior referral
13 from him that you recall. Now, let’s just talk
14 about something in general.
15 You say you get a referral. Is there
16 ordinarily, in the practice of law when somebody
17 refers you a case, an agreement called a referral
19 A. Yeah. Depending on what kind of case,
20 obviously, that’s being referred, but the answer is
22 Q. Could you explain to the ladies and
23 gentlemen of the jury how that referral agreement
24 usually works, in general terms?
25 A. Yeah, sure. If — there are two ways,
26 generally, lawyers make their money. One is a
27 contingent fee agreement, where they only receive
28 payment if they are successful. And if they’re not 4505
1 successful, they don’t get paid. The second is just
2 a straight hourly kind of payment where you get paid
3 for every hour that you work.
4 In the contingent field, when a lawyer
5 referrs another lawyer in the contingent field, some
6 lawyers, not all, want to participate in some
7 fashion, some way, and they then request the
8 referral fee. And the State Bar rules say that’s
9 legal and you can do that, as long as you tell the
10 client in advance and the client consents to that
11 referral agreement.
12 Q. Now —
13 A. And it’s traditionally done. Not
14 “traditionally,” but depends where the case is
15 coming from and who the lawyer is, and, you know,
16 it’s a whole variety of things.
17 Q. In 2003, did Mr. Dickerman refer you a case?
18 A. He did.
19 Q. And with regard to that particular case, was
20 there one of these referral agreements formed
21 between you and he?
22 A. Ultimately, yes. Not right at the
23 beginning. But ultimately, yes.
24 Q. As part of the referral process, did you
25 have a conversation with Mr. Dickerman?
26 A. Yeah, I’m sure I did. I must have.
27 Q. The first contact was by phone?
28 A. Oh, yeah. The first contact with Mr. 4506
1 Dickerman clearly was by phone.
2 Q. And did you eventually have an in-person
3 conversation with him?
4 A. In general. You’re not talking about the
5 referral fee now. You’re talking about just —
6 Q. Yeah, I’m talking about —
7 A. In general, yeah, sure. I mean, he called
8 me. He told me stuff. He then wanted to come in
9 and talk to me.
10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay; move to
12 THE COURT: Sustained.
13 THE WITNESS: I’m not going to say what he
15 MR. SNEDDON: I know, and you didn’t.
16 Q. Okay. So he had a telephone conversation
17 with you, and he told you some things over the
19 A. That’s right.
20 Q. All right. As a result of that telephone
21 call, did you then have an in-person meeting with
22 Mr. Dickerman?
23 A. As a result of that, I had an in-person
24 meeting, yes.
25 Q. Do you recall whether or not, at the time
26 that you had the first in-person meeting with Mr.
27 Dickerman or the first meeting in person – the
28 sentence the other way was bad – with Mr. 4507
1 Dickerman —
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. — do you recall whether or not the clients
4 that he was referring to you were present?
5 A. I don’t think they were in the first
7 Q. Now, at some point after that, then, did you
8 meet the individuals that were the subject of the
9 case referred to you by Mr. Dickerman?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And with regard to those — the clients, do
12 you recall their names?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who were they?
15 A. Janet Arvizo, her daughter Davellin, her son
16 Gavin, and her son Star.
Next, Feldman describes the actions that he took on behalf of the Arvizos; his initial issue was to research whether or not Martin Bashir and ABC had exploited the Arvizo family by airing footage of them without their consent:
17 Q. Now, let me go back. I neglected to ask you
18 one other question about referral agreements.
19 Does the fact that you take a referral
20 agreement from another lawyer obligate you to
21 continue that case to a point of filing a cause of
22 action or taking some form of action?
23 A. Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
24 Q. You had a meeting involving the family where
25 you met them?
26 A. Yes.
27 Q. Do you recall whether Mr. Dickerman was
28 present or not? 4508
1 A. My guess is he was, because I assume he
2 brought them to me and brought them to my office,
3 and he had contact, a lot of contact, with them
4 before he came to me, so I’m assuming he did. I’m
5 almost sure he was there. I would never have met
6 with them without him being there.
7 Q. And do you recall where the meeting took
9 A. In my office. This is when I was at Fogel,
10 Feldman. This is not my new job, but when I had my
11 old law firm.
12 Q. Where was that office located?
13 A. In Santa Monica.
14 Q. Now, as a result of that first conversation
15 with the Arvizo family, did you decide to take a
16 form of — a course of action of any kind?
17 A. Well, sure, of some kind.
18 Q. All right.
19 A. I mean —
20 Q. What would you categorize, in terms of the
21 way you handle cases, as the process that you felt
22 was going on at this point?
23 A. The process that I follow in my law office
24 at all times is people come in, they tell a — the
25 factual story. We then — depends on the case, but
26 generally speaking we then will do research, legal
27 research, especially in a case like this, to see and
28 try to understand what the law is. 4509
1 And because of the nature of the potential
2 defendants at that time, which was ABC, this Martin
3 Bashir, whatever his company was called, it involved
4 Michael Jackson, we were going to make sure we knew
5 what we were doing before we started. And so after
6 we sort of heard this version of the facts, of some
7 facts anyway, that’s the next step that we did.
8 We also I think got — we were shown
9 letters. Mr. Dickerman had letters that he had
10 written to the BBC in England, and he wrote letters
11 to Mark Geragos, and Geragos to him, I can’t recall
12 which way they went, but — so we had those, and we
13 were trying to make heads or tails in a legal sense,
14 which nobody had done up to that point in time, to
15 try to focus on what is this about and where — are
16 we interested in taking any more steps.
17 Q. Now, with regard to the legal research that
18 you did, what was the research that you did?
19 A. We had to research — the fundamental issue
20 was that Martin Bashir had done a tape at Mr.
21 Jackson’s house that Ms. Arvizo had told us —
22 MR. MESEREAU: Objection to the extent it
23 calls for hearsay, as well as narrative.
24 THE COURT: Sustained.
25 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Just what are the issues
26 that you were researching as a result of your
27 conversation with the Arvizo family?
28 A. Well, the — whether or not Martin Bashir or 4510
1 ABC had to have consent to put the children on
Sneddon then tried to question Feldman about any other issues that he felt were worthy of his attention and research, and Mesereau objected but was overruled. However, Judge Melville surely didn’t appreciate the way that Sneddon looked at him, and he gave Sneddon a stern admonishment in front of the court room! Sneddon had tried to argue that under Section 1250 of the Evidence Code he could ask Feldman what his exact thoughts were regarding his motivations for referring the Arvizos to Dr. Stan Katz, but Judge Melville wouldn’t allow it.
Based on this line of questioning, it’s a fair assumption that Star and Gavin insinuated that they had been abused somehow, and this is what aroused Feldman’s suspicions:
3 Q. Now, with regard to other aspects of the
4 information provided to you by the Arvizo family in
5 this meeting, did you decide on another course of
6 action that you felt you needed to do to determine
7 whether you were going to represent this family?
8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. That’s leading;
9 move to strike.
10 THE COURT: Overruled.
11 You may answer.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And what did you do in that
15 A. I decided at some point in time that I had
16 to make some heads or tails out of what was being
17 told to me by Mrs. Arvizo, by Star, the young boy,
18 and Gavin. And I concluded that I wasn’t going to
19 be able to do —
20 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
21 impermissible opinion; no foundation; relevance;
23 MR. SNEDDON: Judge —
24 THE COURT: The question, though, was what
25 did he do next, so he answered that. So his
26 thoughts aren’t being called for at this point.
27 MR. SNEDDON: Judge, I believe under 1250 of
28 the Evidence Code – 4511
1 THE COURT: This just relates to the question
2 and answer, Counsel. The question didn’t call for
3 his thoughts. Don’t look at me like that.
4 MR. SNEDDON: I — Judge, I was thinking of
5 the next question I was going to ask. If you took
6 it the wrong way, I’m sorry, but I wasn’t —
7 THE COURT: All right. Go ahead.
8 MR. SNEDDON: I mean, it’s —
9 Q. All right. So you — you decided on a
10 course of action?
11 A. I did.
12 Q. As a result of the information given to you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what was that course of action?
15 A. The course of action was to allow an expert,
16 which I was not, to spend some time with all three
17 of them. Davellin wasn’t really the issue, but
18 Janet, Star and Gavin, and let some expert figure
19 out, if he could, what was happening.
20 Q. All right. Did you contact somebody to help
21 you make that evaluation?
22 A. I did.
23 Q. And who was that?
24 A. Dr. Stanley Katz.
25 Q. And are you familiar — were you familiar
26 with Dr. Katz prior to the time that you decided to
27 use him in the case —
28 A. Yes. 4512
1 Q. — involving the case that Mr. Dickerman had
2 referred to you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what was your prior contact with Dr.
6 A. In 1987, I was defending a family who had
7 been wrongfully accused of abusing a child, and the
8 court so found, but — and Dr. Katz, the first time
9 I met him, was an expert that we hired for the
10 defense to assist in that trial, and he testified in
11 that case.
12 Q. Did you hire Dr. Katz or did he participate
13 in the case of Chandler versus Jackson?
14 A. Yeah, in Chandler versus — well,
15 “participate.” Chandler versus Jackson moved very
16 quickly, because he was a minor.
17 Q. Did you retain him?
18 A. So I retained him, yes.
19 Q. And did he play any role in the case itself?
20 It never went to trial, correct?
21 A. The case never went to trial. We never got
22 that —
23 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; asked and
25 MR. SNEDDON: I’ll move on, Your Honor.
26 It’s not a problem.
27 THE COURT: All right.
28 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: As a result of your 4513
1 contacts with Dr. Katz, did you decide to send the
2 Arvizo family to Dr. Katz?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In 2003?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Now, do you recall when that was,
7 approximately, what month it was?
8 A. Either May or June, in that time frame, of
10 Q. At some point in time, did you receive a
11 report back from Dr. Katz about his initial contacts
12 with the family?
13 A. Oral. I got an oral — I had an oral
14 conversation with him.
15 Q. Do you recall whether it was in person or
16 over the phone?
17 A. I think it was in person, quite frankly. I
18 think he came to my office.
19 Q. Now, after you received this report, did you
20 do anything?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What did you do?
23 A. I called the Arvizo family, Mrs. Arvizo and
24 the three children, back into my office for a
26 Q. All right. And in that meeting, what was
27 the topic discussed?
28 MR. MESEREAU: Objection to the extent it 4514
1 calls for hearsay.
2 MR. SNEDDON: All right.
3 THE COURT: Overruled. The subject matter
5 THE WITNESS: The subject matter only. The
6 subject matter was the options — well, what Dr.
7 Katz had told me, and their — the options that
8 existed at that point for that family. Different
9 courses of action that were available to them at
10 that point in time.
Next, Sneddon asked Judge Melville to allow him to ask questions that are admissible under Evidence Code 1250 in order to establish Feldman’s and the Arvizo’s state of mind to the jury, but once again the judge sustained Mesereau’s hearsay objection. However, Sneddon was able to question Feldman about his next course of action after the Arvizo’s initial visit with Dr. Katz, and that was to send them back to see Dr. Katz, since they wanted to go and see him again anyway. After the second meeting with Dr. Katz, Feldman reported the alleged abuse to the head of the Department of Children and Family Services:
11 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, at this point I
12 would ask the Court to be able to have the witness
13 be able to recount those, and that it would be
14 admissible under 1250 of the Evidence Code not only
15 as to this witness’s state of mind, but also as to
16 the state of mind and actions of the Arvizo family.
17 MR. MESEREAU: And I object. Hearsay,
18 foundation; relevance; and calls for improper
19 conclusion; and 352.
20 THE COURT: Whose statements are you offering
21 for the state of mind only?
22 MR. SNEDDON: Your Honor, both. I mean,
23 you’re asking me, so I guess I can go beyond —
24 THE COURT: Just give me names.
25 MR. SNEDDON: All right. This witness, Mr.
26 Feldman, with regard to his state of mind with
27 regard to what the future of any lawsuit may be at
28 this point; and secondly with regard to the Arvizos, 4515
1 any decision that they would have made regarding any
2 lawsuits against any individuals at this point in
3 time, which I believe is an issue in this case.
4 THE COURT: The objection is sustained.
5 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: As a result of your
6 conversation with the Arvizos on this particular
7 day, what was the next step that you took in
8 evaluating this case?
9 A. Well, the next step I took was, after — I
10 won’t say what I said. I understand the ruling.
11 They went back and saw Dr. Katz again. And I then
12 went to the head of the —
13 Q. Let’s just stop there for just a second, Mr.
15 A. All right.
16 Q. So as a result of the conversations that you
17 had with the Arvizos, there was a decision to go
18 back to see Dr. Katz with the family again, correct?
19 A. Their decision to; that they wanted to go
20 back and see him again.
21 Q. Okay. And to your knowledge, did that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And to your knowledge, did you then find out
25 the results of Dr. Katz’ subsequent conversations
26 with the family?
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. And as a result of those conversations with 4516
1 Dr. Katz, did you decide on a further course of
2 conduct that you felt needed to be done?
3 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
4 THE COURT: Overruled.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes.
6 THE COURT: You may answer.
7 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: What did you do?
8 A. I then believed that — Dr. Katz believed he
9 had a report, and I then went to the head of —
10 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
12 THE COURT: His belief is stricken. The
13 question is, “What did you do?”
14 THE WITNESS: I went to the head of the
15 Department of Children Services, Los Angeles County,
16 a fellow by the name of David Saunders, who was the
17 head of the Department of Children & Family
19 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And did you contact him
20 prior to going down to the department?
21 A. I did.
22 Q. By what form?
23 A. Well, that’s a good question. I contacted
24 him first between the meeting where I called the
25 Arvizos into my office after Dr. Katz talked to me
26 and before they went back. I talked to him and
27 alerted him to a possibility that I might need to
28 talk to him. 4517
1 Q. And then after that?
2 A. And what I can’t remember is if I saw him at
3 a social gathering where we were both at, or did
4 that by phone. I just — it was one or the other,
5 but I definitely met with him or talked to him and
6 told him that — I didn’t tell him what it involved.
7 I just told him it was a high-profile thing, and if
8 it happened, I needed to have secrecy.
9 Q. All right. Now, with regard to after your
10 second conversation with Dr. Katz, did you actually
11 go down to the Los Angeles County Department of
12 Child & Family Services?
13 A. Yeah, well, I did then definitely call him
14 and talk to him again.
15 Q. Before you went down there?
16 A. Before I went down, and then after talking
17 to him and telling him what it was —
18 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
19 asked and answered.
20 THE COURT: Sustained. Well, not asked and
21 answered, but it’s not responsive.
22 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: So you had a telephone call
23 with him?
24 A. I did have a telephone call.
25 Q. And after that telephone call, did you go
26 down there, and with whom?
27 A. I went down there with a colleague of mine
28 from my office and Dr. Katz. 4518
1 Q. And what was the purpose for the three of
2 you going down to the L.A. County Department of
3 Child & Family Services?
4 A. I wanted to get absolute assurance from the
5 head of the department that there would be no leaks
6 of anything that they decided to do or not do in
7 connection with the report that Dr. Katz was going
8 to make.
9 Q. Now, are you familiar with the law in the
10 State of California that requires certain
11 psychologists or psychiatrists to make a mandatory
12 report —
13 A. I am.
14 Q. — when they suspect child abuse or child —
15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Leading; move to
17 THE COURT: Overruled.
18 THE WITNESS: I am aware of that.
19 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And was this the purpose
20 for the three of you going down to the L.A.
22 A. The purpose was for him to report, but he
23 could have done it on a hotline like was done in
24 ‘93. This time it was to have it guaranteed it was
25 never going to leak out to the press.
26 Q. Okay. Now, as a result of this
27 conversation, were you directed to another agency?
28 A. Well, he directed me into a room with two 4519
1 people. That’s where he directed me.
2 Q. You had a conversation with those people?
3 A. I had a conversation with those people.
4 Q. And as a result of that conversation, were
5 you directed to another agency? Let me put it this
6 way: Did they take the report?
7 A. They didn’t take the report, and they didn’t
8 direct us to another agency. They —
9 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Hearsay; move to
11 THE COURT: Overruled.
Next, Feldman testified that he contacted Sneddon, and then was contacted by a sheriff from the SBPD. Feldman stated that he told Sneddon that he would not file a civil lawsuit on behalf of the Arvizos, but would instead allow the police to conduct and complete a criminal investigation first, but that simply isn’t true! After the excerpt below, I will present proof that Feldman indeed had plans of filing a lawsuit!
12 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: Now, after you left the
13 agency, did you decide on a course of action?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And was this regarding and connected with
16 Dr. Katz’ responsibility as a mandated reporter?
17 A. Yes, because I felt he still hadn’t reported
18 because they didn’t take the report.
19 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Objection. Move
20 to strike; nonresponsive.
21 THE COURT: After “Yes” is stricken.
22 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: All right. Who did you
24 A. I called you.
25 Q. Okay. And as a result of that conversation,
26 were you eventually contacted by somebody else?
27 A. My recollection is that I was contacted by a
28 police officer. Or he may have been a sheriff. I 4520
1 don’t know what he was, but he was some law
2 enforcement person.
3 Q. Now, during the course of the conversation
4 between you and I, did the subject of a civil
5 lawsuit against Michael Jackson in connection with
6 the substance of the mandated report come up?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
9 THE COURT: Overruled. The answer was,
11 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And in that connection, was
12 there a representation made by you to me concerning
13 a civil lawsuit?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; leading.
16 THE COURT: Overruled. The answer was,
18 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: And with regard to that
19 representation – and, Your Honor, I’m offering this
20 under 1250 – what was said by you to me?
21 A. No lawsuit. I would not file a lawsuit.
22 And there was no plans to file a lawsuit. And that
23 you would investigate it and make up your own mind.
24 Not you, but the police.
25 Q. Now, do you currently — at some point in
26 time did you feel you represented the Arvizo family
27 in some kind of litigation?
28 A. That’s a great question. I’ve thought about 4521
1 it. Yeah, I mean — yes, I guess — I don’t know
2 about some litigation. I certainly represented them
3 in everything I did, because I’m a lawyer and I was
4 doing it as a lawyer. So, yes. The answer is yes.
5 Q. With regard to the information and the
6 substance of the original conversation with the
7 Arvizo family, did you feel that you represented
8 them at least at some point with regard to the
9 exploration of the issues involving the Bashir tape
10 and things of that nature?
11 A. Yes. For sure.
12 Q. And was there a certain point in time where
13 that representation ended?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And when was that?
16 A. Approximately — I terminated them, my
17 relationship with them sometime in October, I think,
18 if not sooner. I think effectively it was August or
19 September, somewhere in that time, of ‘03, and then
20 shortly thereafter I wrote a letter terminating my
21 relationship, confirming that I was not their lawyer
22 and that I wasn’t going to proceed with anything.
23 Q. And at any point in time from the time you
24 first met the Arvizo family and to the time you
25 wrote the letter saying you were not going to
26 represent them, which would have been somewhere
27 around October of 2003, did you ever file an action
28 on their behalf? 4522
1 A. No, never have.
Here’s the proof that Feldman and the Arvizos had plans of filing a lawsuit in the beginning: on March 30th, 2005 Dr. Stan Katz stated that he believed that the Arvizos were planning on filing a lawsuit, based on conversations he had with Feldman. Here’s an excerpt from his direct examination:
17 Q. Okay. Was it not unexpected because you had
18 already contacted authorities yourself?
19 A. I had contacted Department of Children &
20 Family Services in this face-to-face meeting. And
21 because I felt obliged to make this report, I told
22 Mr. Feldman that I had to report this to Santa
23 Barbara County authorities. And he told me that he
24 would find out which authority to report this to,
25 because he wanted to be sure it was confidential.
26 And so I then heard from — excuse me, I then heard
27 from Detective Paul Zelis, who called me. And I
28 returned the call. 4258
1 Q. Do you remember telling Detective Zelis that
2 the Arvizos came to you in this lawsuit?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you remember referring to the lawsuit
5 more than once?
6 A. Probably so.
7 Q. You’re not sure?
8 A. Well, I think I referred to it more than
9 once, yes.
10 Q. Okay. Your belief that there was a lawsuit
11 came from Attorney Larry Feldman, true?
12 A. No.
13 Q. He’s the only attorney you had spoken to
14 about the Arvizos at that point, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You’re not a lawyer, correct?
17 A. That’s correct.
18 Q. It was your belief, when you talked to the
19 Santa Barbara sheriff, that Mr. Feldman was filing a
20 lawsuit for the Arvizos, correct?
21 A. It was my belief that he was thinking about
22 filing a lawsuit, yes.
For more information on the lawsuit that Feldman and the Arvizos were planning on filing, please read this post from the Vindicate MJ blog.
Here is Feldman’s description of the work that he did for the Arvizos in 2004, and also described the legal action that he took against the DCFS for leaking their summary of their interview with the Arvizos in February 2003, in which they cleared Jackson of any wrongdoing. Pay attention to the cheap shot that he took at Jackson by stating that he “had to” take action so that the DCFS wouldn’t repeat their actions with “the next kid” (which implies that Jackson was a serial pedophile):
2 Q. Now, subsequently, in the year 2004, you did
3 some legal work for the Arvizo family, correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you — and you have made appearances in
6 court on representing the family; is that correct?
7 A. Well, I haven’t physically made any
8 appearance, but I have occasionally done things,
9 very limited, for them.
10 Q. And have you done that for other clients
12 A. Oh, yeah. I was —
13 Q. Is there a term in the legal profession that
14 we call that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What’s it called?
17 A. Dumb.
18 Q. That wasn’t exactly the one I had in mind.
19 A. Pro bono. Pro bono. Stupid.
20 Q. And do you consider what you did with the
21 Arvizos after the point that you were no longer
22 officially their lawyer to be pro bono work for the
24 A. Yeah. Absolutely. I never expected to get
25 paid, and I’ve done very limited stuff, and the
26 stuff that I’ve done is just stuff that I felt that
27 I should do. That nobody was going to do it for
28 them, and I got this thing rolling and I ought to do 4523
1 it, and I have very limitedly done things.
2 Q. Is one of the things that you did for them
3 was to file a claim with the Los Angeles County
4 Department of Child & Family Services?
5 A. That I did for both of us, because of
6 again, because I was upset that the county did that,
7 so we filed a claim.
8 Q. Why did you file a claim against Los Angeles
9 County on behalf of Janet Arvizo?
10 A. Because the County of Los Angeles has a
11 sworn obligation to protect children. And here,
12 they swore — I went to the head to get this thing
13 protected, and the minute Mr. Jackson gets arrested,
14 the first thing that happens is that county leaks
15 out a report that was created and written after he
16 was arrested, a memo. It comes out, it quickly gets
17 on the news, and quickly blasts this family. And I
18 thought, of all the things that I’ve seen as a
19 lawyer —
20 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
21 nonresponsive; giving a narrative; impermissible
23 THE COURT: It is responsive, but it is a
24 narrative answer. So I’ll sustain the objection.
25 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: All right. So with regard
26 to this particular claim that you filed, it’s not a
27 lawsuit, right?
28 A. It was a claim. 4524
1 Q. And that’s required when you sue a
2 governmental agency, to file a claim first?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then what is the — we’ve heard this
5 term thrown around in the courtroom in relationship
6 to other things, what’s the “statute of limitations”
7 for an individual to actually bring the lawsuit once
8 the claim is filed?
9 A. You have 180 days to file the claim from the
10 event. And then — so you have to have a claim on
11 file if you were ever going to do anything. And
12 then once they deny the claim, you have another 180
13 days, essentially, to bring a lawsuit once it’s
15 Q. And as a result of that claim that you filed
16 on behalf of Janet Arvizo, has the second 180 days
18 A. It has as to Janet, and it has as to
19 Davellin. I don’t think it has, frankly, as to the
20 minors. But it certainly has as to — Janet
21 couldn’t file a lawsuit today and her daughter
22 couldn’t file a lawsuit today.
23 Q. And that’s because they have a certain
24 number of years after they reach the age of
25 majority, 18, to file a claim or a lawsuit?
26 A. That’s my understanding. Once they file a
27 claim it protects their rights, I think. You know,
28 I really — this was a claim that asked for an 4525
2 Q. So they were never seeking monetary damages?
3 A. Well, who knows? But, I mean, there
4 really —
5 MR. MESEREAU: Objection; move to strike.
6 THE WITNESS: I don’t know what —
7 THE COURT: Just a moment.
8 The objection is sustained. Any answer is
10 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: At the time that you made
11 the written claim to the County of Los Angeles, did
12 you demand monetary damages?
13 A. It had — it probably said words in there,
14 whatever the damages are. It didn’t have a number,
15 I can tell you that. And it had — I mean, you
16 can’t file a lawsuit without the claim. I mean,
17 there’s no such thing as a lawsuit for an apology.
18 So it said some — if I saw it, if you had it, I
19 could tell you, but it was really to conduct a —
20 get the county to do something, for the next kid.
21 MR. MESEREAU: Move to strike the gratuitous
22 remarks at the end; nonresponsive; impermissible
24 THE COURT: I’ll strike the last sentence.
Feldman goes on to claim that he had never been asked to file any lawsuit against Jackson by the Arvizo, and that ended his direct examination by Sneddon:
25 Q. BY MR. SNEDDON: During the time that you —
26 since you first met Janet Arvizo —
27 A. Yes.
28 Q. — and the Arvizo family, were you ever 4526
1 asked to file a lawsuit against Michael Jackson?
2 MR. MESEREAU: Objection. Move to strike;
3 calls for inadmissible hearsay; no foundation.
4 THE COURT: The objection is overruled.
5 You may answer.
6 THE WITNESS: I have never been asked to
7 file any lawsuit against Michael Jackson.
8 MR. SNEDDON: Nothing further, Your Honor.
9 MR. MESEREAU: May I take just a second, Your
10 Honor? I have to get some materials.
Here is an excerpt of Mesereau’s opening statement from March 1st, 2003, in which he described a statements made by Janet Arvizo to , describing how much money she hoped to get from Jackson; these statements will be discussed in further detail later on in the trial:
12 Now, Mr. Sneddon, the prosecutor, said to
13 you, “Janet Arvizo doesn’t want money. She’s not
14 doing this for money.”
15 Well, we will prove to you the following:
16 As I said yesterday, when she allegedly learned of
17 these molestation claims, she didn’t go to the
18 police, she went to a lawyer. And I just mentioned
19 to you that she was in touch with various members of
20 the Los Angeles Police Department during this period
21 of so-called false imprisonment, this period of a
22 so-called conspiracy by Michael Jackson and his
24 One of those police officers will testify
25 that Janet said to him, “Something big is happening,
26 and I got a lawyer.” That’s number one.
27 Number two, as I said to you yesterday, she
28 realized at some point that going to a lawyer first 182
1 doesn’t look too good. And that’s when she began to
2 claim that she learned about it from the police, not
3 the lawyers. The problem is, that the lawyers are
4 the ones who eventually went to the police. So
5 you’ll have to figure that one out.
6 Janet Arvizo told the Santa Barbara Sheriffs
7 in one of her interviews, “You know, my kids have
8 till the age of 18 to file civil suits.” And she
9 was correct, because someone underage who has a
10 claim is not held to what is called a statute of
11 limitations the way adults are.
Under cross examination, Mesereau asked Feldman to confirm exactly what Star and Gavin’s options were regarding a future sexual molestation lawsuit. The defense has asserted since the beginning that the criminal prosecution of Jackson was a quid pro quo between Sneddon, Larry Feldman, and the Arvizos, which went like this: the prosecution exploited the Arvizo family’s story to bring Jackson to trial (something they tried and failed to do in 1993), and the Arvizo’s went along with it in order to use a possible criminal conviction as a stepping stone to a multi-million dollar civil suit (with Feldman getting his fair share of the settlement, as he did in 1993). Feldman confirmed that a felony criminal conviction would essentially ensure an automatic win in civil court with a parallel civil suit:
13 BY MR. MESEREAU:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Feldman.
15 A. Good morning, sir.
16 Q. Mr. Feldman, if Gavin Arvizo decided at some
17 point in the future to sue Mr. Jackson for alleged
18 sexual abuse, how much time would he have to file
19 that action?
20 A. I think he’d have till his 20th birthday.
21 Q. If Star Arvizo decided in the future to sue
22 Mr. Jackson for alleged sexual abuse, how much time
23 would he have to file that lawsuit?
24 A. I think the answer’s the same. 20.
25 Q. If, at the end of this trial, they were to
26 decide, you know, “We’d like to sue,” they’d have
27 plenty of time to do it, wouldn’t they?
28 A. “They” meaning the boy – 4527
1 Q. Gavin.
2 A. Not Janet.
3 Q. Gavin and Star.
4 A. The two boys?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. If they wanted to at the end of the trial,
7 they could sue, sure.
8 Q. Isn’t it true that a judgment of conviction
9 in a criminal case for anything related to child
10 molestation could be dispositive in a parallel civil
11 suit alleged for the same facts?
12 A. As long as it’s a felony conviction, that’s
14 Q. In other words, if Mr. Jackson were
15 convicted of felony child molestation in this case,
16 either Gavin Arvizo or Star Arvizo could use that
17 conviction to essentially win a civil case regarding
18 similar alleged facts against Mr. Jackson?
19 A. That’s correct.
20 Q. If there were a conviction for felony child
21 molestation in this case, and if Star or Gavin
22 elected to sue in a civil case based on the similar
23 alleged facts of sexual abuse, essentially the only
24 issue remaining would be how much money you get,
26 A. Probably. I think that’s — it’s close
27 enough. I mean, nothing is that simple, as just
28 stated. You know it as well as I. But essentially 4528
1 I think that’s what would happen.
2 Q. Well, you would have to follow certain civil
3 procedures in civil court, but essentially, Mr.
4 Feldman, you could take the judgment of conviction,
5 you could walk into civil court, you could lodge it
6 with the court, you could ask a judge to determine
7 that liability has been established, true?
8 A. Yes. You get these problems with appeals,
9 and the impact of appeals, and it’s a complicated
10 thing, but the answer is ultimately yes.
11 Q. And one of the reasons for that is that the
12 burden of proof in a criminal case is proof beyond a
13 reasonable doubt. The burden of proof in a civil
14 case is preponderance of the evidence, and if you
15 have proof beyond a reasonable doubt, you
16 automatically have proof by a preponderance of the
17 evidence, as you would need to have it in civil
18 court, true?
19 A. That’s the theory.
20 Q. Well, that’s correct, right?
21 A. Yeah, that’s the theory behind it.
22 Q. All right. Now, let’s assume there was a
23 conviction in this case and that Mr. Jackson were
24 convicted of felony child molestation, and let’s
25 assume that Gavin and Star then decided, “We want to
26 file a civil suit for millions of dollars in civil
27 court,” okay?
28 A. Yeah. 4529
1 Q. On similar alleged facts. And let’s assume
2 the process you’ve just identified, where you walk
3 into civil court, you follow rules, and you
4 essentially establish to a civil court judge that
5 liability exists.
6 If that were to happen, whoever the civil
7 lawyer was representing the Arvizos would have
8 avoided costs of investigation, experts,
9 depositions, filing fees, messenger fees, all sorts
10 of legal fees, right?
11 A. Well, look, I don’t want to open that
12 hypothetical. You’d have to be nuts to do that,
13 what you’re saying, as a civil lawyer.
14 Q. Sir —
15 A. You’d have to be nuts.
16 Q. Sir, did you tell a grand jury in Santa
17 Barbara County that you had incurred tremendous
18 costs of expenses during your lawsuit against Mr.
19 Jackson in 1993?
20 A. I did. And it was true.
21 Q. And if liability were established through a
22 criminal conviction, a civil litigator could avoid
23 most of those costs, correct?
24 A. Some of those costs. Not most. Some. I
25 mean, certainly some you would avoid.
26 Q. You could avoid of lot of investigative
27 costs, correct?
28 A. You know, it’s — can I – 4530
1 Q. Just answer my question, if you would,
3 A. I can’t answer it that way. If I could
4 explain to you why. You know, I’ll tell you why I
5 can’t, and you can ask me the next question and you
6 can get to the answer.
7 Q. Is your answer you would not avoid
8 investigative costs?
9 A. No, it’s the amount of investigative costs
10 we’re talking about.
11 Q. Okay. Did you tell the jury today that when
12 you were in front of the grand jury you mentioned
13 the enormous amount of expenses and legal fees you
14 had incurred in 1993 litigating that case until it
16 MR. SNEDDON: Object. Asked and answered,
17 Your Honor.
18 THE COURT: I’m not — I’ll sustain the
19 objection if you’re asking him what he previously
20 testified to —
21 MR. MESEREAU: Yes.
22 THE COURT: — today. I mean, you’re saying,
23 “What did you just testify to on direct?”
24 MR. MESEREAU: I couldn’t — to be honest,
25 Your Honor, I couldn’t tell if he had actually
26 addressed that issue. It’s a long answer.
27 THE WITNESS: I’m happy to — the legal fees
28 wouldn’t change. The costs would change. We’re 4531
1 just debating how much those costs change. But the
2 costs would change. The legal fees would be the
3 same. If you’re on a contingent fee, you don’t get
4 paid any more if you work a lot or work a little.
5 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: But if you were to gauge
6 your legal fees at hours, sir, and you didn’t have
7 to prove liability, you would save a tremendous
8 amount in legal fees, wouldn’t you?
9 A. Well, sir, I keep trying to tell you, that
10 ain’t the way it works, and you want to keep saying
11 it is. Now, I can tell you how it works, and then
12 you can get to what you want to get.
13 Q. If you had to try a civil case on liability,
14 Mr. Feldman, it could go months, couldn’t it?
15 A. Sure.
16 Q. If you have a judgment of felony conviction
17 in a criminal case and you walk into civil court and
18 establish it, you don’t have a trial in civil court
19 for months on liability, correct?
20 A. You have to —
21 Q. Yes or no?
22 A. You could, if you — you know, you could. I
23 can’t answer it the way you want me to answer. I’m
24 happy to explain it to you, and maybe we can get to
25 the answer.
26 Q. Would a judgment of felony conviction in
27 criminal court possibly eliminate a trial on
28 liability in civil court for similarly alleged 4532
1 facts? Yes or no.
2 A. Do you count punitive damages in
3 “liability,” or not?
4 Q. Sir, I’m asking you to answer my question.
5 A. Well, I can’t — I can’t answer it this way.
6 Liability has a lot of aspects to it, sir, and one
7 of the things is the finding of malice.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. And that’s separate from what you’re talking
11 Q. In other words, if you could avoid the
12 liability phase of a civil case, you wouldn’t save
13 some time in legal fees?
14 A. Of course you would save some time, and you
15 would save some money. We’re just talking about how
16 much. You keep saying it’s — there’s — it would
17 be a total saving, and I’m trying to explain to you
18 that’s not what would happen. It wouldn’t go down
19 that way.
20 Q. You wouldn’t have to prove liability,
21 because it would have been proven in a criminal
22 court, correct, or not?
23 A. You’d have to prove malice, though.
24 Q. Correct or not, Mr. Feldman?
25 A. Well, how many times can I go through this
26 with you?
27 Q. Are you saying if you get a judgment of
28 conviction in criminal court for felony child 4533
1 molestation and you then walk into civil court with
2 civil allegations based on the same facts, you still
3 have to establish liability? Is that what you’re
5 A. Not liability as to that aspect. But for
6 malice, you would still have to prove it.
7 Q. Okay. All right. Now, what is the statute
8 of limitations for civil fraud?
9 A. Civil fraud?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Three years from discovery.
12 Q. Okay. Were you aware that Attorney William
13 Dickerman wrote letters on behalf of Janet Arvizo
14 to Attorney Mark Geragos alleging fraud?
15 A. Not sitting here. I thought it was over
16 their belongings, or something, that he wrote
18 Q. You thought the letters were only about
20 A. You know what? I don’t know. I’m guessing.
21 Show me the letters and maybe it will refresh my
22 memory. I remember there was letters to Mark
23 Geragos, and that’s what was significant to me.
24 What was in them, I can’t remember, unless you show
25 me the letters.
26 Q. Do you recall at some point during your
27 relationship with Prosecutor Sneddon, Mr. Sneddon
28 spoke to the media and said, “If they’re going to 4534
1 sue, I hope they don’t do it until after the
2 criminal case is done”?
3 MR. SNEDDON: I’m going to object to the
4 word “relationship.”
5 THE WITNESS: I don’t even remember it
7 THE COURT: Just a moment.
8 You’re asking him what Mr. Sneddon said, if
9 he —
10 MR. MESEREAU: If he was aware of it.
11 THE COURT: That’s not how you phrased it.
12 MR. SNEDDON: No.
13 THE COURT: I’ll sustain the objection.
Next, Mesereau questioned Feldman about his statements under direct testimony where he said that Jordan Chandler received a confession of judgment in 1993. Feldman was forced to define the term and clear up the misconception that the settlement was a sign of guilt, and was imposed upon Jackson by the civil court. The confession of judgment was meant to ensure that Jackson’s insurance carrier (who negotiated and paid the settlement) would be forced to make their annual payments without the need for the Chandlers to file a second lawsuit for breach of contract in the event of a default of payments! If the payments weren’t made, Jackson’s assets could be seized in lieu of the payments!
Notice how Feldman reacted with sheer surprise and shock when he was asked about his knowledge of Jackson’s cross complaint for extortion against the Chandlers!
14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Mr. Feldman, Prosecutor
15 Sneddon asked you about a technical term in civil
16 litigation called “confession of judgment”?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Right?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. Now, in the civil case where you represented
21 Mr. Chandler and his parents against Mr. Jackson,
22 there was a cross-complaint, was there not?
23 A. There was?
24 Q. Mr. Jackson sued for extortion, didn’t he?
25 A. I don’t know. I know he claimed — I know
26 that his investigator, Mr. Pellicano, claimed
28 Q. You don’t recall? 4535
1 A. I’m not saying it didn’t happen. I just
2 don’t recall.
3 Q. Okay. And typically, in a settlement like
4 the one described by Prosecutor Sneddon, if someone
5 agrees to pay money to the other side, the other
6 side would like the payment of that money secured by
7 what is called a confession of judgment, correct?
8 A. That’s right. When it’s paid over time,
9 that’s correct.
10 Q. Okay. And the purpose of a confession of
11 judgment is that if the paying party stops paying,
12 you can run into civil court and obtain what is
13 called a certified judgment so you can then collect
14 on their assets?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Right?
17 A. That’s right.
18 Q. And if you didn’t have that confession of
19 judgment, your only remedy would be to then file
20 another lawsuit for breach of contract, correct?
21 A. That’s right.
22 Q. So what Mr. Sneddon was talking to you about
23 was ways that you have to collect money that you’re
24 owed in a settlement, true?
25 A. I don’t know what he was talking to me
26 about. He asked me questions, and I answered the
27 best I could. What you’ve said is true, and that’s
28 what I thought I just said. 4536
1 Q. And typically in a civil settlement, and
2 you’ve done many of them, obviously, there is a
3 provision in the settlement agreement which says
4 that neither side admits liability, or words to that
5 effect, correct?
6 A. Generally. Not every one, but generally
7 that’s true.
8 Q. And essentially what that means is neither
9 side admits wrongdoing, correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And the confession of judgment has nothing
12 to do with an admission of wrongdoing or liability?
13 A. Well, it would have the same impact if you
14 had to file it. It would be a judgment for that
15 amount. I don’t know what impact it’s going to
16 later be. I’ve never handled a case where you filed
17 a confession of judgment, and then somebody tried to
18 use that in another case to say you admitted
19 something. I frankly don’t know the answer.
20 Q. It’s never used to say someone admitted
21 something. It’s simply used to collect the money
22 you’re owed, right?
23 A. Sir, I just told you, I’ve never researched
24 that issue, and — so you can’t — you got the wrong
25 person. I’ve never had someone where I had to go
26 use it.
27 I didn’t have to use it with Mr. Jackson, so
28 I can’t tell you the answer. I know it’s — it 4537
1 is — my concern was the making sure, if the money
2 wasn’t paid by Mr. Jackson, we could go into court
3 and start seizing his assets. That didn’t happen.
4 He paid. It never happened.
5 Q. Would you agree that in many civil
6 settlements of civil cases, you will have both the
7 provision that says neither side admits wrongdoing
8 or liability as well as a confession of judgment?
9 A. It’s rare you get a confession of judgment.
10 It is very — typical that you get neither party
11 admits wrongdoing in a release. It’s typical. You
12 don’t need the confession, because you usually
13 exchange the release and the money at the same time.
14 So there isn’t that issue.
15 Q. But you need a confession of judgment if you
16 want to secure payments to be made in the future,
18 A. That you need. That’s right. And that’s
19 what we got.
20 Q. And if payments are to be made in the future
21 by any settling party, you would almost be foolish
22 not to have a confession of judgment, correct?
23 A. I don’t know. We’ll let somebody else worry
24 about who’s foolish. We did it. We thought it was
25 the appropriate thing. We demanded it. We got it.
26 Q. Please answer my question, Mr. Feldman.
27 A. I don’t know what’s foolish for lawyers to
28 do. I mean, I haven’t thought about it. It’s a 4538
1 good practice – I did it – to get it. I mean, I
2 demand to get it for my clients. That’s all I can
3 tell you.
4 Q. You demand to get it for your clients
5 because if payments were to stop, you would have a
6 faster way —
7 A. Sure.
8 Q. — to obtain that value than you would if
9 you had to sue for breach of a settlement agreement,
11 A. Yes. That’s what I think I’m saying.
12 Q. And when you have your clients get a
13 confession of judgment in a settlement agreement in
14 a civil case, typically there also is a provision
15 where neither side admits any wrongdoing to each
16 other, right?
17 A. The settlement agreement will say that,
18 that’s correct.
19 Q. And that’s what you had in 1993 in the
20 Chandler case, correct?
21 A. We had the settlement language that said
22 that, and we had a confession of judgment.
23 Q. You had settlement language that said
24 neither side admits wrongdoing to the other, and you
25 also had the confession of judgment you just
26 described, true?
27 A. True.
Mesereau next begins to question Feldman about his law firm’s representation of the Arvizos well in to 2005, primarily regarding a lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles for the leak of the details of the confidential DCFS interview from February 20th, 2003, and his relationship with William Dickerman.
Pay close attention to Feldman’s statement that he was sure that Dickerman wanted money! Mesereau tricked Feldman by asking if Dickerman “also” wanted money, and Feldman fell for it hook, line, and sinker!
28 Q. Now, did I hear you say, in response to the 4539
1 prosecutor’s questions, you stopped representing
2 Janet Arvizo in the fall of 2003?
3 A. The first time.
4 Q. Pardon me?
5 A. The first time.
6 Q. That’s the first time you stopped?
7 A. That’s the first time I stopped.
8 Q. Okay. Now, as I look at pleadings filed by
9 your law firm in this case, I count no less than
10 four lawyers representing the Arvizos well into
11 2005, correct?
12 A. That’s why I answered the question the way I
13 did. I said that’s the first time that I terminated
14 the relationship with Ms. Arvizo.
15 Q. And in 2005, you have represented the
16 Arvizos in documents filed in this particular
17 criminal case, correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. A lawyer named Julian Brew from your firm
20 has also represented the Arvizos in documents filed
21 in this criminal case in 2005, correct?
22 A. Well, my law firm, because of me, has done
23 this for the — Miss Arvizo, we’ve done it for her
24 parents, we’ve — and for the newborn baby. I think
25 those are the three people. But I may be wrong.
26 Q. Let me rephrase the question.
27 A. Mr. Brew works for me. I mean, I don’t want
28 to demean him. I mean, he works with me. 4540
1 Q. Mr. Brew is a lawyer with your law firm,
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. He has represented the Arvizos in the year
5 2005, correct?
6 A. The law firm has represented her, and he’s
7 one of the people, to be technical.
8 Q. Sir, you work for or your partner with
9 approximately a 600-person law firm, correct?
10 A. He’s one of the lawyers that worked on this
11 case. That’s what I said.
12 Q. That’s Julian Brew, correct?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. A lawyer named Theodore Maya has also worked
15 for the Arvizos in the year 2005 in this case, true?
16 A. True.
17 Q. A lawyer named Robert Turner has also worked
18 for the Arvizos —
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. — in this case, correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Those are four lawyers with your 600-plus
23 law firm, true?
24 A. True.
25 THE COURT: All right. It’s break time.
26 (Recess taken.)
27 THE COURT: All right. Go ahead.
28 MR. MESEREAU: Thank you, Your Honor. 4541
1 Q. Mr. Feldman, you’ve testified that you had
2 filed, as a lawyer for the Arvizos, a Notice of
3 Claim against Los Angeles County, correct?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And the purpose of filing that notice of
6 claim was to preserve the right to sue in the future
7 if you desire to, correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And you told the jury that at this point, in
10 your opinion, Gavin Arvizo and Star Arvizo still
11 have time to file a lawsuit against Los Angeles
12 County, correct?
13 A. I believe that’s right.
14 Q. The lawsuit you’re referring to, if it ever
15 occurred, would be separate and apart, or could be
16 separate and apart from any lawsuit against Mr.
17 Jackson in the future, true?
18 A. I think it would have to be separate and
19 apart. I don’t think you could join the two. But
20 it would be — I think the simple question is — the
21 simple answer is yes.
22 Q. And as we speak, then, those two young men
23 still have a right to sue Mr. Jackson, and they
24 still have a right to sue Los Angeles County in a
25 separate action, true?
26 A. True.
27 Q. And by filing your Notice of Claim, you
28 preserved that right for them, true? 4542
1 A. That’s what I did. Against the county.
2 Q. Against the County of Los Angeles?
3 A. Yeah. It had nothing to do with Mr.
5 Q. Okay. Now, you’ve indicated you know —
6 excuse me, let me rephrase that.
7 How long have you known Attorney William
9 A. Well, certainly since 2003. He tells me
10 that he brought a case to me that I rejected, and I
11 can’t tell you when that happened. I sort of
12 vaguely remember it happening, but I can’t place it.
13 I never met him till he walked into my office. I
14 think that’s the first time I ever saw him.
15 Q. Did you testify this morning that you have
16 or had a referral arrangement with him with respect
17 to the Arvizos?
18 A. You know, loosely. I think there was an
19 agreement with the Arvizos that he was a party to.
20 You need the consent — under the State Bar rules,
21 you have to have a client’s consent to have — and
22 he was in that agreement, and exactly what we said
23 about him I don’t know. But I know he expected, if
24 there was money, to get money for — from me, from
25 her, I don’t know where. I can’t remember the
26 details of it, but —
27 Q. Do you recall him having what is called a
28 joint legal services agreement with you? 4543
1 A. Vis-a-vis the Arvizos?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. He could have. I mean, I don’t know what he
4 had. He had — he wanted to be involved if I was
5 going to bring a case. And how those financial
6 terms were worked out with him, I don’t know. And
7 what — he was — he wanted to be involved with the
8 family, because he said he had this great
9 relationship with the family, so I was there to do
10 the legal work, and it never went anyplace.
11 Q. He also wanted money, true?
12 A. He wanted money, I’m sure of that. I’m sure
13 of that.
14 Q. You had a lot of communications with him
15 after he referred the Arvizos to you, true?
16 A. Well, we certainly had some. I don’t know
17 about “a lot.” I certainly had some with him.
18 Q. There were faxes and letters going back and
19 forth from his office to you for many months after
20 he referred the Arvizos to you, right?
21 A. Could be. We certainly were trying to get
22 his file and what he had in his file from the time
23 he had the case till the time we were done with it
25 Q. And just to clarify what you just said, are
26 you saying you’re not sure if Attorney William
27 Dickerman had a legal services agreement with you?
28 A. What do you mean by “a legal services 4544
2 Q. Well, let me get —
3 A. That I pay him to do legal services for me?
4 Q. He does legal work with you for the Arvizos.
5 A. I don’t know — is there something I’m
6 missing about what I’m saying and you’re asking?
7 Q. I don’t think so.
8 A. I thought he wanted to get paid for the work
9 he thought I would let him do in the Arvizo case.
10 If I took the Arvizo case – I don’t want to break
11 his heart – he wasn’t going to do very much work if
12 I was the lawyer on the case, but he wanted to get
13 paid. That’s the point. And how we memorialized
14 that, I don’t remember. It was in the agreement,
15 and she consented to however we memorialized what he
16 would get if there was money to be had.
17 Q. But Prosecutor Sneddon asked you questions
18 about a referral agreement between lawyers, correct?
19 A. He asked me questions about a referral fee,
21 Q. And what you’re describing now is not a
22 simple referral fee arrangement, true?
23 A. Well, I’m describing — I don’t remember the
24 way this worked. If you showed it to me, I could.
25 But I don’t think it mattered. I was going to be
26 the lead lawyer, and he was — I guess if we gave
27 him a task to do, he would do it.
28 Q. And just to clarify things, that’s something 4545
1 different from a strict referral fee arrangement,
3 A. It can or cannot be, frankly. You can do it
4 both ways. I mean, I don’t think the form it
5 takes — I think what’s important is that the two
6 lawyers have to decide how they are going to divide
7 fees, and on what basis, and that the — the most
8 important thing is the client consents to whatever
9 the arrangement is.
10 Q. And your typical referral fee arrangement
11 involves one lawyer referring a case to another
12 lawyer, and if the lawyer who gets the case makes
13 any money on it, that lawyer gives a percentage to
14 the lawyer that referred the case to him or her,
16 A. That certainly happens frequently.
17 Q. That’s your typical referral arrangement,
18 isn’t it?
19 A. That was at one time my typical — are you
20 asking me now personally, or just in general?
21 Q. Just generally speaking.
22 A. Generally, I think that is the way lawyers
23 get a case. They send it to somebody else and they
24 get a referral fee, and they don’t have to do any
26 Q. Now, in Los Angeles County, you’re known as
27 one of the most successful plaintiffs’ lawyers,
28 correct? 4546
1 A. Say it again for the press. I want to —
2 that’s the nicest thing anybody’s said about me in
3 this case.
4 Q. Is that true?
5 A. I think so.
6 Q. You’ve had numerous multi-million-dollar
7 awards that you have obtained for your clients,
9 A. I have.
10 Q. You have numerous multi-million-dollar
11 settlements you’ve obtained for your clients,
13 A. I have.
14 Q. And in most of those situations, you had
15 what is called a contingency fee arrangement,
17 A. Oh, I’m sure. Yeah. Over the life of my
18 legal career, that’s absolutely right.
19 Q. And generally speaking, in a contingency fee
20 arrangement, the plaintiffs’ lawyer in these cases,
21 namely you, get a percentage of whatever is
22 recovered for the client, true?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And in a strict contingency fee arrangement,
25 if the lawyer doesn’t obtain any money for the
26 client, the lawyer might not get paid anything,
28 A. Correct. 4547
1 Q. So there’s an incentive for that lawyer to
2 get as big a recovery as possible, because the
3 bigger the recovery for the client, the bigger the
4 fee for the lawyer, correct?
5 A. That’s the theory.
6 Q. And you have a fairly standard contingency
7 fee arrangement that you’ve used through the years,
9 A. I — I have.
In this excerpt, Mesereau began to question Feldman about his involvement in the 1993 case. When Feldman mentions how Jackson’s defense team wanted Jordan Chandler’s parents to get a portion of the settlement, it’s because they wanted to be sure that they wouldn’t be tempted to write a book or sell interviews to the tabloids, so by making them bound by the confidentiality agreement, they were also barred from speaking to the media (but not law enforcement!):
10 Q. In the Chandler case, the parents, who
11 you’ve described as divorced, both signed your fee
12 agreement, true?
13 A. They did. Well, I mean, you’re saying that.
14 I — it looks like you’re looking at something. If
15 you tell me — I hope they did. I don’t remember.
16 Q. Would it refresh your —
17 A. But it would have been smart on my part to
18 get both of them to sign it.
19 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if you
20 looked at your fee agreement?
21 A. Sure.
22 MR. MESEREAU: May I approach, Your Honor?
23 THE COURT: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: Is that all of it?
25 MR. MESEREAU: (Nods head up and down.)
26 Q. Mr. Feldman, have you had a chance to look
27 at that fee agreement?
28 A. I have. 4548
1 Q. Is it true that June Chandler and Evan
2 Chandler signed that agreement?
3 A. They did.
4 Q. They retained your services, correct?
5 A. They did on behalf of their son. I —
6 Q. Now, to your knowledge, the father had been
7 divorced from the mother since 1986, correct?
8 A. I don’t know the date, but they were — the
9 parents were divorced. The father was remarried.
10 Q. The mother remarried also, true?
11 A. Yeah, I think that is right. Except I think
12 they were separated at the time. The mother was
13 separated from her husband. She could have been
14 divorced, but she did — I think she remarried.
15 Q. Now, the father had not only been divorced
16 for a number of years from the mother, he had given
17 up all custody to the mother at that time, true?
18 MR. SNEDDON: I’m going to object as
20 MR. MESEREAU: I believe the prosecutor
21 raised these issues, Your Honor.
22 THE COURT: What’s the relevancy?
23 MR. MESEREAU: Who he’s really representing,
24 and what their influence is on the litigation, what
25 their influence is on the settlement and what their
26 motives are, and what example it sets to everyone
28 THE COURT: All right. The objection is 4549
2 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: You represented both
3 parents on behalf of the minor, Mr. Chandler,
5 A. My memory is both parents were the guardian
6 ad litems for the minor. I don’t remember if —
7 representing the parents separately and apart in a
8 separate lawsuit against anybody. I — I think we
9 only had them as guardian ad litems because the
10 young minor can’t bring a lawsuit. It has to be
11 done through someone. And originally it was done
12 through the parents and then ultimately through a
13 judge, retired judge became the guardian.
14 Q. And you had in that particular case ethical
15 obligations to both the parents and the minor in
16 your representation, true?
17 A. I suspect at some level there was — I
18 certainly had an attorney-client privilege with
20 Q. Well, without going into the amount of any
21 settlement, isn’t it true that both parents wanted
22 money for themselves as well?
23 A. They didn’t want it. The defense wanted
24 them to have it, and they accepted it, because the
25 defendant — that was the defendant’s idea.
26 Q. Did the parents — without going into the
27 amounts —
28 A. Sure. 4550
1 Q. — did the parents for Mr. Chandler accept
2 money in the settlement?
3 A. They did accept money. That’s a fair
5 Q. Okay. That would include a father who
6 didn’t even have the legal right to see the child,
8 A. I’m not sure that’s right, you know, because
9 he had the child. At that time that I came in the
10 case, the child was living with the father, so you
11 may be right in some — there may be an order out
12 there, but at the time I came in the case, the
13 father — the boy lived with his dad and his dad’s
14 wife, as I recall.
15 Q. Okay. Now, at some point — excuse me, let
16 me rephrase that. The mother’s name is June
17 Chandler, correct?
18 A. Correct. Or at least it was.
19 Q. Okay. To your knowledge, has it changed?
20 A. No. But I don’t know.
21 Q. Okay. At some point she married someone
22 named David Schwartz, correct?
23 A. Sometime she married David Schwartz.
24 Q. When you were representing June Chandler,
25 she was either married to or living with David
26 Schwartz, true?
27 A. I’m not sure, you know, what the situation
28 was. I don’t think — their relationship was 4551
1 strained, I can tell you that —
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. — at that point in time. I have a
4 recollection he wasn’t living in the house at the
5 time I met her, but there was still a relationship,
6 because I can picture him in my office with her,
7 with Evan Chandler, and with Evan Chandler’s wife,
8 and Jordie.
9 Q. Now, at some point when it became clear that
10 you were seeking money from Mr. Jackson, David
11 Schwartz then filed his own suit against Mr.
12 Jackson, right?
13 A. I think that’s right. I think he did. I
14 don’t know when that happened, but now that you
15 mentioned — not by me. I wasn’t — somebody else.
16 Q. And you were in communication with that
17 attorney representing David Schwartz, correct?
18 A. Who was the lawyer? I don’t remember. Who
19 was the lawyer in that —
20 Q. I’m questioning you. So I’m just asking
22 A. Oh, you don’t want to answer my questions.
23 It’s not so much fun. Okay.
24 Q. Do you recall that June Chandler’s
25 ex-husband then tried to sue Michael Jackson as
27 A. I wouldn’t have remembered it, but now that
28 you’ve said it, I kind of remember that he did. 4552
1 And I almost remember the name of the lawyer who had
2 it, because he was a guy I used to litigate against.
3 But I may be wrong.
4 Q. In response to Prosecutor Sneddon’s
5 questions, you indicated that the case was referred
6 to you by a lawyer for the Chandler family, correct?
7 MR. SNEDDON: I’m going to object, Your
9 THE WITNESS: No.
10 MR. SNEDDON: It’s vague as to what case.
11 MR. MESEREAU: Let me rephrase it. If it’s
12 vague, I’ll rephrase.
13 THE COURT: All right.
14 Q. BY MR. MESEREAU: Regarding your
15 representation of Mr. Chandler, Mrs. Chandler, and
16 their son, did you say, in response to the
17 prosecutor’s questions, that that case was referred
18 to you by another lawyer for the family?
19 A. What I want to correct is, if you take the
20 “family” part out of it, I can answer it. Yes, it
21 was referred to me by a lawyer, but that lawyer who
22 referred it to me wasn’t representing the family,
23 per se.
24 Q. Was representing the father?
25 A. He was representing the father.
26 Q. His name was Barry Rothman, correct?
27 A. No, no, no, no. No.
28 Q. Who referred the case to you? 4553
1 A. The guy that referred to me was a criminal
2 defense lawyer, who was Bob Shapiro, who was
3 defending the father where these — long before I
4 ever got in the case, there was these charges of
5 extortion going back and forth between the father
6 and the Jackson camp, and it was long before I got
7 in the case.
8 In that case there was a criminal defense
9 lawyer representing the father, and that criminal
10 defense lawyer brought the family to me. But he was
11 only representing the father, and he was only
12 representing him criminally.
13 Q. Okay. Now, and Robert Shapiro, of course,
14 is the Robert Shapiro who defended O.J. Simpson,
16 A. That’s correct.
17 Q. He was defending the father against claims
18 that the father had tried to extort money from Mr.
19 Jackson, correct?
20 A. Time out. I think that’s wrong. Let me go
21 back. He may have been the lawyer not for the
22 father, but for — now I got — I think he
23 represented Rothman, the lawyer, the lawyer who was
24 in the case before I ever got in the case. I think
25 he, too, was accused of extortion by someone on the
26 Jackson side.
27 Q. Okay.
28 A. And I think he — one of them — and I think 4554
1 Richard Hirsch, who was also a criminal defense
2 lawyer, represented the father, or — that’s what I
3 think really happened. But somehow Shapiro and
4 Richard Hirsch, who are two criminal defense
5 lawyers, advised the family that they had the wrong
6 civil lawyer and they should come see me. And
7 that’s basically how I got there.
8 Q. They advised the family that Gloria Allred
9 was the wrong lawyer and they should come to you,
11 A. That’s what I understand.
12 Q. Okay. Now, there was a lawyer named Barry
13 Rothman involved, correct?
14 A. Before Gloria Allred.
15 Q. And Barry Rothman represented the father,
17 A. Well, that’s a good question, who he
18 represented. I thought he — he represented
19 probably the father and Jordie, I suspect. I mean,
20 it’s unclear to me, that whole deal.
21 Q. And Rothman is a lawyer that was accused of
22 extortion by people associated with Mr. Jackson as
23 well, correct?
24 A. I think both Rothman and Jackson — I mean,
25 “Rothman and Jackson,” I’m sorry.
26 Rothman and Evan Chandler were accused of
27 extortion by the Jackson side. I don’t know who on
28 the Jackson side. 4555
1 Q. And Attorney Barry Rothman has since been
2 disbarred, correct?
3 A. I don’t know. Has he?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. I didn’t know him before, I don’t know him
6 now. And if he is, he is. I don’t know.
7 Q. So you don’t know him at all?
8 A. I don’t know Barry Rothman.
9 Q. You had various meetings with him during
10 this litigation, did you not?
11 A. No.
12 MR. SNEDDON: I’m going to object as
13 immaterial and irrelevant.
14 THE COURT: Sustained.
15 THE WITNESS: No, I — well, it — oh, it
16 was sustained, so….
Here is information on Dave Schwartz’s lawsuit against Jackson from Mary Fischer’s 1994 GQ artice:
In what may turn out to be the never-ending case, this past August, both Barry Rothman and Dave Schwartz (two principal players left out of the settlement) filed civil suits against Jackson. Schwartz maintains that the singer broke up his family. Rothman’s lawsuit claims defamation and slander on the part of Jackson, as well as his original defense team— Fields, Pellicano and Weitzman— for the allegations of extortion. “The charge of [extortion],” says Rothman attorney Aitken, “is totally untrue. Mr. Rothman has been held up for public ridicule, was the subject of a criminal investigation and suffered loss of income.” (Presumably, some of Rothman’s lost income is the hefty fee he would have received had he been able to continue as Chandler’s attorney through the settlement phase.)
To be continued: https://michaeljacksonvindication2.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/april-1st-2005-trial-analysis-jeff-klapakis-cross-examination-jack-green-larry-feldman-and-jesus-salas-direct-examination-part-3-of-4/