You are on page 1of 5

om

UNITED STATES TAX COURT TRIAL

ESTATE (OF MICHAEL J. JACKSON DECEASED)

n.c
EXECUTORS: JOHN G. BRANCA AND JOHN MCCLAIN

VS

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE (IRS)

so
February 24th 2017

ck
Presiding Judge Mark V. Holmes

lJa
Jacksons estate is represented by Avram Salkin, Charles Paul Rettig, Steven Richard Toscher, Robert
S. Horwitz, Edward M. Robbins Jr., Sharyn M. Fisk and Lacey E. Strachan of Hochman Salkin Rettig
Toscher & Perez PC, Paul Gordon Hoffman, Jeryll S. Cohen and Loretta Siciliano of Hoffman Sabban
& Watenmaker and Howard L. Weitzman of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert LLP.
ae
The IRS is represented by its attorneys Donna F. Herbert, Malone Camp, Sebastian Voth, Jordan
Musen and Laura Mullin.

..................................................................
ich

WITNESS: ANDREW WALLET


(ESTATE REBUTTAL WITNESS BRITNEY SPEARS ESTATE CONSERVATOR )
a mM
Te
w.
ww
om
Judge Holmes: Rebuttal, to which we will move directly, Mr. Weitzman.

n.c
Mr. Weitzman: Thank you, Your Honor.

Judge Holmes: Who will be this witness, Ms. Cohen?

Ms. Cohen: Yes. Mr. Wallet. It's Andrew Wallet.

so
Judge Holmes: Oh, Wallet. A new person, actually.

Ms. Cohen: A new person, yes.

ck
Mr. Musen: Excuse me. Your Honor?

Judge Holmes: Yes.

lJa
Mr. Musen: Before starting, I was just wondering if we could get the topic of each rebuttal witness.

Judge Holmes: Oh, so you can allocate? What's the topic of this one, Ms. Cohen?

Ms. Cohen: It's the right of publicity.


ae
Judge Holmes: Right of publicity.
ich

Mr. Musen: Okay. Oh, my word.

(Andrew Wallet called to th stand)


mM

The Clerk: You may be seated. And would you please state your name and address for the record?

The Witness: Andrew Wallet, W-A-L-L-E-T. ------------------------.

The Clerk: Thank you.

DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MS. COHEN:


a

Q. Good afternoon, Ms. Wallet... Mr. Wallet. What's your occupation?


Te

A. I'm an attorney.

Q. How long have you been an attorney?


w.

A. About 37 years.

Q. And do you have a specialty?


ww

A. I do. I'm a certified specialist in estate probate trust law.


om
Q. And do you have other... do you do other kinds of work besides just being an attorney?

A. I do. A major portion of my practice is acting as a fiduciary.

n.c
Q. A professional fiduciary.

A. Correct.

so
Q. And what is your relationship with Britney Spears?

A. I'm her co-conservator for her estate.

ck
Q. And could you explain to the Court in case anybody doesn't know who Britney Spears is?

A. Britney Spears is a world-renowned... I'd be surprised if anyone doesn't know who she is. But she's a
very famous entertainer, singer, dancer.

lJa
Q. Similar to Michael Jackson, but maybe to a different market. Is that right, Mr. Wallet?

A. That's correct.
ae
Q. And in fact, at the time that the conservatorship petition was filed, Mr. Wallet, was there a lot of
media coverage?
ich
Mr. Musen: Leading.

Judge Holmes: Sustained.

Ms. Cohen: During the conservatorship proceedings, the beginning of the conservatorship
mM

proceedings, Mr. Wallet, what was your understanding of the kind of attention that Ms. Spears
received?

A. It was a feeding frenzy by the media.

Q. Similar to the feeding frenzy upon Mr. Jackson's death?


a

Mr. Musen: Objection. Leading, Your Honor.


Te

Judge Holmes: Overruled.

A. Yes.
w.

Q. As the... and by the way, in the interest of full disclosure, Mr. Wallet, I do not represent you. But
myself and my partner as well represent Ms. Spears' co-conservator, Jamie Spears.

A. That is correct.
ww

Q. What are your responsibilities as the co-conservator of Ms. Spears' estate?


om
A. It's to oversee her estate, to manage her estate, every aspect of it, to preserve her estate, to make it
grow, and basically make sure she's... well, her estate is being handled properly.

n.c
Q. And do you take any actions with respect to her intellectual property?

A. Yes.

Q. Intellectual property... could you describe the intellectual property assets that you manage?

so
A. Yes. She has trademark, copyright. She has many such interests.

Q. And she's also a musical performing artist?

ck
A. Yes.

Q. Have you heard of the Lifetime documentary Britney Ever After?

lJa
A. Unfortunately, yes.

Q. Is this a... we won't play the trailer again.

Judge Holmes: Thank you.


ae
Q. It...
ich

A. I've seen it. So it's fine.

Q. Is this the trailer, Mr. Wallet, for the...


mM

A. Yeah. Yes.

Q. Mr. Wallet, did the producers of this film approach the co-conservators of the estate of Britney
Spears to license Britney Spears' name and likeness?

A. Absolutely not.
a

Q. Did the co-conservator... did you and Mr. Spears try to stop the release of this and televising of this
film?
Te

A. Yes, we did.

Q. What actions did you take to try to stop it?


w.

A. We got wind of the fact that it was going to air before it aired. We did everything we could to write a
cease and desist letter. We... I approved that letter by entertainment counsel. The manager contacted
several of the writers of her copyrighted songs asking them not to cooperate in any kind of licenses if
ww

they should be approached. So we shut down all of the copyright musical avenues. There was no
copyrighted materials used. Nevertheless, we didn't get any response from them.
om
Q. And did the film air, Mr. Wallet?

A. Yes, it did.

n.c
Q. And was any money received by the conservatorship of Britney Spears' estate...

A. No.

so
Q. ...as compensation for the film? And just one more thing, Mr. Wallet. The entertainment counsel that
did your cease and desist letters was not Mr. Weitzman, was it?

A. Oh, no.

ck
Ms. Cohen: No further questions.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. MUSEN:

lJa
Q. Good afternoon.

A. Good afternoon.
ae
Q. So this... you get wind of... this airs. And you at least try to stop it, don't you?

A. Yes.
ich

Q. You don't just lay down and just do nothing.

A. No. We were very active before it aired.


mM

Q. Okay. Thank you.

Mr. Musen: No further questions.

Judge Holmes: Thank you for your testimony, Mr. Wallet. Anybody else rebuttal?
a
Te
w.
ww