John Branca; Was He Really Fired In 2003? If So, Was He Rehired? A Documented Time Line

NOTE from MJJJP-   The information, quotes, comments, links and timeline below have been compiled and sent to MJJJP from a MJ fan Twitter Account – ItsBlackItsWhite– Their wish is to present this information and let the Michael Jackson fanbase come to their own conclusions regarding the issues and questions reaised in the entitled article and we are willing to oblige this request.

John Branca; Was He Really Fired In 2003?

If So, Was He Rehired?

A Documented Time Line- 

February 2003: A letter notifying Branca that he’s been terminated. For reasons no one has explained, the day date has been whited out and the address of the letter’s origin is vague. Since it says “HAND DELIVERED” we will assume that Branca received it.

Pls note scribd copy the date is whited out but in a filing by Joe Jackson dated Nov. 9, 2009 he states through his attorny Brian Oxman, this letter is dated February 3, 2003. Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 6.19.05 AM

February 11, 2003 Fire Mountain Services, Llc was filed in Nevada with John Branca as manager (If the name sounds familiar, this business entity along with Michael Jackson were the defendants in Marc Schaffel’s suit against MJ. It’s my understanding that Fire Mountain Services owned the rights to Debbie Rowe’s interview for the “Rebuttal Video”.)

April 15, 2003 is the date on the Interfor Report. As far as I know there was only the one report. We know from David LeGrande’s testimony in 2005 that the report offered no proof of Branca’s alleged wrong doing, tho’ it led to proof that Weisner and Konitzer had embezzled $965,000.00. What’s odd is that it’s dated 2 months after the termination letter. Is it possible that MJ had already fired Branca, then rehired him after this report found that others were stealing from him?

Full transcript of LeGrande’s testimony – May 12, 2005

July 28, 2003 A letter to Charles Koppleman. It is on Branca’s law firm’s letter head and signed by Branca, which indicates that he was representing Michael. If you read the letter you see that he is definitely representing Michael’s best interests re: the proposed Goldman-Sachs deal put forth by Al Malnik and Charles Koppleman; Branca wants to insure that Michael retain some control as well as some cash. It was Branca’s suggestion that MJ pass on this deal, which he did. Among other things, Branca informs Koppeleman that “I’m not sure of the justification for Goldman-Sachs to control the Board with five of seven Board seats giving Michael only two.” and that “…it does not make sense to Michael to tie you in as manager of MiJac as condition of the loan.”

According to Joe Jackson’s filing dated Nov. 9, 2009 – Barry Seigal sent his resignation letter to John Branca  August 26, 2003 – Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 6.29.45 AM

[If LeGrand was in charge of Michael’s affairs wouldn’t Barry Seigal have sent this letter to LeGrand instead of Branca?]

August 27, 2003 “…Jackson made up with his lawyer, John Branca…”

November 18, 2003 The CD “Number Ones” was released. In the acknowledgments Michael gave “special thanks” to Branca: “From the days of “when”….to the present…..Thank you for the years. I Love You, Michael Jackson.”

November 19, 2003 This New York Times article on the Neverland raid states, “John Branca, Michael Jackson’s lawyer, did not return a telephone call seeking comment….”

December 25, 2003 Michael was interviewed for the TV news show “60 Minutes” by Ed Bradley. According to this MTV News article, it was John Branca and Charles Koppleman who negotiated that interview as the network, CBS, would not air the special “Michael Jackson: Number Ones” until MJ publicly denied the allegations against him.

December 31, 2003 “The [Ed] Bradley interview, as I reported here some two weeks ago, was not set up by [Deiter] Weisner at all. In fact the whole idea emanated from what I call Jackson’s “permanent” government of advisers – John Branca, Charles Koppleman and Al Malnik.”

January 14, 2004 “ ‘Michael is in charge’ John Branca, one of the singer’s business attorneys, told reporters.”

April 30, 2004 [Italics are mine] “But his long time music attorney, John Branca, said it would be a mistake to count his client out.

‘He was counted out once before, when the Jackson 5 lost popularity, and came back bigger than ever,’ Branca said. ‘Michael speaks to a world wide audience like no other artist in history.’ ”

April 14, 2005 Branca mentioned as one of Micheal’s advisers:

June 10, 2005 “He [MJ] is being advised in the matter by John Branca, a well known music industry lawyer…”,7030814&hl=en

2006 “He [MJ] was surrounded and I had to resign,” he [Branca] said. “He did not ask me to stay. I resigned amicably.”

June 2008

Branca was Michael’s attorney for Thriller 25 DVD registered on 06/03/2008.

Registration Number / Date: PA0001607247 / 2008-06-03
Description: Videodisc (DVD)
Copyright Claimant: MJJ Productions Inc.. Address: c/o Zifferen, Brittenham, Branca & Fischer, 1801 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, United States
Date of Creation: 2008
Date of Publication: 2008-02-08

October 2008

And Branca was Michael’s attorney for “The Essential Michael Jackson” registered 10/17/2008.

Registration Number / Date: SR0000618451 / 2008-10-17
Application Title: THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON 3.0 (DISC 3) / by MICHAEL JACKSON (88697-30985-2)
Title: THE ESSENTIAL MICHAEL JACKSON : Limited Edition 3.0.
Publisher Number: 88697309852 Epic/Legacy
Description: 3 Compact discs.
Copyright Claimant: MJJ Productions Inc. Address: C/o Ziffren, Brittenham, Branca & Fischer, 1801 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, United States.
Date of Creation: 2008
Date of Publication: 2008-08-22
Nation of First Publication: United States

Pls note, Joe Jackson’s Nov.9, 2009 filing  states the agreement between John Branca and Michael Jackson to “part ways” is April 2006.

Screen Shot 2015-07-11 at 12.59.53 PM

Re: 2009 “In the weeks before Michael Jackson officially rehired Branca [in 2009 *] the attorney had several discussions with Jackson’s representatives about what he wanted to accomplish…. three pronged mission: to get the estate out from under its crushing debt; to provide for Michael’s children and loved ones; and to restore the King of Pop’s legacy to its former glory.”

* Joe Jackson’s petition of Nov 9, 2009 confirms the “business plan and contract” to hire Branca was completed on June 17, 2009 and submitted to court by John Branca.

Screen Shot 2015-07-11 at 7.38.23 PM

AND the rehiring of John Branca is further confirmed by Randall Sullivan –

“Untouchable” by Randall Sullivan
Pg. 504 footnote

Weitzman responded forcefully and persuasively to the question about whether Branca was rehired in 2009, first by arranging a conference call with Michael Kane, who had been hired as Michael’s business manager shortly before his death and who continued to serve in that capacity for the estate. Kane told me [Randall Sullivan] that he had personally witnessed the meeting between Branca and Jackson at the Forum, and had in fact participated in some of it. Weitzman also arranged a conference call with Joel Katz, who had been hired as Jackson’s entertainment lawyer in the spring of 2009, and Katz told me he was certain that Branca and Jackson had met as claimed, because he had spoken to Michael Jackson about the meeting a short time afterward. He had asked Michael if he minded John joining the team, Katz said, and Michael had told him he did not. Not long after this, Katz said, he saw a document signed by Michael Jackson that approved a business plan that would be directed by John Branca. Members of the Jackson family and critics of John Branca retorted that Kane and Katz were employees of the estate and allies of Branca. I see no legitimate basis for insulting Mr. Kane and Mr. Katz with the suggestion that they would lie at John Branca’s behest and I accept that Branca did in fact meet with Michael Jackson at the Forum and likely was rehired as one of Jackson’s entertainment attorneys. For me, that controversy has been settled in Mr. Branca’s favor.

Sources embedded in text.

Additional reading –

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20 Responses to John Branca; Was He Really Fired In 2003? If So, Was He Rehired? A Documented Time Line

  1. Barb Taylor says:

    These posts have been very informative and quite interesting to say the least!! I so appreciate all the hard work, reading, etc. that goes into these articles. Thank you so much!! The picture is starting to all come together. It’s amazing to me that Michael could have ever dealt with this and not have reprocusions from it. All the years, people, media, lawsuits have been against him and still he cared more for the fans and the children and his children. Sigh. But, anyway, keep up the great work you guys are doing!! Bless you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s definitely interesting to say the least.Especially the inclusion of Joe Jackson’s assertions in his pettiton to oust Branca as executor. While Oxman tried to present a case against Branca he pretty much confirmed that Branca wasn’t fired at all – – Why would MJ and Branca need to finalize “paring of ways” in April 2006 if they’d already parted in 2003? ….


  3. Also – where has this “Feb 3” fire letter been all these years? Fwb 3rd date also comes from Joe’s Pettion otherwise we had a whited out date.. So WHO gave the date information to Oxman/Joe? Who had the copy of the letter – if as they claim Branca received it by “HAND DELIVERY” .. Who provided the copy to Oxman? Dieter Weisner sure had the sour grapes to want to since he tried very hard to get rid of Brance too – by using LeGrand. LeGrand actually exposed Weisner and Konitzer instead of Branca … So there is plenty of reason why Dieter would team up to help Joe get rid of Branca again. In 2003, Michael complaint in deposition that Weisner/Konetzer had him sign POA while under influence of pain meds.. Did they use this POA to sign Michael’s name to this “Feb 3” letter? Just how long did LeGrand really work for Michael after the Interfor report exposed Deiter and Ronald?


  4. ItsBlackItsWhite says:

    Can’t help wondering – was the termination letter “HAND DELIVERED” by courier (form FL to CA) or not delivered at all, but marked that way so no envelope w/ post mark would be asked for? In my experience a letter like that would be sent registered mail, return receipt requested as proof the addressee received it, and when.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My opinion on that Feb __ “termination letter” is that it wasn’t delivered at all even though it says “hand delivered”. Any law office I ever worked in such an important letter would surely be sent at least certified with a green card for the recipient’s signature and date, to be returned to the sender. Has anyone ever disclosed, reproduced, brought forth those pieces of information? Does not appear so. Also, if LeGrand was the proposed new attorney, the letter would have been sent on his letterhead, not simply from “Aventura, FL”. But even if we suspend belief long enough to think Branca received the letter, do we really think JB, who had been Michael’s confidante close to 20 years by that time would automatically act upon receipt of this undated directive from a vague location with no letterhead from an unwitnessed and unnotarized signature purporting to be MIchael Jackson’s? Just doesn’t add up to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ItsBlackItsWhite says:

        You make a strong case for the letter never being delivered, and it reminds me – LeGrande’s office is in Nevada – Reno &/or Las Vegas. He says he had to fly to FL to meet w/ Malnik in his 2005 testimony. So…..


      • ItsBlackItsWhite says:

        According to this 3-6-2003 article, Branca was fired by fax, which doesn’t explain the “HAND DELIVERD”, and that David LeGrande also represents F. Marc Schaffel. Also, that in 1996 Branca was “back burnered” when Myung Ho Lee took over (& we know how well that worked for MJ); in 1998 Branca “came back into power.”

        Another instance of someone pushing Branca out of the way then taking advantage of MJ.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nimue says:

    Acoording to Vindicating Michael: LeGrand worked only 3 months and he was dismissed before the Interfor results (April 15 2003)


    • ItsBlackItsWhite says:

      You and I are on the same wavelength today! Tho’ this makes it look more like one month – I was just reading from LeGrande’s 2005 testimony:
      (Auchincloss is the questioning atty, answers are from LeGrande)
      Q: …did you talk to anybody after you left the stand today about your testimony in this case?
      A:…I did speak to several people last night.
      Q: Did you talk to anybody that was involved in this case in any fashion?
      A: I don’t know whether involved or not. I did call Al Malnik.
      Q: Why did you call Mr. Malnik?
      A: He’s — his wife is expecting a child….called to inquire after his wife’s health….
      (LeGrande goes on to say he did not work directly for Malnik, but had been instructed by MJ to “take directives” from him, one of those directives being that anything requiring MJs signature be submitted to Malnik. This directive also applied to Wiesner and Konitzer, that they submit paperwork to Malnik. He goes on to talk about meeting w/ Malnik in Florida and says the following)
      A: Well, it was before the 28th. It was a week to 10 days before the 28th of March but I’m not sure exactly.
      Q: Was it before your services were terminated as Mr. Jackson’s attorney?
      A: Yes. That’s how I know it was before the 28th.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good point, especially when using it to prove a point in court .. the signature of recepient is generally necessary to prove they recieved the document. Went through a timeline yesterday and found that Michael was in Florida early and mid January 2003 because he was visiting the Gibb family and attendied funeral of Maurice Gibbs- who died Jan 12th .. Martin Bashirs final interview with Michael was also in Miami around the same time .. Early Feb 2003 – All hell broke loose due to Martin Bashir attempts at releasing his bias Doc in UK …Check this blog for some details – –> We also beleive LeGrand speaks of the chaos that ensued at the time which would have been around Feb 3 … Find it highly unlikely that Michael would have been trying to get rid of Branca during this legally intense time … but let’s keep researching ..


    • ItsBlackItsWhite says:

      The vague address of origin on the termination letter is another thing that bothers me, it’s not business-like, especially as the letter is not on business letterhead or personal stationary.

      A bit off topic, or maybe not. The will Al Malnik claims to have drawn up, that Schaffel says he witnessed, was dated March 2003 & Malnik lives near Miami. Schaffel told Sullivan that he “facilitated” Branca’s firing in Feb 2003. Seems there was some Monkey Bizness goin’ on in Florida in early 2003.

      Liked by 1 person

      • will go thru a timeline of March activities of MJ too.. .. that is a nice lead date!! So far for 2003 – We have
        Jan 12th MJ finishes up with Bashir
        Feb 3 MJ’s Legal tries to sop Bashir UK doc-
        Feb 3 supposed fire letter of Branca “hand delivered”
        March supposed New Will drawn up …by the people who tried to get Branca fired… ooo hmhm
        March 28th LeGrand terminated for uncovering money pilfering of S, D & K ..
        (will edit and update as infor comess in)


  7. ItsBlackItsWhite says:

    Also the Avram trial was Feb 2003, right? So MJ would have been very preoccupied, trusted people like Malnik to keep things running for him. I forget where I read it, will try to find it, but if I remember right Schaffel recommended LeGrande , and we know Schaffel was no fan of Branca.

    Liked by 1 person

    • – – There is a People Mag article in about Marcel Avarm .. One of his quotes is so disturbing . Lous “Skip” Miller is Avrams lawyer at the time .. he is quoted —> “Michael Jackson’s a very wealthy guy,” Miller added. “This wasn’t so much money that it would have forced him into bankruptcy or anything like that.”

      the hyperlink has an issue but this is the url,,634749,00.html

      It’s entitled “Jackson Settles Old Lawsuit Against him”

      On the same day Michael Jackson was being charged with child molestation last December, the star surprisingly – and quietly – settled a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against him by a concert promoter, it has just been revealed.

      In March of 2003, a California jury ordered Jackson to pay $5.3 million to German promoter Marcel Avram, who had sued the singer for $21.2 million claiming Jackson had pulled out of two millennium concerts. (During the trial, Avram said Jackson cancelled his appearances after he had already been paid $11.2 million but reneged on their original deal because two of the Gloved One’s earlier concerts, in Germany and Korea, suffered from “dismal” ticket sales.)

      Jackson’s civil attorneys quickly appealed the verdict, but the New York Post reports that on Dec. 18 — the same day Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon charged Jackson with allegedly molesting a child – lawyers settled the matter by dropping all appeals, according to court papers.

      “We’ve resolved everything and Marcel’s happy,” Avram’s lawyer, Louis “Skip” Miller, tells the Post. “He’s been paid in full, but the actual amount is confidential.” The paper puts the figure at $7 million.

      “Michael Jackson’s a very wealthy guy,” Miller added. “This wasn’t so much money that it would have forced him into bankruptcy or anything like that.”

      Jackson was not in the courtroom to hear the March 2003 verdict, but at the time of the decision, his attorney, Zia Modabber, told Reuters that the outcome was a partial victory for his client, because Avram had been suing for more than $21 million.

      “He’s fine with it,” said Modabber. “He stood up for himself and went to trial, and Mr. Avram didn’t get nearly what he wanted.”


      • ItsBlackItsWhite says:

        That is disturbing and I think everyone who sued MJ felt that way. The Chandler settlement didn’t break him, so it seems people figured they might as well take a shot – as tho’ MJ were a slot machine. MJ always bounces back, right? Until he didn’t.

        Off topic but in an earlier comment I posted some quotes from LeGrande’s 2005 testimony. Am I the only one thinking his calling Malnik one evening during his days on the stand was not really to inquire into Mrs. Malnik’s health? Even if it was, this is 2 years after LeGrande’s short stint as MJs lawyer so just how well did he and Malnik know each other? And if Friedman was right and LeGrande also represented Schaffel, it seems there’s another connection between the two.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. When you read the People Article .. it says MIchael was fighting the Avram case UNTIL the charges were brought .. so now we really HAVE to consider ..was it a possibility that the new allegations were spawned so that he WOULD settle ?? Is this legal manipulation .. this Avram guy has been after Michael Jackson for years !!! … And YES .. agree .. that call of LeGrand to Malnik after his testimony of quite ineresting … I thought witnesses were not supposed to do that ? Juries can’t descuss between themselves until deliberation would think witnesses would not be able to fill in other on the goings on in court to other potential witnesses… Don’t know how that short Stint of employment could have made a personal relationship between LeGrand and Malnik so strong that he’d inquire aobut the “health ” … very interesting indeed.


    • ItsBlackItsWhite says:

      Now I see what caught your interest (I’m a bit slow sometimes) – the timing. I really don’t know, but someone convinced Janet Arviso to sue MJ instead of Ba$hir as she originally intended; caused her to turn on MJ. I’d thought it was Feldman w/ Sneddon applying pressure but maybe not. “Anything, anything…. anything for money.”


  9. Five years later this is still a valuable reference source in the wake of the English-language edition of Dieter Wiesner’s book on Michael. Amazing how much he misses out, while blaming everyone else for taking advantage of Michael!


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