Pt. 2: Explosive Court Docs Reveal Accusing Family’s Stormy Past – MJEOL Bullet #227
Allegations from a previous JC Penney civil case appears to be closely related to current Jackson allegations

We pick up with Part Two of this special MJEOL Bullet about explosive new court documents recently released. A court hearing was held November 29 2004 in this “case”.

Jackson’s attorneys may have failed, for now, to get their own independent psychological examination of the accuser, but prosecutors also failed to get the defense’s right to subpoena witnesses and records taken way.

Recently released info from local paper Santa Barbara News-Press (SBNP) revealed a reason why the defense may want their hands on the mother’s medical records. She, apparently, has lied about her medical condition—involving gynecological reports–before, coached her children to lie under oath before, and leveled false sex abuse allegations before in a civil case against department store JC Penney.

Since some TV lawyers, like Dan Abrams, seemed to only have glommed onto the defense request for gynecological records, today (Nov 30) brings a bit of possible clarity to the issue.

The SBNP report, “Jackson defense loses bid to conduct mental testing of accuser, family” dated Nov 30 2004, details some of the incredulous allegations level against JC Penney by this family. From the report:

The documents obtained by the News-Press and NBC were compiled by Dr. John Hochman, identified as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at UCLA…

Quoting the mother, Dr. Hochman said that after the J.C. Penney incident, she “saw a gynecologist due to irregularities in her menstruating and she was this way because her body was traumatized and ‘every hormone in her body was being released.’ “

There is no evidence confirming (the mother’s) testimony she had to get her hormones straightened out due to the mall episode.” (see Jackson defense loses bid to conduct mental testing of accuser, family)

Some observers speculate that it may be possible she’s claiming similar allegations against Jackson. Whatever the reason, Jackson attorney Robert Sanger didn’t want to get into it in open court as cited here in an AFP report:

In response, defense co-counsel Robert Sanger said, “I don’t want to take cheap shots at the sound bites about gynecological records, but there’s very good reason for those that I don’t want to go into right now.” (see Judge denies Michael Jackson request for psychiatric tests on accuser (Nov 29 2004) )

Also from the JC Penney case, comes news by way of the SBNP of more allegations including the mother claiming injury, memory loss and emotional distress against “the bad people of JC Penneys”:

The family complained to the psychiatrist of headaches and nightmares after the incident. The children were also fearful “the bad people from J.C. Penneys” would come to their house and hurt them, Dr. Hochman said in the report.

Dr. Hochman noted that the mother did not want to answer questions and frequently claimed memory loss about her life before the incident.

“She said she didn’t want to remember anything about her prior psychiatric treatment.” She didn’t remember where (her son) took dancing lessons.” She frequently buried her head in her hands. “She was far more upset talking about the mall episode than about her son’s bout with cancer. Her general demeanor alternated between a blunted state and tearful hysteria.” The boy indicated the incident was “more frightening” than the year he battled cancer, and his brother said it was “worse,” Dr. Hochman’s report stated.

The psychiatrist noted that he thought the interviews with the boy and his brother were rehearsed. He also noted “doubtful aspects” of the testimony by the family, including that it was “impossible” for all family members to have “identical stories years later.”

The police, the doctor stated, saw no injuries and heard no complaints of sexual abuse. Those charges were added to the complaint two years later. (see Jackson defense loses bid to conduct mental testing of accuser, family)

This is the first time the public is getting some of the incredibly explosive information about the allegations leveled against JC Penneys by the accusing family. No wonder the attorney representing the department store told NBC:

“It became readily apparent that this was an incident and it turned into, in my opinion, a scam to [extract] money from J.C. Penney…She just came up with this fairy tale, not a fairy tale, it‘s a horror story, and just ran with it. (see ‘The Abrams Report’ for March 4 2004)

 

__Who let the Katz out?__
Another flashpoint in this “case” involves psychologist Stan Katz. Katz has already broken the court’s order because he told prosecutors that he received a subpoena from the defense and told them what the defense was asking for. This alone is in direct violation of the Teal motion order issued by the court.

Later, we find out why Katz broke the order. Hint: improper communication. If you remember, Katz was the psychologist brought in by civil attorney Larry Feldman to confirm/test the claims being made by the accuser.

Contrary to what some have reported, Katz’s testimony at a pre-trial hearing confirmed that he was not the first person who heard the allegations. As a matter of fact, he told Sheriff’s deputies, as well, that he only came into the picture in preparation of a lawsuit Feldman was preparing to launch against Jackson.

In an August 17 2004 article “Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case” by the Associated Press, Katz’s testimony was discussed. From the article:

Katz said of Feldman, “He asked me to interview the minors (referring to the boy and two siblings) to determine the veracity of the comments they made to him.” (see Lawyer: Psychologist’s patients on both sides of Jackson case)

The fact is that Katz has already testified under oath that he was specifically brought into this situation by Feldman to test the veracity of the claims. It’s interesting as well considering what prosecutors are now claiming. More on that later. To piggy-back on that admission, in a story broken by reporter Mike Taibbi in March 2004, Katz also told the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department that Feldman was preparing to file a lawsuit against Jackson before he (Katz) even became involved. From that report:

“Mr. Feldman actually referred these kids to me because they had come to him in this lawsuit…Feldman’s going to file.” (view Today Show: Civil Suit Brought up by Therapist March 19 2004)

The public was also made aware that it was Katz who first brought up the issue of money…at least in one meeting with the accuser:

Look, if you go ahead with this civil lawsuit, your family will get money if they win… (view Today Show: Civil Suit Brought up by Therapist March 19 2004)

The civil suit against Jackson didn’t go forward because Sneddon, as reported by the Santa Barbara News-Press, struck a deal with the accusing family’s attorney not to file a civil suit until after any criminal proceedings were done (Sneddon reportedly asked boy’s family not to file civil suit during criminal case)

In the Declaration by Brian Oxman, he writes that Katz has already disclosed confidential information by making a public report of the allegations and testifying in front of the grand jury. This in a sense voids the patient-therapist confidentiality under Penal Code Section 11171, say the defense. From the report:

However, under Penal Code section 11171, when Psychologist Katz disclosed, with his patient’s permission, his confidential patient communications by making a public report concerning his allegations of abuse, all privilege was lost. When Psychologist Katz testified before the Grand Jury, there is no basis for any claim of privilege under section 1014 because the information was disclosed and the privilege lost. pg 9 of .pdf file

And, as throughout the motion, Oxman cites case law to back up his contentions:

30. Evidence Code section 912(a) provides:

“Except as otherwise provided in this section, the right of any person to claim a privilege provided by Section…994(physician-patient privilege), 1014 (psychotherapist-patient privilege), is waived with respect to a communication protected by the privilege if any holder of the privilege, without coercion, has disclosed a significant part of the communication…

pg 9

So at least four times, Katz has broken privilege: (1) when he informed authorities and gave statements to the Sheriff’s department; (2) when he told LA Child Services and (3) when he testified in front of the grand jury; and (4) when he undoubtedly told prosecutors what the accuser and family said.

To now be claiming a privilege when the defense wants a chance to question him, is ridiculous. The defense should have Katz’s records because when Katz testified at a pre-trial hearing August 17 2004, he used them and fully revealed their contents. There’s no reason why the defense shouldn’t be entitled to these records. The declaration states:

34. Psychologist Katz made a report under Penal Code section 11165 to the Department of Children and Family Services in June 13 2003, and the Santa Barbara sheriff’s department. By making that report, the psychotherapist privilege is not only lost through disclosure, but also by statute is no longer available. Penal Code section 11171. Mr. Jackson is entitled to all records in Psychologist Katz’s possession. pg 10 of .pdf file

Prosecutors claimed the defense’s subpoena to Katz was not sufficiently restricted to a specific purpose or subject (overbroad). The defense rejects this notion. In fact, the defense cites a comment by prosecutor Ron Zonen.

Zonen, by the way, is the same prosecutor who attorney Russ Halpern says interjected himself into the family court case between the accuser’s mother and biological father. Zonen claimed Katz was worried that the defense’s request for phone records would reveal confidential info about his other patients.

The defense says, however, the subpoena to Katz doesn’t request anything regarding his other patients and that Katz was informed to redact info relating to other patients.

 

__Communication is the key…especially when you’re setting someone up__
The released docs also reveal that “improper communications” between Katz and prosecutors have occurred. The communication is of such import as to make both Katz and prosecutors violate the Court’s Order, say the defense:

Not only does the subpoena to Psychologist Katz not request information regarding other patients, but also improper communications have repeatedly taken place between the prosecution and Psychologist Katz.

This court should demand Psychologist Katz produced telephone records that demonstrate the communications with the prosecution that are so compelling that both the prosecution and Psychologist Katz see fit to violate a Court Order dated July 9 2004. pg 12

Interesting. What kind of improper communication did Katz have with prosecutors? Is this one of the reasons why prosecutors are having a conniption over the defense’s subpoenas? It’s an issue sure to be raised at a possible trial. Some case observers aren’t ready to say these “improper communications” involve prosecutorial misconduct just yet. Attorney Oxman writes that prosecutors can’t point to one instance in the subpoena where the defense is requesting private records of Katz’s other patients, and that the allegation lacks foundation.

 

__Have a seat on my couch__
Katz is also wrapped up with Bradley Miller somehow. When Katz testified at a pre-trial hearing August 17 2004, Oxman dropped an enormous bombshell that he wasn’t able to fully explore during that limited hearing.

It turns out Bradley Miller—the private investigator working for then Jackson attorney Mark Geragos—is a patient of Katz’s. An August 18 2004 report, “Conflict cited by Jackson defense”, details what happened in court on Aug 17:

Katz testified he had heard Miller’s name mentioned twice: once by Feldman in June 2003 when the attorney said Miller had videotaped the boy and his family about Jackson and months later regarding a “break-in” on the news. Suddenly, Oxman boomed: “Bradley Miller is a very special patient of yours, isn’t he Dr. Katz?” Katz looked taken aback and answered, “If he was my patient, I couldn’t discuss him.” Oxman continued: “Bradley Miller is Dr. Katz’s patient and he’s been so for many years.” Katz said he knew Miller “professionally,” from family law cases the two had been involved in. …During Katz’s testimony, the therapist acknowledged he ran into Miller on the street after the search and the investigator asked him, “Dr. Katz, you’re not the psychologist on this, are you?” Katz said he told Miller he couldn’t “comment on any of my cases,” to which Oxman interjected: “Not even to your own clients?” (see Conflict cited by Jackson defense )

With Katz, it would make at least seven people involved from the outset who knew Miller was employed by Geragos before the police raided his offices; the others being: Dickerman (who reportedly testified to the grand jury that he knew only later to change his story), Jay Jackson (the accuser’s now-stepfather), and the accusing family (who were all caught on tape being told, TWICE, that Miller was working for Mark Geragos).

Either way Katz is deeply involved in this whole thing. He was also involved in some capacity with the 1993 “case”. Some of the public found out about Katz’s involvement through that March 2004 NBC report. In the sheriff’s notes, he admits his involvement in the ’93 investigation: “I actually do know about that case…I worked on that one too.” The full extent of his involvement with the ’93 “case” could come out at a possible trail.

__Larry, Larry, Larry__
Civil attorney Larry Feldman is also discussed in this declaration. Feldman, in case you don’t already know, is the attorney who secured a multimillion dollar settlement, paid by Jackson’s insurance company, during the 1993 investigation.

Feldman’s favorite shrink is Stan Katz. They’re as thick as thieves, those two. It came out in court yesterday, as reported by some of those inside during the proceeding, that Feldman is no longer representing the family. Reportedly, the defense attorneys, the accuser’s father (via telephone), his attorney, and the judge all met in chambers without prosecutors yesterday for a period of time after the hearing.

Why has Feldman decided to jump ship? Or, a deeper question is did he decided to jump or was he pushed by the current set of circumstances? It remains to be seen. Revealed in Oxman’s declaration is the fact that Jackson’s attorneys have subpoenaed Larry Feldman as well.

There is also a snippet of Feldman’s testimony in front of the grand jury included. During that time, Feldman confirmed that the attorney-client privilege between him and the accusing family has been fully waived. As such, all communications between Katz, Feldman and the accusing family are obligated to be turned over to the defense:

42. Attorney Feldman told the Grand Jury on March 29 2004:

Q. Okay. Did the subject of the conversations concern ________. A. That was part of the subject. You have a waiver, right? Q. Yes, I do. A. Okay. Yes. Q. _______ has waived the attorney-client privilege? A. Right. Yes. The answer is yes. (Tr. p. 66, Ins 2-10).

43. This was a full and complete waiver of the privilege without any qualifications. Any communications Attorney Feldman had with _________ along with Psychologist Katz, are no longer privileged, not only because of the waiver, but also because attorney Feldman testified about his communications with his clients to the Grand Jury. Klang v Shell Oil Co., 17 Cal. App. 3d 933, 938 (1971) (privileged information previously disclosed in a public forum may no longer be claimed as privileged).pg 12-13

So not only has the attorney-client privilege been waived, but this makes yet another person involved in this…situation that has broken the Court’s order by alerting prosecutors.

Feldman is not a prosecutor and he has already waved his attorney-client privilege between him and the accusing family so they can pursue this “case”. And he’s already testified as to the specifics of the “case” along with speculation about the 1993 investigation.

Thus, he is most likely going to be a witness at a possible trial and subject to scathing cross-examination by the defense. The only reason why he seems to be whining now is because he may be afraid of either what the defense already knows or what they most likely will find out if he is forced to testify.

Some observers think that Feldman may be one of the keys to this case. Other observers, however, say that he is up to his non-existent hairline in this mess.

Hence, everybody is in panic-mode and prosecutors are trying their damnedest to thwart the defense’s attempts to find info regarding this “case”. While prosecutors may protest over certain subpoenas, the defense explains that the Court has already approved the subpoenas about which prosecutors are now complaining.

This is most likely why the judge didn’t grant the prosecution’s motion to totally obliterate the Teal powers previously given to the defense. From an AFP report dated Nov 29 2004, “Judge denies Michael Jackson request for psychiatric tests on accuser”, Melville is quoted as telling prosecutors:

“You seem to be ignoring the right of the defence to subpoena,” Melville told Zonen. “You are not representing all these people, even the victims. You are trying to act as their counsel,” he said.
(see Judge denies Michael Jackson request for psychiatric tests on accuser (Nov 29 2004) – AFP)

The prosecutors attempting to act like private attorneys is a point that was made by Jackson’s attorneys. And the judge has agreed. Prosecutors have no power to shield these people from defense investigations, regardless of a Freudian slip made by Tom Sneddon at a previous pre-trial hearing where court observers heard him call the accusing family his “clients”.

Part Three will further discuss the Oxman declaration along with the prosecution’s uncalled-for revamping of the Teal motion, as well as another explosive revelation of Jay Jackson being in constant contact with the accusing family while they claim they were being abducted/kidnapped by Jackson’s people.

Stay tuned. 
{xtypo_info}Read Part 1 here: /content/view/1236/2/
Read Part 3 here: /content/view/1243/2/ {/xtypo_info}

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