Anschutz Entertainment Group claims that it was Jackson, not the company, who hired Dr. Conrad Murray.
Due to the size of the courtroom in which the civil trial is being conducted, seats will be limited even for members of the media. News agencies requested that cameras be allowed in the court. The motion was supported by the Jackson family.
No Cameras in Courtroom
AEG's attorneys argued that televising the trial could draw large numbers of Jackson supports to the courthouse which could be threatening to witnesses.
Under California law, the decision to allow cameras during a trial is completely up to the judge in the case. Judge Yvette Palazuelos ruled last week there would be no cameras and did not give a reason for her decision.
Also last week, jury selection began in the trial as potential jurors arrived at the courthouse to fill out a 25-page, 123-question form to be used by the plaintiffs and the defendants to qualify or disqualify them as jurors.
Who Hired Conrad Murray?
In June 2009, as Jackson was preparing for a 50-concert comeback, he died as a result of being administered a strong anesthetic by Conrad Murray in an effort to get the superstar singer to sleep. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a criminal court and sentenced to four years in prison.
Jackson's mother and children filed a civil lawsuit blaming AEG for hiring Murray. But the entertainment and sports company, owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz, claims that it was Jackson himself who hired Murray as his personal physician at $150,000 a week.
AEG claims that any payments it may have made to Murray was an advance that would have been paid back by Jackson from concert proceeds.
Family Seeks Damages
The family is asking for damages equal to what Jackson would have earned had he remained alive, which experts are expected to testify would have been from $1 billion to $5 billion.
Although Jackson was more than $500 million in debt at the time of his death, in court papers filed almost a year ago, the estate claimed it had gross income of $475 million since his death on music, movie, video games, merchandising and other deals.
The trial is expected to last three months.
The Death of Michael Jackson