Attorney-at-Law

WRESTLING WITH ROESLER

In Uncategorized on 04/17/2017 at 13:55

No, not literally. And the Roesler of this story is Mark Roesler, expert witness and extractor of value from dead poets and celebrities, by means of exploiting the public interest therein.

And of course Mr Roesler is a featured player in the ongoing saga of the late Michael Jackson, as told by The Great Dissenter, a/k/a The Judge Who Writes Like a Human Being, s/a/k/a The Implacable, Inveterate, Ineluctable, Indefatigable, Illustrious, Incontrovertible, Ineffable and Indomitable Foe of the Partitive Genitive, and Old China Hand, Judge Mark V. Holmes.

Mr Roesler reports and testifies about the worth of the late King of Pop’s pictures, descriptions and account in Estate of Michael J. Jackson, Deceased, John G. Branca, Co-Executor and John McClain, Co- Executor, Docket No., 17152-13, filed 4/17/17.

But Mr Roesler wants a large part of his report and testimony sealed, because it contains trade secrets, namely, details of what he got for the relicts of the deceased greats he’s represented over the years.

But remember Section 7461(a), says IRS. The public has a right to know.

Judge Holmes sets the ground rules. We’re not dealing with national security, law enforcement, endangered individuals, or scandalous information. This is about patents, customer lists, pricing and trade secrets.

“Asserting annoyance isn’t enough — there must be some demonstration of harm that disclosure will cause. Our focus on harm means that the presumption of public access trumps any private interest in nondisclosure when otherwise confidential business information is stale. When information becomes stale is a factbound determination. “ Order, at p. 2. (Citations omitted).

Well, Mr Roesler’s pricing arrangements are clearly trade secrets.

“Roesler’s report also reveals the commission he charges (or attempts to charge) for his representation of estates to help them exploit their right of publicity. This is very much an ongoing feature of his business strategy. The Commissioner makes the reasonable point that these charges might be important in estimating a value of Jackson’s image and likeness to the Estate. It seems unlikely, however, that the Court would use only a single source to estimate such costs; whereas their revelation to a wider public could definitely place Roesler at a competitive disadvantage to his peers in this industry.

“The Estate wins on this one — and the Court noticed as well that Roesler’s commissions show up on pages 28 and 29. Although the Court is not granting the Estate’s request to seal these pages in their entirety, we will allow a redaction of this information.” Order, at p.3.

Roesler loses the tussle with IRS on his aggregated numbers. Individual deals aren’t mentioned, and the identities of the heirs is not revealed. And some material is more than five years old, and to Judge Holmes, that means they’re stale.

“The Court agrees with the Commissioner that the terms of deals that Jackson himself entered between 7 and 37 years ago are quite stale — the Estate has not shown how their revelation would affect any similar and more recent deal. This information and analysis is, moreover, likely to be quite relevant in the Court’s analysis for what it might show about the effects on the Estate of the public-relations troubles Jackson had during the last 15 years of his life.” Order, at p. 3.

So Roesler wins only one out of three falls.

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