Sunday, February 10, 2008
Earlier on this blog, I discussed the controversy surrounding James Brown’s estate. Here are more recent developments from Lynnley Browning, Suit Tangles Issue of James Brown’s Estate, NYTimes.com, Feb. 8, 2008:
Mr. Brown’s estate was already the subject of a raft of lawsuits and squabbling involving his children, grandchildren, children whose paternity has been asserted but not yet proved, three wives and a companion who says she was his fourth wife.
Now, a lawsuit filed Tuesday by two court-appointed trustees of his estate accuses his longtime business managers, including a retired judge, of stealing millions of dollars from Mr. Brown. The suit, filed in South Carolina state court, also accuses the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, one of its lawyers, and a South Carolina bank of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and conspiracy to defraud the legendary soul singer. * * *
The lawsuit filed by the two trustees of Mr. Brown’s estate, Adele J. Pope and Robert L. Buchanan Jr., both lawyers, focuses on one of the three former managers, David G. Cannon, accusing him of siphoning at least $10 million since 1999.
The complaint also states that Mr. Cannon may have forged Mr. Brown’s signature to obtain a 40 percent interest in royalties from the James Brown dancing doll, an interest worth $95,000. * * *
Some of Mr. Brown’s heirs hope to turn his estate in Beech Island, S.C., into a lucrative Graceland-style tourist mecca. His songs also continue to produce royalties.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.