Hearing set for Michael Jackson`s doctor

Los Angeles: Attorneys in Michael Jackson`s death received two key rulings on Tuesday when a judge kept in place a January criminal hearing for a doctor who supplied the pop star`s medications, while his father lost a challenge to the estate.

A Los Angeles judge kept a January 4 start date for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for Dr. Conrad Murray to stand trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson`s death.

The "Thriller" singer died in June 2009 from an overdose of prescription drugs, principally the powerful anesthetic propofol. Murray has admitted giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid, but has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

In a separate matter in the 2nd District Court of Appeal, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled the singer`s father, Joe Jackson, was not entitled to a court hearing to challenge the status of two men now in charge of Jackson`s multimillion dollar estate.

At stake for Joe Jackson, 81, was a chance to participate in revenues earned by his son`s estate.

Forbes magazine on Monday named Michael Jackson the top-earning celebrity of the year with revenues of $275 million pouring in from record sales, licensing and other business deals.

According to his will, Michael Jackson`s estate benefits his three children, his mother and various charities. The estate is currently overseen by Los Angeles attorney John Branca and music executive John McClain.

Bureau Report