Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein said the primary evidence offered by Jean Kasem’s attorneys was a declaration from Kjetil Johansen. He is a lawyer in Norway, where the former radio icon is buried.
Johansen stated that Jean Kasem is the trustee of her late husband’s trust. If Johansen is correct, that would give Jean Kasem standing to voice her opposition to the fees requests.
However, Klein said that although Johansen “may be correct, may be brilliant,” his declaration is hearsay and that he needs more information.
“I can’t find standing based on a comment from someone in Norway,” Klein said.
Attorney Adrian Sawyer, on behalf of Jean Kasem, said the attorneys for former Kasem conservator Kerri Kasem as well as Kasem’s court appointed lawyer, Samuel Ingham, are creating a “sideshow” by raising the standing issue. He said they have conceded by their past actions in the bitter case that his client does have the right to bring objections to the fees requests.
Kerri Kasem is one of Kasem’s two biological daughters from his first marriage. Her lawyer, Troy Martin, said Jean Kasem has not produced any proof that she is the trustee of the family trust. He also said that although she is a beneficiary of the trust, the only person who has standing is the individual in charge of the estate.
Martin noted that the fees requests were made in July and he objected to any further delays in determining whether Jean Kasem has standing. But Klein said he was allowing Sawyer another month out of fairness.
Klein also said he is being transferred to another courtroom and that a different judge will likely make the finding of whether Jean Kasem has standing. If such a determination is made, a non-jury trial will follow to allow her to present her grounds for opposing the fees sought.
Kasem was the subject of a vitriolic legal battle between his widow and his children from his first marriage until he died. He suffered from dementia and Lewy body disease, which has symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
A judge has to approve the fees and costs because they would be paid by Casey Kasem’s estate.
Judge Daniel Murphy named Kerri Kasem as her father’s temporary guardian in May, but it expired upon the death of her father on June 15 at age 82. Murphy later removed himself from the case.
Kerri Kasem’s lawyers and Ingham are among those seeking to be paid for their work. Kerri Kasem is asking to be reimbursed for travel expenses to the state of Washington, where Kasem died after his wife moved him from a Santa Monica care facility.
Martin said private investigators hired in Washington also have yet to be paid.
Sawyer said he needs to depose Kerry Kasem, Ingham and various people in Washington before he is ready for trial. In his court papers, Sawyer claims Ingham has done unnecessary work to “pad” his fees and that Kerri Kasem’s lawyers are trying to “blackmail” Jean Kasem with their request.
Sawyer also said in court that the actions of the conservatorship in stopping the artificial feeding and hydration of Kasem caused his death. But Martin said the moves were made after a court found that Kasem was not responding to the life-sustaining measures.
Kerri, Julie and Mike Kasem were born during their father’s marriage to Linda Myers from 1972-79. Jean Kasem was married to the former radio personality for more than three decades and they have a 24-year-old daughter, Liberty.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: