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Appellate Court Overturns Award in Jackson Video Taping

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By Kamika Dunlap on January 13, 2010 11:45 AM

A Los Angeles appellate court has tossed out a $20 million judgment against a now-defunct charter airline in a case involving a secret video taping of the late pop star Michael Jackson and his attorneys.

According to the Associated Press, an appellate court overturned the award, ruling the amount was excessive, and XtraJet and its owner Jeffrey Borer shouldn't have to pay it to attorneys Mark Geragos and Pat Harris.

Last March, the case was sent back to the trial judge ruled in favor of the two lawyers.

Now, an attorney representing Garagos stated a new trial would likely be sought in the Michael Jackson video taping case.

The panel stated in their ruling that, "The amount awarded to the plaintiffs was so great that it shocks the conscience"

The panel also said however a new trial could occur on damages alone unless Geragos and Harris would share a reduced award of $750,000.

In 2003, Jackson rode the charter plane from Las Vegas to Santa Barbara to surrender to authorities in a child molestation case that ended with Jackson's acquittal on all charges. The late Michael Jackson was seen chatting with Garagos on the video taping.

Borer and an associate pleaded guilty to conspiracy two years ago for video taping Jackson and his lawyers during the private-jet flight.

Geragos, Harris and Jackson filed the invasion-of-privacy suit against Borer and XtraJet in November 2003. Jackson dropped out as a plaintiff in April 2005.

Borer and an associate pleaded guilty to conspiracy two years ago.

Under the law, a criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion. The action taken need not itself be a crime, but it must indicate that those involved in the conspiracy knew of the plan and intended to break the law.