Phillip called a meeting the next afternoon with Murray at Jackson's home.
Afterward, he sent this e-mail to Ortega:
"Kenny, it is critical that neither you, me, or anyone around this show become amateur psychologists or physicians. I had a lengthy conversation with Dr. Murray, who I am gaining immense respect for as I get to deal with him more. He said that Michael is not only physically equipped to perform and that discouraging him to, will hasten his decline instead of stopping it. Dr. Murray also reiterated that he is mentally able to and was speaking to me from the house where he had spent the morning with MJ. This doctor is extremely successful (we check everyone out) and does not need this gig so he totally unbiased and ethical."
The Jacksons' lawyer called this e-mail "a flat out lie," since AEG Live had not done a background check on Murray before hiring him -- and if they had it would have disclosed that he was in deep debt and not a successful doctor.
"We did not do a background or credit check on Dr. Murray," Trell conceded.
No due diligence
The Jackson lawyers contend that AEG Live is liable for his death because they did not do their "due diligence" by checking Murray's background and credentials.
If they had done so, they would have realized that Murray had a major conflict of interest that made him vulnerable to break rules in his treatment if Michael Jackson, they argue.
Murray needed the high-paying job because he was more than $1 million in debt, his home was being foreclosed on, he was being sued for unpaid child support and delinquent taxes, and his cardiology clinic in Las Vegas faced eviction. His $150,000 a month job would end if Jackson's shows were canceled or delayed, according to the terms of his contract.
AEG Live failed to conduct the background check, which the company's own expert witness said would between cost between $40 and $125.
"I am not familiar with the process of doing background checks," Trell said. "No training."
Trell is back on the witness stand Wednesday for questioning by AEG Live lawyer Jessica Stebbins Bina.
The trial, which is in its fourth week in a Los Angeles courtroom, is expected to last through July.