Glen Campbell Lawsuit Highlights POA and Alzheimer’s

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"I'll Be Me,"Glen Campbell's documentary about life with Alzheimer's disease, was released to theaters in New York and Nashville over the weekend, as attorneys in Beverly Hills sat waiting for Glen to answer their Breach of Contract complaint over the movie.

The lawsuit claims Glen broke an agreement allegedly signed by his agent, Stanley Schneider, on June 30, 2011. That was the same month Glen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Plaintiff's Attorney Douglas L. Johnson says it will be "far fetched" and "not the right legal angle" if Glen Campbell Enterprises, Ltd. decides to answer the Complaint with a defense of lack of capacity to enter into a contract. According to Johnson, Glen's "lawyer-agent made the deal for him. These people had power of attorney. They had just done a record deal."

Stapled to the Los Angeles County Superior Court Complaint is a two-page Letter of Agreement from Johnson's client, a production company called "The Record Company," that says they would share creative credit and compensation equally with Glen, if movie producer James Keach ever signed on to the project.

"My guys were the ones who came up with everything," says Attorney Johnson.

Keach ("Walk the Line") and Trevor Albert ("Groundhog Day") did end up producing the movie, and they premiered it in April, 2014 at the Nashville Film Festival, where it won the Music City Films Grand Jury Prize.

The same month, April, 2014, The Hollywood Reporter and People magazine reported that Glen was being moved into an Alzheimer's facility.

Over the weekend, Glen's official Facebook site posted a quote from his wife, Kim Campbell, who told Fox News how Glen "was passionate about making this film because he hoped it would be a catalyst for more funding for research to find a cure. He wanted to encourage other families who are dealing with this disease to keep living their lives, supporting each other and lifting each other up."

The power of POA

Another lesson that families of Alzheimer's patients can learn is how serious responsibilities develop when we delegate authority to our agents by signing a Power of Attorney (POA) document.

An Alzheimer's patient increasingly relies on the decisions of people designated in the POA document. The agent, known as the attorney-in-fact, can bind the patient into agreements and contracts. Then, as the disease progresses, the attorney-in-fact becomes more and more responsible to protect the patient's interests, settle disputes, and defend against claims and lawsuits.

In the Record Company vs. Glen Campbell case, the Plaintiff is planning depositions of Glen, his family and his associates, leading up to their demand for a jury trial to decide who shares in the profits from producing Glen's story.

A Rolling Stone reviewer called the movie: "warm, funny, and full of the music that defined a generation," and he testified to the value of the Keach connection. "By putting the project in the capable hands of producer James Keach (who also produced the Oscar-winning 2005 Johnny Cash biopic, ‘Walk the Line')…Campbell's family has ensured that the conversation about the debilitating disease will continue…"

Attorney Johnson agrees: "Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. It's a great story, and I'm glad my guys made it happen. None of this would have happened without them."

John L. Roberts, J.D., is an Elder Law Attorney serving clients in Hampden County, MA. After practicing for 15 years, he confronted the challenges of family caregiving when his own father developed dementia. The experience transformed his practice, enabling him to help clients who are family caregivers from a place of true understanding.

Visit Law Office of John L. Roberts

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1 Comments

It's an interesting article. This kind of stuff happens too much in the entertainment biz and the parties should know better. They should have obtained a release from the Record Co first. It will get quite complicated.