Judge sets rules in suit over Jackson doctor; mother claims AEG Live negligently hired Conrad Murray

Late singer's children could be witnesses

LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles judge has set the stage for trial of a civil suit by Michael Jackson's mother against concert giant AEG Live.

Katherine Jackson claims the company negligently hired the doctor later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death.

The judge's rulings Thursday anticipate a three-month trial that will revisit events preceding the singer's death from an anesthetic overdose in 2009.

The judge will allow AEG to raise the issue of child molestation charges against Michael Jackson although lawyers for his mother claim it's irrelevant because he was acquitted.

Katherine Jackson and the singer's children Paris and Prince could be witnesses.

Katherine Jackson's lawyers objected to the appearance of Dr. Conrad Murray as a witness, but the judge said he could testify without the jury present.