The singer, who's facing molestation charges, doesn't have to be at the hearing. He's reportedly going because his defense team is forcing the mother of his young accuser to testify. She is scheduled to be in court today. The defense hopes to pick apart her story before the trial begins.
The mother, dubbed "Jane Doe" by the court, was also the subject of heated discussion on Thursday.
Both prosecutors and the defense professed to be upset that a tape of a police interview with her was leaked. On the tape - broadcast by the syndicated program, "The Insider" - Doe tells investigators she fears for her family's safety.
"...because people who were going to kill the children and me. Mostly my children," Doe says.
"Who's telling you this?" a police officer asks.
"Michael's people," says Doe.
She also claims Jackson's people wanted to send her to Brazil so they could keep her quiet and get access to her apartment.
"My apartment was meaningless to them until I told them there were letters there from Michael," says Doe.
Investigative journalist Art Harris, who obtained the tape for "The Insider," says it paints a sympathetic picture of Doe.
"The defense has raised money as a motive by the mother. But on this tape she says it's not. She says her motives are pure, and she just wants justice," says Harris.
"God handpicked me and the kids because he knew that we weren't going to fall for any of their money. That it was going to be justice more than anything," says Doe.
"That's what we're trying to do here," says the officer.
Doe says she called police after her son changed.
"You can see he's nervous, frightened. 'No, mommy, you're messing up the plant, you're messing up the plant!'"
"On this part of the tape, the mother talks about behavioral changes in her son that she had picked up on but didn't know what they meant. She knew that the boy was happy, bubbly initially, and suddenly he was withdrawn, and he was unhappy. He was crying and had nightmares, so she started putting - she thought - two and two together and started asking a lot of questions and did not think the child being with Michael Jackson was the best idea."
Both sides say they are furious about the leak - but it's a common strategy in high-profile cases.
"The essence of this is who released it? And I think it probably may have come from someone on the prosecution's team as a pre-emptive strike, as a way of getting this mother's testimony out there without her being subject to cross-examination," says CBS News legal analyst Trent Copeland.
Today, another round of hearings will be scheduled, and more motions are sure to be filed.
The judge wants this case to go to trial at the end of January, but many observers doubt that date will hold.