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Friday is the McCourts’ last chance to avoid Dodgerpocalypse

Nov 18, 2010, 8:39 AM EDT

McCourt Divorce Trial Continues With Ownership Of Dodgers In Contention Getty Images

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the mediator in the McCourt divorce case is going to propose “a fair settlement” to each side on Friday. The idea: this is a last chance for the McCourts to avoid the judge telling them how the Dodgers will be divided up. If they don’t settle as a result of this process the court will rule. And in my view, both sides should take a long hard look at settling because based on what went down at the trial, they both stand a chance of losing everything.

Personally, I had a hard time believing Jamie’s McCourt’s testimony.  Contrary to what she said, I think she knew full well what she was doing when she signed the post-nuptial agreement that gave the Dodgers to Frank in exchange for her getting all of the real estate in the event of divorce. Everything about the document makes sense if seen in those terms and there’s no reason for the document at all if what she says is true and she was to retain an interest in both the team and the houses. That was the default. If she wanted things that way, the document has no real purpose.  And that’s before we get to the part where she — the experienced family lawyer — tried to convince the judge that she had no idea what the document was supposed to do and was oh-so-confused about it all. Please.

But Frank has his own problems.  Specifically, that business in which his lawyer admitted to changing  the exhibits to the document after it was executed. I actually believed him when he said that it was all a simple mistake and that he was merely trying to fix it without anyone knowing, but courts, as a rule, don’t give lawyers that kind of benefit of the doubt.  Nor should they, because if you start letting lawyers off the hook for this kind of stuff you’ll see all manner of “mistakes” that work injustices to people not as well-off and sophisticated as the McCourts.  Regardless of Jamie’s dubious claim of ignorance, I think there’s a good chance that — on general principle — the judge rules that the post nup agreement is invalid.  If that happens, community property rules apply, Jamie gets half the team and Frank spends the next several years (a) appealing; and (b) suing his old lawyer for malpractice.

But that’s just my gut. I’ve been wrong about this stuff before, as has been anyone else who tries to predict what a court will do in a tough case.  But that also means that Frank and Jamie McCourt have no idea what the court will do either. And as a result, they’d be well-advised to take the mediator’s proposal seriously. Because this is the last chance hey have for this thing to end without a world of pain. Both for them and the Dodgers.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 18, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Oh it is real. It is the only real thing.
    Pain. So let us name the truth, like men.
    We are born to joy so that joy may become pain.
    We are born to hope that hope may become pain.
    We are born to love that love may become pain.
    We are born to pain so that pain may become more
    Pain, and from that inexhaustible superflux
    We may give others pain as our primary definition.

    Robert Penn Warren (who apologizes for the unseemly enjambment in line 6)

    • Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:50 AM

      Hey there, Trent Reznor. How’s it going? I see you’re breaking into the Rap scene now. I have a friend going through a divorce, I was shocked at just how ugly these things get. It seems to go beyond the mere splitting up of equity and proceeds, it many times becomes who can EFF over who better. And that’s just sad. And painful. Anyway perfect “Divorce Rap song” there gator.

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Quick question, and while I’m not a lawyer I play one on TV, was the deal that Frank kept the Dodgers and Jamie got all the real estate, sort of a one for one deal? If the post-nup falls through, while Jamie would have 50% claim to the dodgers, wouldn’t Frank also have a 50% claim to the real estate? So if Jamie just wants the property, might it benefit her to give up the Dodgers? are the two items of an equivalent value?

    • Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:11 AM

      IIRC, she wanted the property because she viewed that as the safer investment. Oops.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:18 AM

      Yeah, when this was signed, the Dodgers were thought to be struggling on cash flow and real estate was the most lucrative, high-yield investment imaginable. Both of those things have changed, as Frank has actually done a good job in boosting Dodger revenues, while the market for sixth houses in Aspen has suffered a tad.

  3. Old Gator - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    Between McCourt’s management of the Bums and Obama’s management of the economy, yeah, I think it’s likely that their equivalency of value will be maintained….

    • seattlej - Nov 18, 2010 at 2:08 PM

      Way to drag politics into a baseball discussion.

      • Old Gator - Nov 19, 2010 at 1:31 AM

        I didn’t need to drag it. It levitated.

  4. Kevin S. - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Anything that forces Divorce McCourt to sell is good by me. Get Mark Cuban a team.

  5. BC - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    How funny would it be if Mark Cuban showed up at the divorce proceedings with a bank check for $750 million and said, “Hi guys, thought I might be able to help sort this out?”

  6. Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    Am I wrong to think She’s a Lying “C” word and he’s just a plain “A” hole? These two are perfect for eachother..

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Nov 18, 2010 at 10:24 AM

      That’s what I’ve been hoping for: a nice C/A-Hole reconciliation.

      • Jonny 5 - Nov 18, 2010 at 11:02 AM

        Technically the best thing that could happen is the Judge finds the post nup to be invalid and the team has to be liquidated to the highest bidder. The Dodgers??? woo wee, that could bring some bucks. Mark Cuban is sporting a chub thinking about it.

  7. apbaguy - Nov 18, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    This does have great entertainment value, especially as wealth has concentrated in the upper 1% to a greater degree than at any time since the 1890’s. All of us not in that top 1% can be entertained by the agony and fall of the those in that select group. I imagine this is how people in banana republics felt, before top-tier wealth concentration became less than in the US. In any event, those two strike me as being too out of touch with not getting their way to accept a mere mediator’s recommendation. I see this one going the distance: trial, appeals, full mileage for attorney’s fees. Great stuff. Eat the rich!

    • ta192 - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:44 PM

      You gotta catch’em, kill’em, and cook’em before you can eat’em…

  8. schlom - Nov 18, 2010 at 3:00 PM

    Jamie should have used a Shake Weight as I’m sure an Old Fashioned would have helped out:

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