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The Wilpon case gets a mediator: Mario Cuomo

Feb 11, 2011, 8:24 AM EDT

Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

The Wilpons and the bankruptcy trustee of the Madoff case are having a daily back and forth in the papers. The judge is probably getting tired of it. Yesterday he did something about it:

A federal judge on Thursday appointed former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo to try to resolve the $1 billion dispute between the owners of the Mets and the trustee representing victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s financial fraud.

If it makes any difference, Cuomo is a Yankees fan.

Of greater significance is that this is an ordered mediation, not one the parties agreed to.  In my experience those sorts of mediations don’t go very well. But my experience also involves way more $250,000 cases than billion dollar cases — in fact, it involves zero billion dollar cases — so who knows?  My sense is that this move is more aimed at calming the waters right now than anything else and drawing the media’s fire to a much more famous target in Cuomo.  Not a bad idea, actually.

Now I’m going to surf around the Internet in an effort to find some baseball news that has nothing to do with the legal system, because that’s way more life-affirming.

  1. BC - Feb 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Oh Lord God help us….

  2. sdelmonte - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    I can say from experience that Mario makes a good mediator. Or rather, umpire. I had a summer internship in his NYC office, and there was a game between his NYC and Albany staffs that featured him behind the plate for a few innings. I think he did a really good job.

    Then again, who was going to argue with the boss?

    • BC - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      This isn’t a political blog, so I won’t go there… but I do have to say he is one of the greatest public speakers I have ever seen. Phenomenal. But my point is why the heck draw more attention to this mess by getting a super-high profile guy as mediator, rather than hire Wendell Q. Dinkelheimer to be the mediator and keep things a little less out of the spotlight? I would think that the LAST thing either side wants is more public attention on the case.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        You’re right, but the judge is obviously going for the gusto here. Reminds me of a few cases I’ve seen before of “high profile” stature. Alowing the media to be present in the courtroom, crap like that.

  3. Jonny 5 - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    I freaking love that picture. Mr. Wilpon appearing to get ready to swab his tonsils gives me fits of laughter…

  4. steve keane - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    I don’t know if this means anything but Mario Cuomo was also a minor league baseball player in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization back when the Pirates were a real baseball team

  5. mrznyc - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    The Wilpons are no longer the story – They’re dead meat – Endlessly going over the details of their financial stupity is … well … Stupid. It’s the inevitable final act in a pathetic ownership. Time to move on because the vultures with check books are waiting in the wings to pick this carcass clean – Who are they – That’s the story.

    • BC - Feb 11, 2011 at 11:10 AM


  6. gravytrain56 - Feb 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM

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