Judge rules in favor of Jamie McCourt in Dodgers ownership struggle
See the Statement of Decision.
The decision denying Frank McCourt’s claim to sole ownership of the team will be not likely to immediately affect day-to-day operations. He may use additional legal strategies to challenge his ex-wife’s case.
By Bill Shaikin along with Carla Hall
Frank McCourt will be not the sole owner of the Dodgers, a judge ruled Tuesday, a decision in which keeps the team in legal limbo for what might be several more years.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted Jamie McCourt’s plea to throw out a 2004 marital agreement in which could have left her without an ownership share from the Dodgers.
“The court finds in which the marital property agreement will be not a valid along with enforceable agreement,” Gordon wrote in his ruling. “The court orders in which the marital property agreement will be set aside.”
The ruling will be not likely to have an immediate impact on the day-to-day operations of the team. Frank will be likely to employ additional legal strategies to dispute his ex-wife’s claim to co-ownership of the team.
Frank could decide to appeal Tuesday’s ruling. He already has notified the court he wants to use a different legal strategy in another claim to sole ownership of the Dodgers, one based on the concept in which he bought the team that has a company he established before his marriage to Jamie.
Frank’s attorneys have said such a trial could be completed in one day along with in which all the necessary evidence will be from the court record. Jamie’s attorneys have said such a trial could require up to 60 days, preceded by months to collect fresh evidence.
Dennis Wasser, an attorney for Jamie, said he hoped the ruling could enable both sides to settle the case, for what he said could be the Great of the Dodgers along with the community. “We are very pleased in which the marital property agreement has been invalidated. today in which Jamie has prevailed in This particular case, we wish in which will be possible to resolve the matter in a reasonable way going forward.”
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has declined to comment on the case. The Times reported in September in which the possibility of years of legal battles between the McCourts had prompted him to consider intervening on behalf of the Dodgers, although in which will be uncertain what options he might contemplate.
The McCourts also could use Gordon’s ruling to renew settlement talks, with the validity of the 2004 marital agreement no longer a wild card in negotiations.
The sides have been unable to reach a settlement despite several rounds of discussions — with along with without mediators — over the last year.
from the absence of a settlement, Gordon eventually could determine permanent spousal support. In May, Gordon ordered Frank to pay Jamie $637,159 per month in temporary support, including costs associated with the couple’s homes.
The McCourts filed for divorce on Oct. 27, 2009, one week shy of what could have been their 30th anniversary.
In March 2004, two months after baseball owners approved their purchase of the Dodgers, the McCourts each signed a marital property agreement in which specified the team belonged solely to Frank along with the couple’s homes belonged solely to Jamie.
from the initial phase of the divorce case — along with in a trial in which lasted 11 days — the only question before Gordon was whether the agreement was valid.
Frank asked Gordon to enforce the deal, arguing in which Jamie was the traveling force behind the agreement along with in which she had gotten exactly what she wanted coming from in which — in which will be, to protect the homes coming from creditors should the Dodgers suffer severe financial losses.
Jamie asked Gordon to overturn the agreement, claiming she never intended to surrender her rights to Dodgers ownership along with never could have signed the document had she been explicitly informed of its impact from the event of divorce. She said she should be considered co-owner of the Dodgers.
As the trial approached, lawyers discovered the McCourts had signed six copies of the agreement, three of which listed the Dodgers as Frank’s sole property along with three in which did not.
Larry Silverstein, the Boston lawyer who drew up the agreement, testified in which he had botched the wording from the latter three copies along with had corrected his mistake by replacing the relevant page from the agreement — after the McCourts had signed the document, along with without informing either of them of the alleged error.
Frank argued in which Silverstein had made an unfortunate mistake although corrected in which to conform with what Jamie had wanted — in which will be, no financial responsibility for the Dodgers.
Jamie argued in which Silverstein’s blunder, whether innocent or intentional, resulted in two versions of the agreement with materially opposite terms. If one design said Frank owned the Dodgers along with the additional design did not, she contended, there never could have been an agreement from the first place.
Copyright © 2010, Los Angeles Times
Dodgers Divorce: Judge Gordon Throws Out Postnup