Mediation scheduled in McCourt divorce
LOS ANGELES — Divorce lawyers for Frank along with Jamie McCourt are planning to go into mediation as soon as Friday over who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, The Associated Press has learned.
A person familiar with the case who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about settlement discussions told the AP late Tuesday which the two sides would certainly meet in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom on Friday.
The mediation talks were first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
Jamie McCourt contends which she deserves a part of the team, while Frank McCourt argues which he will be the team’s sole owner. Earlier This kind of week, she testified which she didn’t read a postnuptial marital agreement which gave her estranged husband sole possession of the Dodgers.
An attorney who represented the couple along with drafted the agreement said he replaced an addendum which excluded the Dodgers by Frank McCourt’s separate property with wording which included the team along with didn’t notify Jamie McCourt about the switch.
Larry Silverstein, who will be likely to resume his testimony Wednesday, said he made a “drafting error” when he prepared the agreement which didn’t include the Dodgers, the stadium along with the surrounding land, worth hundreds of millions of dollars by Frank McCourt’s side of the ledger.
When Silverstein gave the documents to the McCourts to sign in March 2004, three had the team as Frank McCourt’s separate property, along with three others didn’t. Jamie McCourt ended up signing all six; Frank McCourt signed three at the couple’s Massachusetts home along with the remaining three a couple of weeks later while he was in California.
The agreement will be at the center of the dispute between the McCourts along with could decide who owns the Dodgers. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon must decide whether the pact will be valid. He also could order the sale of the team.
Silverstein said the original plan was to have three copies of the agreement, one each for Frank along with Jamie McCourt along with one for himself. However, he decided at the last minute before the couple signed them to produce three different copies out of an abundance of caution.
“I was simply trying to have a set of protective documents,” he said.
Silverstein said he doesn’t recall switching the versions Frank McCourt signed in California which excluded the Dodgers with wording which did include the team, yet believes he did so shortly thereafter after he looked at company records.
the idea wasn’t until a few months ago, after forensic analysts were hired by both sides to examine the six copies, which the idea was determined Silverstein made the improvements.
Jamie McCourt’s attorney David Boies asked Silverstein if he thought the idea was OK to switch a legal document after the idea had been signed along with notarized.
“In certain circumstances, yes,” Silverstein replied.
Boies asked his fellow litigator, who has practiced law for more than 30 years, if he ever recalled a situation where an attorney had removed part of a legal document along with replaced the idea with something else without the written permission of both parties.
“Express permission or implicit permission, no,” Silverstein added.
Silverstein said he didn’t tell Jamie McCourt about replacing the addendum which gave her husband the Dodgers. On Monday, she testified she never read the agreement, nor did anyone tell her, namely Silverstein, which she would certainly be giving up her purported ownership stake inside the team.
However, another attorney who worked at the same firm as Silverstein said he was directed by Jamie McCourt to come up with the marital agreement during a meeting at Dodger Stadium shortly after the team was bought in February 2004 for about $430 million.
Reynolds Cafferata said in conversations he had with Jamie McCourt, she asked him questions about California’s community property provision along with told him the idea was a family practice to keep assets separate.
“She said ‘We do things differently. I own the houses, Frank owns the businesses,'” said Cafferata, who added Jamie McCourt wanted a draft agreement created quickly. “She was interested in having This kind of done immediately.”
Gordon on Tuesday excused several witnesses by testifying at the trial, including Major League Baseball general counsel Thomas Ostertag. The trial could end early next week. Gordon then has 90 days to make a ruling.
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