We left Jamie and Frank McCourt in a Los Angeles courtroom last week. You may recall that after lawyer Larry Silverstein testified he prepared six originals of the McCourt’s prenuptial agreement: three versions gave the Dodger’s ball club to Frank McCourt and the remaining three split the ball club equally between Jamie and Frank, the parties opted to adjourn the trial and attempt a one day court mediation session.
Apparently it didn’t go too well. The parties and their lawyers hung in there for about eight hours on Friday but realized it was futile and decided not to carry on into the evening or to waste any time on it over the weekend. I’m sure you can understand why.
They’ll go back to court. Their lawyers will deliver what they really get paid the big bucks for: Closing Arguments. Frank’s lawyer brashly admitted that his fees are three times higher than what most lawyers charge, but he is at least three times better than most others. I have long subscribed to the theory that you get what you pay for. I recall a secretary of mine who would tell clients who were surprised by the hourly rates I was charging that “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys!”. She figured it out early and is a successful paralegal some twenty years later.
The trial judge has ninety days to reach his decision. Ms. McCourt’s main argument is that she and her husband were not in agreement at all, as evidenced by the contradictory agreements, and thus, the contract should be ripped up. If the court accepts her view, all the McCourt’s property and debt will be divided between them equally. The judge can also order that the team be sold and the proceeds divided equally between them.
For sure, if Frank is awarded only one half of the ball club, lawyer Silverstein’s insurance company will be paying him the balance of the team’s value. LA’s lawyers are affectionately referring to Silverstein’s gaffe as “Larry’s Boner.”
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang