...began this morning. Here's what you need to know:
- Court Commissioner Scott Gordon, who will be handling the proceedings going forward, ruled that Jamie's reinstatement request was premature and she will not be going back to work. Commissioner Gordon suggested that he might entertain her arguments again if the Dodgers are found to be community property per California law.
- Resolution of the ownership issue is a long ways off. Jamie's attorney doesn't expect the fight for the Dodgers to even begin this year, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the issue still isn't settled by opening day.
- Commissioner Gordon removed the Dodgers as a party to the litigation, which will significantly limit the club's role going forward. While it should be expected that representatives of the organization might provide information to the court, the Dodgers will be mostly unable to influence the direction of the litigation.
If I had to pick a winner, it'd be Jamie, but this was really like one of those mid-September Royals/Orioles games...yeah, there's a box score, but is there really a story? The main event of today's hearing was the reinstatement petition, which Jamie lost. But, as we've discussed, she probably didn't want to win that one anyway. The lasting impact of today's hearing will be the result of a match on the day's undercard: the Dodgers as a party. Jamie's successful attempt to exclude the Dodgers as a party is the most important outcome of the day. Oh, and she got her lap-pool access, so: good for her.
Frankly, I'm pretty surprised that Jamie didn't ask for any money today. Commissioner Gordon did forbid either party to remove the other's name from credit cards, so maybe there was some discussion in court about Jamie's access to funds for reasonable expenses. That said, once her petition for reinstatement was denied, I expected Jamie to ask the court for a temporary spousal support award to tide her over until next month's hearing. Perhaps her lawyers (wisely) figured that with credit card access and a $500,000 payment from Frank to cover what remained of her 2009 salary, further demands were inappropriate at this time.
Next month, you say?
The next fairly significant proceeding will take place on December 15, when the court will hear arguments concerning spousal support. Jamie, you may recall, is seeking nearly a half-million bucks per month from Frank to allow her to live the lifestyle to which she is accustomed. If today was 3.5/10 on the intrigue scale, I'd expect the December 15 hearing to register at an 8 or 9.
For Dodger fans, the most important issue in the divorce is ownership of the club. It looks like there was a hearing scheduled for November 30 to take arguments on a motion to separate the litigation over the post-nup from the rest of the divorce. I'm having trouble tracking down information on that hearing, and I'm not sure I can rely on the court's schedule from this morning, as it's already been changed concerning other matters. In any event, the hearing to discuss bifurcation of the post-nup battle will be the first step in the most important element of the McCourt divorce.
Update: That hearing has been rescheduled for 12/15 as well. Big day in Dodger Divorce land!
You mentioned a surprise?
Oh yes, the surprise. I will be on a.m. 830 KLAA in Southern California at 3:40 (Pacific) this afternoon to discuss the McCourt divorce. If you're wondering what your favorite Dodger Divorce poster sounds like with a head cold, tune in and find out!