Thursday, August 19, 2010

More MPA drama.

It's the little document that keeps on giving. Making its rounds in the news today is a motion filed by Jamie's legal team essentially asking the court to recognize her version of the post-nup--the one that does not specifically divest her of any interest in the Dodgers properties. According to her filing, the post-nup she signed in California--which did not include the now-famous Exhibit A listing the Dodgers as Frank's--should control. She argues that enforcing that particular document renders the team community property, entitling her to half its value.

For its part, Frank's legal team has two main counter-arguments. First, every version of the MPA--with or without Exhibit A--contemplates property specifically titled in each McCourt's name to be that McCourt's property in a divorce or creditor attack. Before we even get to the presence or absence of Exhibit A, the argument goes, the body of the MPA explicitly designates that "property titled in FRANK's name shall be FRANK's property, and property titled in JAMIE's name shall be JAMIE's property." Frank, of course, is the sole designated "control person" of the Dodgers, and the residential property is titled in Jamie's name.

That doesn't put the issue to bed, though. California family law judges have extremely broad discretion when it comes to these matters. If there was deceit involved, as Jamie alleges, Judge Gordon may well throw out the MPA altogether. I have to believe that if Jamie's team was able to prove that sort of bad faith dealing, the MPA--however strong--wouldn't stand a chance.

And that's exactly what Jamie says is going on here. According to her lawyers, she was presented the Exhibit A-less MPA to sign in California, which she did believing she was not signing away her rights to the Dodgers. After pen met paper and the document got back to the attorneys, she claims, the Exhibit was tacked on covertly.

Frank contends that not presenting the Exhibit along with the California MPA was a clerical error, corrected by attaching it afterwards. Frank and his attorneys claim that Jamie was fully aware of the effect of the MPA; indeed, they say, the MPA is directly in line with Jamie's wishes to build a nest egg safe from the perils attendant the family's businesses. According to someone close to the situation, Frank is prepared to go to trial on the issue, and is comfortable in his ability to support his version of the facts.

There's much more to this, but I think the takeaway is something we've known all along: Jamie's chances are best if she can prove some sort of deceit on Frank's part. Misleading her as to the scope of the MPA would qualify, and the issue is one of fact which must be determined at trial. Unless, of course, everyone decides they've had enough and can come together for a settlement.
Hope to delve into this more in a day or two, but I've got to get out to the Ravine. Shoot me an e-mail if you'll be at the game this evening and want to say hi. Looking forward to a spectacular sunset, and--hopefully--a win!


  1. If you think, as a Dodger fan, having FRANK McCourt as owner is bad; try imagining JAMIE as owner, now's that's a BAD thought !!!

  2. Just spoke to the Los Angeles Superior Court's information division regarding the August 30th specifics. At this point, the trial will be in room #217 at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, first and hill, in downtown. This is division 4, department 88 (judge Scott Gordon). The phone number to call for further information is (213)974-5227. The media can reserve a seat at this number, but for the rest of we pleebs, the recommendation is to arrive at 7:30AM when they hold a seating lottery until 7:45AM if there are more people than seats. Public transportation, including MTA buses and Red and Blue Line to Union Station, are all within moments of the courthouse.
    Let the circus begin!

  3. Cheers for the information Tony! I'll be downtown on business but doubt I'll have time to make it down for the festivities.

  4. Gonna have to side with Jamie on this. How can anybody seriously think the Dodgers were a financial risk. The most popular team in the 2nd largest city. 3 million fans attending every year. A crummy tv contract soon to expire. Looks like a switcheroo took place. My question is: Any corrections require initials of understanding or another signature. Yes? No?