Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Afternoon wrap.

The afternoon's action wasn't quite as spectacular as the morning's. After Leah Bishop found herself on the ropes against Steve Susman early in the day, she staged a remarkable rally. Bishop, still wavering, managed to dodge Susman's several efforts to pin her down in an inconsistency concerning Jamie's understanding of the MPA.

Per her story, and despite Leah's knowledge of the MPA, Jamie didn't grasp the full scope of the document until the summer of 2008. If true, this goes against Frank's claims--backed up by several of Jamie's own e-mails and statements to Bishop--that Jamie always knew what was up. She finds herself in a tricky spot: the record is clear that she wanted the assets separated, but mixed on the question of whether and when she knew what that meant.

Jamie's side intends to prove that she never intended to sign away her rights to the Dodgers. Rather, she trusted those around her--people she had known for periods ranging from years to decades--to handle things with fairness and friendly concern.

Frank McCourt took the stand with little time left in the day, and he said even less. While he slipped up on occasion--he fumbled a timeline early and then admitted the MPA wasn't the result of any sort of bargain--he was largely coy. I guess.

He's going to set a record for the most variations of "I don't recall" ever said in a 24-hour period. In one instance, David Boies was questioning Frank about how ling a particular conversation took. "It could have been more than an hour," Boies stated flatly, "it could have been less than an hour. Is that your testimony?" Frank McCourt: "Yes."

When asked why Frank couldn't recall any details of a day he conversed with both Jamie and Larry Silverstein about the MPA, Frank said, "I was highly programmed at the time, so I don't recall what I did that evening." Shades of Men in Black, no?

My guess is that we'll never feel worse about Frank's chances than we will tomorrow. If Boies can manage it, keeping Frank as a defensive witness on the stand for the entire day would be a masterstroke. It's just how it works: Boies will make Frank look silly, and Susman will do the same to Jamie. Both of those attorneys could easily do the same to me.

Back in the morning, like today, with notes and a preview for the morning to come.
Sent via BlackBerry


  1. I just can't imagine either side allowing this thing to go to a Gordon decision. There is too much at stake. The spirit and letter of California community property law is still hanging over the courtroom. If the MPA becomes a muddle, could Gordon simply throw it in the trash and designate everything 50/50?

    Were there more empty seats today? How would you handicap a rank and file spectators chances of getting in?

  2. there were at least ten empty seats when I got there a bit before 4pm. I'm going to suggest that some actual dodger fans show up. right now it's all suits

  3. Thanks, Adam. It might be a little easier after lunch break, it seems.

  4. I'm pretty sure the 4 generals (Stanley McChrystal, John Abizaid, Richard Meyers, and Bryan Brown) who were called before Congress during the whitewash (aka "Investigation/Committee Hearing") into the circumstances surrounding the death of Pat Tillman set the record: 82 times not recalling any of the details


  5. pleading the fifth is a time honoured american tradition!

    and frankly, I'm not surprised by the availability of open seats, most fans are casual fans and I doubt they care enough to show up.

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