Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day three preview.

Most, if not all, of today will feature Frank McCourt on the stand. David Boies will try to elicit testimony confirming Jamie's theory: the MPA was never meant to be used as he tries to today. When Boies is finished, Steve Susman will take over on cross examination. Susman is not expected to call Frank as a witness for their side of the case; why subject him to cross from Boies?

Boies and Susman take a much different approach. While Susman is a larger than life, rules are more like suggestions kind of guy, Boies is methodical and calculating. Frank's defensive tendencies--yes, no, I don't recall--seem to play right into Boies' strength. Expect him to try to get Frank into a corner, and strike with a crucial yes/no question that Frank can only answer one way.

If Frank does get done today, Jamie will take the stand. However, this is moving along at a gentle pace. Especially because the proceedings are beginning an hour late today, it wouldn't surprise me if we don't see Jamie until the middle of the day tomorrow. If you can only make it to one part of this trial, I'd strongly suggest Susman v. Jamie.
I'll be on ESPN's Outside the Lines program at noon Pacific.
Sent via BlackBerry


  1. Thanks for the updates, Josh. I heard you on AM710 yesterday afternoon...great job as usual.

  2. I highly recommend this analysis by high powered divorce attorney Mark Vincent Kaplan from Bloomberg. I have been saying all along that the inconsistencies and "typos" will be too much for the spirit and letter of California's perennial community property laws and be invalidated. I cannot imagine, particularly after today's testimony, that Sussman doesn't lock Frank in a closet, refusing to let him out until he agrees to a settlement. It's starting to look like professional suicide if he doesn't.

  3. I always thought the problem with the MPA, weren't the typos, or if there are different versions. The problem was the obvious co-mingling of assets after the MPAs were signed.

    If one is going by the MPA, as bona fide, and with legal standing. Then Jamie is entitled to all property assets up to March 31st 2004, that weren't purchase with money/collateral not connected to the purchase or running of the Dodgers. I am guessing the MPA became an issue in 2008, because Jamie and Frank bough a couple multi million homes in Malibu, and needed the property titles amended into the MPA.

    The problem is I doubt the Malibu homes are in the MPA. Frank co sign the loans to get the mortgages, the money looks like they came from $18 million annually that Frank and Jamie took out of the Dodger's value, (combine with their combine $9 million salaries)

    The main reason I think the MPA will be set aside by the court is that it is grossly unfair, besides it is not a very good contract.

    It doesn't do a good job in shielding Jamie from Frank Creditors or vice versa, because the co mingling of assets, the obvious money trail of where the money is coming from (The Dodgers, and the loans propping up the Dodgers) The only way the contract has a strong legal standing in court, if the McCourt actually abide by the contract by keeping assets separate. They didn't keep them separate.

    I think what is going to happened is that Jamie is going to get much of living expenses that she racked up by billing the Dodgers, (hairstylist, flower, private jets, etc) deducted from her final settlement) Frank may have to pay Jamie some sort of rent for his living at their houses, or some sort of retro rent payment.

    The MPA isn't a perfect legal shield, nor it gives the McCourt the right to act fiscally irresponsible. It also doesn't supercede California Community Property Laws, especially if there are obvious parts that are convoluted.

    I always felt the main reason that if the Judge orders the Dodgers to be sold, (which I doubt) it is to take care of the McCourts' huge debt, both in the Dodgers and the mortgages they are holding. As much as Jamie's sides show pie in the sky numbers of the value of their total assets, those are more speculation than hard dollars and sense like their debt obligations.

  4. So, for we neophytes, it appears that Josh's and Molly Knight's updates show a very bad day for Frank McCourt, Fallujah jokes and all. Sussman is going to need a big rally manana, and this is where Jamie as attorney may be a very big boon. It is more than appearing that the MPA as community property buffer is wearing thinner by the minute. Lord help us all if Frank doesn't settle and loses. His egomania may stranglehold the Dodgers for years to come as he appeals and licks his wounds.

    I really really want to get down there tomorrow. It sounds like its gonna be real good theater.

  5. In response to Tony..

    Direct Examination is always going to be brutal. This direct examination is months of preparation by Boies, and the cardinal rule for attorneys in Direct or Cross Examination is never ask a question that one doesn't know the answer to.

    It is going to be tough for Jamie as well, actually pretty brutal. Jamie has to explain how as a "worrier" and was concern about financial "security", why she felt it is okay to either bill the Dodgers or take out of the Dodgers, tens of millions of dollars to fund her "lifestyle". The $108 millon taken out of the Dodgers isn't income, that is pretty much debt they are living on.

    Her spending is almost like she has some sort of behavioral problem. Jamie built up more of a PR image that conflicted more with reality than Frank.

    Susman is going to eviscerate Jamie, and try to ask questions to keep to his narrative, Jamie wasn't interested in the purchase, and wanted the cash of the Dodgers for her own personal use and political ambitions.

    If Jamie has something over Frank on the witness stand, is that she probably can show more human feelings and get a little bit more empathy than Frank, but not much, given by how both have filed their own personal statements in the case. However, Jamie is going to be as cagey about certain issues as Frank is on the stand. Some of the costs that she and Frank have piled up are obscene, from $14 million gyms, to $150k to move a kitchen across country, to the huge outlay to pay the mortgages on most properties, they don't even use, or are asking for unreal amounts...

  6. okojo,
    you said you doubt the Judge will force the McCourts to sell. What has to happen, or what are our chances of getting them to sell? I would love it if these clows have to sell the Dodgers.

    By the way, great job to everyone for the coverage, much better then the news!

  7. *Pulls out Jamie McCourt foam finger* it was my understanding if she wins, chances are better he will have to sell the team...

  8. @anon@1120 - you're correct, as the Dodgers would then be considered communal property, they would either need to work together to move this property forward or one of the parties would be obliged to buy the other party out.