As we've discussed in the past, one of the most important issues under Judge Gordon's consideration is whether extrinsic evidence of the McCourts' intent respecting the MPA is admissible. If not, Judge Gordon is left only to analyze the MPA itself and very limited evidence of its execution. This would certainly seem to favor Jamie; there are, after all, completely contradictory Exhibits to the MPA. But, just as excluding extrinsic evidence wouldn't make for an automatic Jamie win, neither would allowing it seal the deal for Frank.
If analyzed under California Family Code § 721(a) and 1500, rather than Jamie's preferred § 852(a), Frank wants the court to rely on several pieces of evidence showing Jamie always wanted the Massachusetts MPA, and that she derived significant benefit from it. Frank points to testimony from a number of witnesses claiming that Jamie never wanted the benefits and responsibilities of ownership, that she always wanted the assets divided, and that she wasn't nearly as harmed by the transaction as she claims. Yes, Frank admits, the raw dollar values of the couple's property under the MPA are not now, and were never, equal. But she was shielded from the risk of the entirely debt-driven transaction, and that matters.
Jamie's counsel responds to this line of argument by asserting several basic defenses to contract formation. Her side claims there was no mutual assent as to the material terms; how could they have agreed on something, they say, when there exist two signed and notarized--and wholly opposite--Exhibits? How could this agreement be upheld in the context of divorce, they say, when divorce wasn't contemplated during the MPA's formation?
Frank's side counters that Larry Silverstein did discuss the MPA in the context of divorce during a meeting about a week before the execution of the document. It is also mentioned on the cover letter to the MPA. Except for the whole messing-with-the-documents part, Frank's argument today is largely the same as it was from the very beginning: Jamie wanted the protections of the deal. As fate had it, though, the Dodgers soared in value while the residential real estate--her nest egg--dropped like a lead balloon. Frank's side feels it disingenuous that Jamie, a lawyer, would seek to escape a document she drove.
It sure feels like we've beaten most of the issues to death at this point. One we haven't discussed as much--fraud--is on deck.