Friday, July 22, 2011

Judge rejects McCourt's financing, limits MLB control over Dodgers.

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In a federal bankruptcy court sitting in Wilmington, Del. today, Judge Kevin Gross denied Frank McCourt's motion that would have allowed a hedge fund to finance the Dodgers during the club's bankruptcy proceedings. Concluding that a $5.25 million fee owed by Frank personally to the hedge fund if the financing was not approved compromised McCourt's independence and disinterest in the deal, Judge Gross ordered baseball to finance the team instead. My reactions to the ruling are at ESPN Los Angeles. The takeaway:
While Gross did not approve the deal McCourt proposed, he ordered one that will cost the Dodgers less money without appearing to enable a seizure of the club. The Order specifically forbids the financing from including "default triggers for violations of Baseball's rules and regulations."
[...]
MLB, of course, won the day on paper. McCourt won the day on paper. McCourt's motion was denied, and baseball will finance the team going forward. Commissioner Selig's office also struck a public relations blow; fans weary of the bicoastal McCourt litigation may look at MLB financing as a sign the McCourt era in Los Angeles is closer to coming to an end.
Whether that proves true depends almost entirely on the disposition of the club's television rights.
There's more analysis of what went into today's decision and further discussion of the TV rights in the article, so I hope you'll check it out.

As for me, I'll be going pretty dark from now until late next week in final preparations for and then taking the bar exam. Thanks for your kind wishes. I may pop into Twitter now and then, but unless something enormous happens, this is likely goodbye for a week.
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55 comments:

  1. Good luck. ABT: Always be tortious.

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  2. Good luck. Always appreciate the commentary and explanations.

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  3. I know you're studying for the bar right now, so you're busy and I'll cut you some slack. But that ESPN article is pretty shallow on a lot of points, particularly the implications for the TV deal. If you're going to write something, put some depth behind it.

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  4. Thank you Josh for your always insightful comments and commentary. Good luck on the bar exam! Remember IRAC. Issue, rule, analysis, conclusion!

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  5. Dodgers fan in OaklandJuly 22, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Good luck and thanks for the commentary!

    - Dodgers fan in Oakland

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  6. Good luck, Josh. Be one of the good lawyers instead of the ones sucking Frank and the Dodgers dry.

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  7. A couple points, Josh from your article on ESPN and your judgments..

    -The ruling wasn’t a compromise. MLB won the Judge’s ruling. The Judge wants to make sure that his authority supersedes MLB’s rules and guidelines on this loan.

    -MLB has to work through the Bankruptcy Judge, and are being very careful in deferring to Judge Gross, but this ruling gives MLB even more leverage over the Dodgers, given they are basically co signing a loan. MLB can take over the Dodgers without the loan or forced McCourt to sell the team, but now they can go to court and demand a sale, besides have a better argument in blocking the auction of broadcasting rights.

    -Your quote, "Frank McCourt's divorce from ex-wife Jamie also has yet to be fully resolved.” The Divorce is hardly even close to a resolution. One side is demanding half the assets and has Judge Gordon’s ruling to show they can claim half of the marital assets. The other half is stalling for time. The status of the divorce at this moment is still in the same limbo state that set by Frank after he fired Jamie in October 2009.

    Good luck on the Bar exam, but you seemed to have a very basic reading of what is going on, or appear to try to spin the story that both sides got some sort of victory. The Judge ruled in favor for “the deal with the devil” that the McCourt’s side argued against.

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  8. Josh,

    Now that you have a fulltime law job with a big law firm, will you cease putting up new posts? Did big law ask you to stop spending your non-billable time on this stuff?

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  9. Do we have to wait until the Bar results are posted in November to see another post?

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