Well, this is not going to make Bingham McCutchen partners happy. A judge today ruled that the marital agreement between Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and wife Jamie McCourt is invalid — and therefore Frank might not have sole ownership of the Dodgers.
We wrote about Bingham’s boo-boo back in September. Some copies of the postnuptial agreement use the word “inclusive” in a way that would have given Frank sole ownership, while others use the word “exclusive,” which would have made Jamie a co-owner.
Bingham’s agreement may have been thrown out by the court, but don’t think for a second that Frank McCourt is done fighting for sole control of the team…
Frank McCourt wants to appeal, he wants to offer different theories of the case, he wants to do anything he can to keep Jamie from owning half of the team. From the L.A. Times:
Frank could decide to appeal Tuesday’s ruling. He already has notified the court he wants to use a different legal strategy in another claim to sole ownership of the Dodgers, one based on the concept that he bought the team with a company he established before his marriage to Jamie.
Frank’s problem is that Jamie is being represented by David Boies (amongst others):
Frank’s attorneys have said such a trial could be completed in one day and that all the necessary evidence is in the court record. Jamie’s attorneys have said such a trial could require up to 60 days, preceded by months to collect new evidence.
Yeah, if you think Boies is going to let somebody get away with a one-day trial, you’ve got another thing coming.
What does this all mean for fans of the Dodgers? At this point, it just means more uncertainty. It means being a player for Vincent Padilla instead of Cliff Lee. It means pinning your hopes on the managerial talents of Donny Baseball, while the rival Giants get ready to defend their World Series title.
And it probably means that at some point Frank and Jamie McCourt are going to have to sell the team and split the proceeds. Really, that’s what is in the best interests of Dodgers fans right now. For the owner(s) to stop using the team as a bargaining chip in their post-marital squabble, and to sell the team to owners who care only about winning a championship.
Maybe the McCourts should bring in Bingham to handle the sale of the team? That way if they ever want it back, there might be grounds for a judge to void the sale.
Judge rules in favor of Jamie McCourt in Dodgers ownership struggle [Los Angeles Times]
McCourt marital deal on Dodgers said to be invalid [Boston Globe]
Who Owns the Los Angeles Dodgers? The Debate Continues [WSJ Law Blog]