Court says Jamie McCourt co-owns Dodgers

Jamie McCourt earned a large victory in her divorce case on Tuesday when Judge Scott Gordon ruled that the marital property agreement signed by her and husband Frank in 2004 is invalid so until any appeals or future rulings take place, Jamie is no longer shut out of any ownership claim to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The couple’s divorce has been nasty from the beginning with allegations of wrong doing on the part of Frank and marital infidelity on the part of Jamie. Frank actually evicted Jamie from her stadium office after he fired her from her executive position.

The whole time, in the middle of this fight sat the power and money grab for the Dodgers, the largest asset belonging to the couple.

Judge Gordon’s ruling, as reported in the L.A. Times read:

“The court finds that the marital property agreement is not a valid and enforceable agreement,” Gordon wrote in his ruling. “The court orders that the marital property agreement is set aside.”

During her case, Jamie McCourt said she was entitled to co-ownership of the team and that was bolstered after the testimony of the couple’s former attorney in Massachusetts. The attorney drafted a property agreement while the Dodgers purchase was grinding through its final stage and that, according to his testimony in the divorce trial, was supposed to give Frank control of all the business assets.

Jamie reportedly wanted to separate the couple’s real estate holdings in fear that business creditors might attach their homes in an attempt to get at their assets. The attorney botched the most important schedule to the agreement that set forth what was supposed to state the sole assets of Frank McCourt.  The couple signed documents that were incorrect in part and unbeknownst to them, a revised attachment was inserted into copies of the agreement.

Only last month Jamie refused to accept a proposal by a court-ordered mediator to settle the dispute. Now we know why. In the end, the judge agreed with David Boies, lead counsel for Jamie, that the intent of the couple was unable to be determined with the dueling versions of the contract.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

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