McCourt v. McCourt,BD514309, Los Angeles County Superior Court continues. Now it appears, according to all the legal eagles, that either Frank or Jamie McCourt will have to buy the other out, or they both will have to sell the Dodgers and divvy the profits. Bloomberg reports that Jamie would like to buy Frank out so she is looking for financiers to back her; presumably a hedge fund or something like that.
The Bloomberg piece was interesting because it posits that the court came to its decision using both Massachusetts and California law. And here’s what Bloomberg said in part:
The agreement was needed to keep their assets separate under California community property law. Under California law, creditors of either spouse can seek payment from their shared assets.In his tentative ruling, Gordon said there was no evidence that the couple knowingly gave up the rights they had under Massachusetts’ equitable distribution law in a divorce. In Massachusetts, unlike California, divorcing spouses are entitled to an equal share of the other’s separate assets. Emphasis added.
That is interesting. In New York and most other states, separate assets are separate assets. Very distinct from marital property. I find it hard to understand why under Massachusetts law parties would have an equal share to separate assets. Is that a scrivener’s error? Or is that the deal in Massachusetts? If that’s the deal in Massachusetts, and if that is the reasoning the court used to come to its decision, this might help Larry Silverstein, the lawyer who did the prenup – and maybe he can defend a malpractice suit after all. Because either way Frank had cut that cake, under Massachusetts law, if, as Bloomberg asserts separate assets are to be shared equally between spouses, then Frank would have had to share with Jamie anyways – in spite of the prenup, whichever version was actually signed. Also, even if the lawyer hadn’t switched the documents, I think what I hear the court saying is that “there was no meeting of the minds” between Frank and Jamie at the time they signed the agreement; meaning that neither McCourt really understood the implications of the agreement they signed, at the time they signed it. That, rather than the switch is the real issue. And that could save Sliversteins ass at the end of the day…. cause right now it’s on the line, big time.
The smartest thing for them to do is to sell the team. If Jamie does buy Frank out (as opposed to selling the team) as her attorney David Boies allegedly told Bloomberg, I personally think she is taking a big risk that may not be worth it. A huge risk. I am not sure how wise it is for Jamie to buy this team. Teams can lose value, especially with the low morale that seems to be infecting the Dodgers at the moment. She may be better off selling this thing rather than keeping it. She doesn’t want to be the new Edra Blixseth.
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