CALIFORNIA: Frank McCourt wins legal battle: Ex wife Jamie McCourt must pay $2 million legal fees

As usual, I’ve arrived late at the party…Seems we posted on this story a couple of days back but in fact, we were late to the party and may have been time-barred.
So here I am the Sunday morning quarterback trying to rectify the gaff….seems the LA Superior Court has given Jamie McCourt the shaft. She has not only lost her bid to reopen her divorce settlement on the basis of fraud, but she must also pay her husband Frank McCourt’s legal fees to the tune of $2,000,000!!!
oh la la, LA. LA.
She does have 15 days to appeal this ruling which seems to have been issued late June (we were vacationing in Marbella – nah, just kidding…) but still. This is a huge blow; a huge loss. Jamie felt she was entitled to more money from the sale of the Dodgers which at the time of divorce was valued at approximately $300 million when in fact Frank sold the puppy for close to $2 billion recently. Jamie cried foul and went back to court to reopen the settlement. But there was a clause in the settlement that said anyone who challenged the settlement would be on the hook for the other side’s legal fees. And Frank wants this provision enforced.
oh la la
Well, Jamie is fetlock deep in a quagmire right about now. But she has a lot of money and can easily afford to pay her own legal fees as well as $2 million of legal fees for her husband; that is not the point, though. The point is that if indeed there was fraud, the case should be re-opened in my humble opinion.
The judge appears to be unsympathetic because he feels that Jamie is a sophisticated business woman who was represented by sophisticated lawyers and who had forensics accountants looking into all this. Point well taken and maybe Jamie is looking at some kind of malpractice suit against one or more of her advisors. I don’t know. Still. This cannot be a slam dunk win for Frank because a settlement agreement is a contract. It is a contract. CONTRACT LAW applies here. And there are certain basic tenets in Contract law. Good faith comes to mind as a threshold matter.  ‘Course, if “good faith” is all you have to go on, then you might as well forget about it. But. It is not totally insignificant. Assuming that that settlement agreement was merely incorporated and not merged into the judgment of divorce, I think she should do a breach of contract action on this one and wage her bets. She has more to gain than lose even if it costs her another couple of million.
Offer. Acceptance. Consideration.
Mistake. Fraud. Misrepresentation….
‘Course, rumor is that Jamie went against the advice of her counsels and accepted this offer. This is a problem. But still. A contract is a contract. There was no meeting of the minds if both parties did not have all the relevant information.
I would sue for breach of contract, Jamie. And, frankly speaking, the legal fees should not apply because you are not challenging the divorce judgment. You are attacking a CONTRACT as having been breached… oh, wait a second…in fact the argument should not be that there was a breach. It is that no contract exists since clearly the acceptance was for an offer that was illusory….no meeting of the minds. The pregnant cow scenario. Remember that case?