LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A non-jury trial to decide whether Frank McCourt is
the sole owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers or if his estranged wife Jamie
McCourt has an ownership stake in the team is scheduled to begin today.
Frank McCourt maintains a document signed by the couple during their
marriage gives him sole possession of the team, Dodger Stadium and surrounding
land, while giving Jamie McCourt the couple’s six homes and one condominium.
Frank McCourt also contends he permitted Jamie McCourt to call herself a
co-owner of the team only in the “interests of family harmony.’
However, Jamie McCourt claims that the martial property agreement was
changed after she signed it, and her lawyer, Dennis Wasser, filed documents
earlier this month alleging fraud.
Wasser said the wording was changed “to shield the couple’s non-
business assets from creditors’ and that she never would have signed an
agreement giving up her interest in the team in exchange for the couple’s
Jamie McCourt also states in a sworn declaration that “there was never
any discussion that only Frank owned the Dodgers or that it was his separate
Thomas Ostertag, Major League Baseball’s general counsel, is expected to
testify that Frank McCourt is the team’s sole owner and that Jamie McCourt
has no claim to ownership under baseball rules, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The trial before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott M. Gordon is
expected to take about 11 days.
What has been the divorce case has cast a cloud over the Dodgers since
the McCourts confirmed their separation Oct. 14, one day before the start of
the National League Championship Series.
The couple, who married in November 1979 and have four grown sons,
separated on July 6, 2009.
Frank McCourt fired his wife as the Dodgers’ chief executive officer a
day after the team lost the series to the Philadelphia Phillies. She filed for
divorce five days after her firing.
The divorce case has led to a perception among Dodger fans that the team
is financially hamstrung in acquiring players.
Frank McCourt has consistently maintained that the divorce has no
bearing on the operation of the team and its acquisition of players.
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