<
>

McCourt lawyers file statements

LOS ANGELES -- Attorneys for Frank and Jamie McCourt submitted their proposed statements of decision to Judge Scott Gordon on Monday, paving the way for Gordon to issue a verdict on the validity of the post-nuptial agreement at the heart of the divorcing couple's battle over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers have been owned by the McCourts since 2004.

Both parties signed six copies of the post-nuptial agreement in the spring of that year: three that gave the team to Frank McCourt alone and three that excluded the Dodgers from his separate property. Attorneys for Jamie McCourt are seeking to have both versions of the contract thrown out, thereby making the team community property under California law.

In Monday's filing her attorneys wrote: "The parties have identified only three reported cases from any jurisdiction in the United States where parties executed two different and inconsistent versions of what purported to be the same instrument. In each of those cases, the courts concluded that no contract had been created because of lack of mutual assent."

Attorneys for Frank McCourt are seeking to have the version of the marital property agreement that gives their client sole possession of the Dodgers upheld because they say it was what the couple always intended.

In court they have argued that the three copies that excluded the Dodgers from Frank's separate property were the result of a typo. In their filings today they wrote: "Both parties read and approved [the version of the MPA that gave Frank the Dodgers]. Neither party read the [version that gave Jamie claim to the team] before it was signed."

Jamie McCourt testified that she never knowingly signed away her interest in the Dodgers. In their filings, Frank's attorneys countered that because the Dodgers' previous owner, News Corp., had lost more than $50 million a year in the three years before the McCourts bought the team, Jamie signed away her rights to the club to "protect herself from the risks associated with the Dodger acquisition."

Gordon has until Dec. 29 to issue a decision on whether the marital property agreement giving Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers is enforceable, but he could rule as early as this week.

Molly Knight is a reporter for ESPN The Magazine.