Frank McCourt Dodger Divorce Trial: Hapless Lawyer Larry Silverstein Perfect Target For Malpractice Suit

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Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 1:25 PM

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Larry Silverstein: The man who brought down Bingham?
​As word spread that Frank and Jamie McCourt will go into a closed-door mediation session on Friday, it started to feel like this whole trial is an elaborate trap for the hapless Larry Silverstein, the lawyer who drafted the McCourts' disputed marital property agreement.

Consider: If Frank and Jamie reach a settlement, it's likely that each will publicly declare victory while privately feeling like they got screwed.

Either could fix the blame on Silverstein's Boner -- that's our term for the lawyer's colossal screw-up in which he drafted two agreements, one giving Frank sole possession of the Dodgers and the other splitting the team with Jamie.

It seems Frank and Jamie could bring a billion-dollar malpractice suit against Silverstein and his firm, Bingham McCutchen. And in that lawsuit, they could use all of Silverstein's bumbling testimony from the divorce trial.

So why not let things play out, then settle the case and use Silverstein's testimony to torpedo Bingham?

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Time to see about increasing the limit on the malpractice policy.
Now, that might be too cynical. Maybe that's what happens to you when you hang around divorce lawyers too long.

But it has been clear for a long time that the most rational thing to do is for Frank and Jamie to settle the case. That's the only way to avoid years of litigation, and to be certain that the Dodgers stay in the family.

The fact that it's the most rational outcome, however, is no guarantee it will happen. It was the most sensible option a month ago and a year ago, and it didn't happen then.

Now, however, it appears that both sides have a good sense of how their case is playing in court. Frank's side seemed especially keen to see Jamie testify before considering a deal. So, no guarantees, but if you were going to place a bet, you'd have to expect the case to settle at some point, whether on Friday or next week or next month.

Meanwhile, David Boies continued to eviscerate Silverstein on the stand this morning. He began by asking whether Silverstein had discussed the case with Frank's lawyers outside court on Tuesday.

Silverstein had eaten lunch and dinner with Frank's lawyers, but all he could remember them saying was that they thought his testimony had gone well.

If that's what they think, they're wrong, unless they're already drafting the malpractice claim. In that case, it went well for them but not for Silverstein. 

Full McCourt coverage:

Day 11:

Wasser The Dealmaker Versus Susman The Carnivore

It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Day 10:

Dodger Execs Circle The Wagons Around Frank

Mediation Day:

A Long Day Ends Without A Deal

Day 9:

A Settlement Looms As Silverstein's Agony Ends

Day 8:

The Screwing of Larry Silverstein

The Return of Silverstein's Boner, In Which Two Interpretations Are Explained

Day 7:

Silverstein's Boner

Reynolds Cafferata's Dodger Dreams

Day 6:

Frank's Four Self-Defeating Arguments

Steve Susman Sharpens His Knives

Jamie Dummies Up

Week 1 Wrap-Up:

The Desperate Hunt For Exhibit A, Or, How To Blame The Conquistadors

Day 5:

The Return Of Vladimir Shpunt

Jamie Takes The Stand

Day 4:

Boies Puts Frank On The Run

The Billable Hours Mount

Day 3:

Nervous? Frank McCourt Blinks 75 Times/Min.

Screwing The Fans

Day 2:

Steve Susman Goes On The Attack

McCourt vs. Boies

Day 1:

Trial Opens With A Win For Jamie

The Screaming Meanie

Even more McCourt:

L.A. Weekly cover story, Dodger Dog, from August 

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