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Frank McCourt Divorce: Larry Silverstein's Boner Is Key; On The Stand He's Not Sure What Year This Is

Fred Merkle committed the most famous mistake in baseball history in 1908, when, in a game against the Chicago Cubs, he failed to touch second base as the winning run scored. Merkle's Boner cost the New York Giants the game and the pennant.

That was nothing compared to the mistake Larry Silverstein made when he drafted Frank and Jamie McCourt's marital agreement, Forget throwing away the season. Silverstein's Boner may cost Frank the Dodgers. Merkle, you're off the hook.

Silverstein took the stand Tuesday morning, ending the intrigue about whether he would appear. He has some sort of medical issue that had kept him away from the trial until now.

On the stand, Silverstein, a Harvard-educated partner at Bingham McCutchen, often seemed confused and forgetful, sometimes claiming to forget things that happened just last month. At one point, he said he didn't know what year it was.

If you didn't know better, you'd think he'd been hit by Jamie's Land Rover.

Silverstein's Boner was to prepare two different copies of the same agreement. One gave Frank the Dodgers, and the other one left the team as Frank and Jamie's joint property.

It's a huge difference, one that he has variously described as a "drafting error" or a "typographical error." What he meant to do, he says, was to give the Dodgers to Frank. He just screwed up on three copies. But he didn't help himself when, after the two conflicting agreements were signed and notarized, he went back and switched the exhibits to make them all give the Dodgers to Frank.

He didn't tell anyone he had done this. Jamie McCourt's lead attorney David Boies is an even-tempered fellow. But this made him angry. For the first time during the trial, he raised his voice to a shout.

Boies: Who gets to determine what the error is? Is it up to you unilaterally?

Silverstein: No.

Silverstein seemed disoriented today, right from the start. Asked when he first learned that the original agreement had been switched, he said 2009.

Boies: I want to be absolutely certain. You know this year is 2010?

Silverstein: I meant 2010. I apologize

We've seen three attorneys testify so far -- Leah Bishop, Jamie, and Silverstein -- and Silverstein seems like the last one you'd hire if you needed some estate work done.

Now, there is still a question about whether Silverstein is merely a bumbler, or whether he was involved in something nefarious. As they say, on that point the jury's still out.

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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