McCourt Divorce Trial, Day Seven: Reynolds Cafferata's Dodger Dreams
Day Seven. The Dodgers are 11 games out of first place.
Today began the parade of minor characters whose brief turns on stage will occupy much of the rest of the trial. These are the Kato Kaelins, the Ron Shipps, the Sukru Boztepes. (Ask your parents.)
First up was Reynolds Cafferata, who adheres to the rule for supporting players in a celebrity trial, which is that you have to have a name that could have been invented by Thomas Pynchon.
Cafferata is an estate lawyer who helped to draft the McCourts' marital property agreement, and he proved to be Frank's strongest witness yet.
Cafferata testified that he explained California's community property system to Jamie several times, and that she had a fairly sophisticated understanding of it. He was also clear on Jamie's wishes: she wanted no part of the Dodgers, and only wanted the houses in her name.
Recall that Jamie testified she didn't understand the first thing about California's system for dealing with marital property. She also said she didn't remember much about talking to Cafferata, though she took detailed notes of a conversation with him.
Cafferata's testimony "should end any claim that she didn't know what was going on," said Frank's lawyer, Steve Susman, after court.
But on cross-examination, Jamie's lawyer, Michael Kump, set about undermining Cafferata's credibility. Kump first asked whether Cafferata's firm is doing work for the Dodgers.
Cafferata: I think you're asking for privileged information.
Kump asked Judge Scott Gordon to force him to answer the question, at which point Cafferata admitted that indeed his firm was hired just a month ago by the Dodgers Dream Foundation.
Jamie's lead counsel, David Boies, looked so happy with that admission that you'd think the Yankees had just won the World Series, or that someone had bought him a new $7 tie.
The implication is clear enough. If Cafferata was put on Frank's payroll a week or two before trial, how much can you trust his testimony?
Victoria Cook, a member of Susman's assault team, said it came as news to them that Cafferata's firm works for the Dodgers Dream Foundation. She emphasized that Cafferata himself isn't working for the Dodgers' charity, though the firm is small enough -- seven lawyers -- that you'd think everybody would be into everybody else's business.
"He doesn't really have a dog in the fight anymore," Cook said.
Speaking of canine metaphors, Susman came over today to say how much he enjoyed being compared to a chained dog. So much so, in fact, that he's having T-shirts made.
Update, 10:09 p.m.: There are late reports that Frank and Jamie will use the day off on Friday to go into mediation. They tried this before the trial started, to no avail, so don't get your hopes up. On the other hand, now that both Frank and Jamie have testified they may have a better sense of how things stand.
Also tonight, with a loss to the Padres and a Giants win, the Dodgers have been officially eliminated from postseason play.
Full McCourt coverage:
Week 1 Wrap-Up:
Even more McCourt:
L.A. Weekly cover story, Dodger Dog, from August
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