McCourt Divorce Trial, Day Six: Jamie Dummies Up
By the time this trial is over, there could be three owners of the Dodgers: Frank, Jamie, and the woman that Jamie's driver ran over on the way to court this morning.
Frank and Jamie's lawyers showed admirable restraint in not chasing after the woman's ambulance. But they probably didn't want to miss today's Big Event: Steve Susman treating Jamie like a chew toy on cross-examination.
To be honest, it was sort of a letdown. Susman scored some points, but it wasn't the thrashing that many expected.
Put another way, Jamie survived an encounter with Susman and his litigation assault team without doing significant damage to herself.
Her worst moments on the stand were when she claimed not to understand some of the basics of divorce law. Jamie is a lawyer -- evidently a smart one. The idea that she didn't grasp the concepts of California divorce law, even after they were patiently explained to her, beggars belief.
In her deposition, she said the legal issues were "boring" and "over my head," so she ignored them.
"It's as fictional as Harry Potter," Susman said afterward. "How does someone get away with this?"
If you detect a note of anguish there, it's because she might indeed be getting away with it. Throughout her testimony, she stuck to her story. That story is weak in places, but she couldn't be moved off it.
"It's really all she has," Susman said.
The day provided a little more insight into how the McCourts handled the media and managed to keep their quarreling out of public view. In 2005, the Sitrick & Co. public relations firm prepared a Q&A for Frank and Jamie to get them ready for an interview with the Boston Globe. This is how they were coached to respond to questions about their relationship:
Q. Describe Frank and Jamie's working relationship. Do they ever disagree on business matters? How are such disagreements resolved?
A. It is close, open and frank. They respect each other's intelligence and opinion and they are not afraid to disagree. But in the end when it comes to the Dodgers, Frank is the owner and he has final say.
The resulting Globe article was tough but positive overall, and didn't hint at any friction between the McCourts. Meanwhile, Jamie kept notes of each day in which she used the acronym YAM. That stood for "yelling at me," which apparently happened enough that she needed to create a shorthand for it.
With Jamie's testimony almost done, attention now turns to Larry Silverstein, the attorney who drafted the couple's marital property agreement. Silverstein is expected to testify in Frank's favor, but he could get shredded on cross-examination.
Silverstein was supposed to testify during the first week of trial, but he went missing due to some undisclosed illness. He also bailed out of a deposition because he felt dizzy.
He is scheduled to appear on Tuesday morning, but he has a doctor's note saying he can only testify for a half day. No matter how this turns out, he could be looking at a billion-dollar malpractice suit, which would make anybody dizzy.
Full McCourt coverage:
Week 1 Wrap-Up:
The Screaming Meanie
Even more McCourt:
L.A. Weekly cover story, Dodger Dog, from August
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