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McCourt Divorce Trial: Steve Susman Goes On The Attack

McCourt Divorce Trial: Steve Susman Goes On The Attack

Both are aggressive guys with appetites for big risks. Like McCourt, Susman went out on his own at a young age and launched into high-risk, high-reward ventures. Both have succeeded wildly, and so it's no surprise that they ended up together.

Susman's big moment will come when he cross-examines Jamie McCourt, which could happen later this week. On Tuesday Jamie is getting a preview of what she's in for, as Susman grills her estate planner, Leah Bishop.

 

In addition to being an estate planner, Bishop seems to be sort of a girlfriend for Jamie. In e-mails to Jamie, she tends to be extremely informal for a lawyer: "Don't stress out about any of this," she wrote Jamie in one e-mail. "Get a spring roll and be merry."

Jamie's lawyer, Michael Kump, led Bishop through her business relationship with Jamie, eliciting testimony highly favorable to Jamie's version of events. She also managed to make Frank seem like more of a jerk than we knew.

McCourt Divorce Trial: Steve Susman Goes On The Attack

In one conversation, Frank is said to have remarked on a Jerusalem Post article that referred to Jamie as the most powerful woman in baseball. "He's fine with the glory," Bishop wrote in her notes, "but not if she believes it."

Frank was also keen for Jamie to find a project to get her out of the office and away from the Dodgers. "She thinks she can run the team," Frank is supposed to have said.

Overall it was strong, but there were some weaknesses. Especially notable was Bishop's tendency to share information only with Jamie and to leave Frank out of the loop. That would tend to undermine her credibility by making her seem partisan.

For example, Bishop suggested in October 2008 that Jamie consult with some of the city's top divorce lawyers. Of course, she didn't tell Frank about it. This was supposedly well before Jamie was contemplating divorce.

On cross-examination, Susman pounced. Leaning wolfishly over the lectern, he burrowed in on why Bishop would have referred Jamie to a divorce lawyer. Bishop said it was because Jamie needed additional help understanding her marital agreements.

"How many family lawyers does someone have to see in this town before someone can explain how a 10-page agreement works?!" Susman barked.

Susman has drawn some blood, but this is just the appetizer before he gets to Jamie. You get the sense that when Susman looks at Jamie, he sees a roast turkey.

Before we get to her, though, we get to see David Boies question Frank McCourt. That should come Tuesday afternoon, and it should be a treat.

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