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?
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:
Week 1 Wrap-Up:
Even more McCourt:
L.A. Weekly cover story, Dodger Dog, from August