The Dodgers have lost three straight, but owner Frank McCourt is doing a bit better. After a long string of setbacks, he has now strung together two consecutive legal victories. Bust out the champagne!
First, there was the win over the Dodgers' merchandising company earlier this week in bankruptcy court. Then today, he won a round against his old law firm, Bingham McCutchen, in civil court in Boston.
Dark days still lie ahead. But after so many legal defeats, Frank must feel like Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham: “I love winning! It's like, y'know, better than losing!”
The Bingham thing was strange from the start. See if you can follow this: Frank hires Bingham's lawyer, Larry Silverstein, to draft a marital agreement which gives him sole ownership of the Dodgers. Silverstein botches the job horribly. A judge throws out the agreement, giving Frank's ex-wife a viable claim to half the team.
Whoops. Sorry bout that. But instead of apologizing, Bingham sues Frank. Huh? It makes more sense if it goes the other way. Frank should sue Bingham for malpractice. And that's what a judge said today, according to the Boston Herald:
In dismissing Bingham's case against McCourt, Suffolk Judge Janet Sanders noted that a declaratory judgment procedure has never been used in Massachusetts to allow an individual or entity “accused of a tort to preemptively sue the alleged victim.”
Frank probably will have to sue Bingham at some point, considering he's already used the damages he expects to win as collateral for a personal loan. Seriously: this guy. Unbelievable. Whether he should win is another issue. We've argued he shouldn't, but that's a question for another day. For now, Silverstein and Bingham are still on the hook.
The merchandising thing was strange, too. Basically, the merchandising company tried to use the bankruptcy process to weasel out of its deal with the Dodgers. That deal has soured because nobody goes to the games anymore, but the bankruptcy judge said that wasn't a good enough reason to let the company out of the contract.
Speaking of the Dodgers' attendance woes, Roger Arrieta has been getting some publicity for his Aug. 27 boycott. Arrieta has organized the group Mark Cuban Save the Dodgers. Here he is talking to Fred Roggin at NBC4.