Fresh from today's legal victory, Jamie McCourt has hired a banker to help her assemble a team of local investors to buy out her ex-husband's stake in the Dodgers.
A source familiar with the matter says that Jamie has hired Joseph Ravitch, formerly of Goldman Sachs, to help put together the bid.
Frank McCourt, meanwhile, has no intention of selling off the team. His attorneys intend to ask Judge Scott Gordon to schedule a one-day trial in the next two to three months that would give him sole ownership of the franchise.
All of these moves are probably intended to gain leverage for upcoming negotiations to resolve the ownership of the team.
In a statement, Michael Kump, Jamie's attorney, indicated his client is interested in sitting down and working out a deal, now that Gordon has set aside the couple's marital property agreement.
“Now that Jamie has prevailed on this
fundamental issue, we hope that it will be possible to resolve this
matter in a reasonable way going forward,” Kump said. “The Dodgers are a valuable
civic asset, and Dodger fans deserve stability in the front office, a
winning team on the field, and a strong Dodger presence in the
Meanwhile, Jamie is making plans to take control of the team should those negotiations fail. Under her plan, she would not be the managing partner of an investment group, but would cede that role to others.
More to come.
Update: A statement from Marc Seltzer, Frank's attorney, worth quoting in full:
Frank McCourt is the sole owner of the Dodgers. Any media reports to the contrary are just wrong. This ruling does nothing to change the ownership of the Dodgers. Even without the marital property agreements in place, Jamie has no rights to the team.
Without the agreements in place, it becomes the Court's job to determine which property is Frank's and which is Jamie's based on who holds legal title to the team. The facts are crystal clear on this point. The Dodgers are solely in Frank's name.
For Frank, today's decision means more time at the court house. Nothing changes in terms of the ownership, management, control or the day-to-day business operation of the Dodgers. That's all firmly in Frank McCourt's hands.
We are very confident there will be no changes to the ownership of the Dodgers. We look forward to getting back in front of the Court as soon as possible so there can finally be closure in this case.
I think you'll see that today's tentative ruling does nothing to change ownership of the Dodgers. The Court expressly said that at the start of its tentative ruling. To quote the tentative ruling: “The Court explicitly does not make any findings with regard to the characterization of the parties' property or interest in any property within this Statement of Decision.”
Under Frank's leadership, the team has had a productive off-season. Here's what fans can expect from Frank McCourt: a highly competitive team under new Manager Don Mattingly's leadership, the best baseball experience in the world at Chavez Ravine and a continued commitment to making a real and lasting impact in the community.
More time at the courthouse, and more time at the negotiating table.
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