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David Boies: Frank McCourt could have to sell Dodgers

December 7, 2010 | 11:48 am

David Boies, an attorney for Jamie McCourt, said Tuesday that Frank McCourt might have no other choice than to sell the Dodgers in order to reach a divorce settlement.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon on Tuesday threw out a marital agreement that would have provided Frank with sole ownership of the team. Boies said he hoped Frank now would agree to a settlement in which he would pay Jamie half the worth of their marital estate, as valued by Jamie.

"I think the only way he could do that is to sell the Dodgers, either to her or to somebody else," Boies said.

Boies said he hoped to renew settlement talks as soon as this week. If those talks fail, Boies said, Jamie could announce that she and other investors would be willing to buy out Frank's share of the Dodgers.

"In the absence of a negotiated settlement, you could reasonably expect some kind of offer would be a realistic possibility," Boies said.

Frank would not be obligated to accept. His lawyers said Tuesday that he would ask for another trial, this one to establish the Dodgers as his sole property on grounds independent of the invalidated agreement.

"I would have hoped, having lost, they would be realistic," Boies said. "It sounds like they just want to continue the litigation. ...

"If they will come to the bargaining table accepting the reality that Jamie is entitled to 50% of the marital estate, we will reach an agreement. This is litigation that is bad for the two parties, for the family, for Los Angeles, for the Dodgers and for Dodger fans. She would like to see this resolved, but she is not going to be intimidated by the threat of litigation."

Boies said -- and Frank's lawyers have disputed -- that the team now should be considered community property, pending further legal proceedings. However, Boies said Jamie has no plans to try to involve herself in the day-to-day operations of the Dodgers.

"We'd like to work this out so it has the least disruption possible for the Dodgers," Boies said. "Obviously, she wants to make sure that Frank doesn't do something that prejudices her rights or prejudices the value of the Dodgers."

In particular, Boies said, Jamie does not plan to demand approval rights for major team expenditures, including player contracts.

"We don't want to put out any ultimatums," Boies said. "We'd like not to escalate things. We'd like to try and work things out."

-- Bill Shaikin and Carla Hall