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Caution, attorneys at work: MLB and Frank McCourt begin courtroom dance

June 29, 2011 |  6:23 am

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They dance, you know. Feint one way, swirl and go another. So very smooth, eyes a-twinkle. All with a final destination in mind.

Trial lawyers know where they want to go, though understanding it is not always the easiest viewing. They are hired hands and will do whatever is within their ability to reach victory for their client. Which, of course, is why it is unwise to ever completely trust a lawyer.

They packed so many hired hands into a Delaware bankruptcy courtroom Tuesday, it’s a wonder the judge could find his way to the bench.

It was the first day of what regrettably will be many more in Frank McCourt’s bankruptcy hearing on the Dodgers. After several hours and a recess, it was announced that Major League Baseball and McCourt had reached an interim agreement.

And all you want to know is what it means. Did somebody win or something? Is McCourt out the door? Is it almost over?

Sorry, but this dance will last awhile. At least longer than any of us would prefer.


The good news was, the plea to throw bidding open for a TV rights deal over the next 180 days was squelched.

"Major League Baseball 1, McCourt 0,’’ said Thomas Lauria, an attorney for MLB.

The seemingly bad news was, McCourt was given access to yet another loan, this one for $60 million to make payroll Thursday.

Since the main purpose of a bankruptcy judge is to protect the creditors, it’s hard to imagine he would look at the mountains of debt McCourt has created and decide McCourt is in better position to clear up this mess than Major League Baseball.

MLB may ask the court to strip McCourt of his ownership during the bankruptcy proceedings before the next July 20 court date.

No doubt there will be many moves by then, some meant for the public, some for the judge. The dance is underway, and not every move is clear.

(And forgive me this, but here's a favorite old attorney joke: What’s the difference between God and a lawyer? God doesn’t think he’s a lawyer.)

RELATED:

In filing for bankruptcy, Dodgers will ask judge to override MLB rules

Plaschke: Frank McCourt has nothing, and the Dodgers have it all

Document: MLB's response to Dodgers bankruptcy filing

-- Steve Dilbeck

Left photo: Frank McCourt. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press

Right photo: Bud Selig. Credit: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

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