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Frank McCourt attorney says Bryan Stow shares blame for attack

October 27, 2011 |  5:27 pm

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Frank McCourt has had more public-relations specialists over the years than Derek Jeter has had hot girlfriends. If politicians had image-makers like McCourt's, there would be no one left to run for public office. Wait ...

Even now, McCourt has so many people speaking for him that I'm never sure which one to call for his "no comment."

To be fair, the Bryan Stow beating case is difficult, treacherous ground to navigate. McCourt needs to appear sympathetic without sounding guilty of any wrongdoing.

Here's my basic PR rule for McCourt: If a lawyer is speaking for you, you're in trouble. You're not out in front of the message. You're taking a chance that someone else will craft it as you desire, and history indicates the odds are not favorable.

Now McCourt has countersued in the Stow case, filing a civil complaint last week against two men -- Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez -- who have been charged in connection with the attack. McCourt claims they should be held liable for the beating, not himself and the Dodgers.

Stow's family has sued McCourt and the Dodgers over a beating that took place in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on opening day. But McCourt is suing two suspects who have not been found guilty of anything?

The worst part about it is, McCourt's attorney is the one doing the talking for him on this. And Jerome Jackson is not exactly coming off as sympathetic.

Said Jackson to ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne:

"I've been doing these cases for 23 years and I have never seen one yet in which it didn't take at least two people to tango," he said, referring to the notion that jurors could decide Stow bears some liability in the attack. "So stay tuned and stand by."

Isn't that special? McCourt is not only suing the two guys awaiting trial, but his attorney also is claiming Stow has to take some responsibility for getting beaten into a coma. Feeling more compassion for McCourt, are you?

Wait, Jackson had more for Shelburne:

"What happened to Bryan Stow was a tragedy. The Dodgers have held fundraisers. The Dodgers have helped police in solving this case. That doesn't mean we're legally responsible for what happens here.

"What baffles me is that the level of public outrage at the Dodgers seems to be higher than the level of outrage at the people who inflicted the blows."

Wow. There are the clueless, and then there are attorneys. There is no doubt McCourt is reviled, but largely for reasons well beyond the scope of the Stow incident.

Wrote ESPNLosAngeles.com's Jon Weisman: "Despite the anger against McCourt, I wouldn't say that when it comes specifically to the Stow beating, people are angrier at McCourt than they are at the assailants. People understand who the true villains are."

There is genuine evil, and then there is completely turning a Los Angeles cultural icon into an embarrassing mess. McCourt knows the difference, just like the rest of us. Now if only he had a good PR person to get the message across, instead of another attorney.

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-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: An image of Bryan Stow and his children is displayed on a big screen before a San Francisco Giants game in April. Stow was severely beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot following the team's season opener on March 31. Credit: Beck Diefenbach / Reuters

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