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Frank McCourt's attorneys go on the offensive in closing arguments of divorce trial

September 29, 2010 |  8:49 pm

As closing arguments concluded Wednesday in the McCourt divorce trial, the attorneys for Frank McCourt repeatedly and forcefully attacked the credibility of Jamie McCourt.

Victoria Cook, one of Frank’s attorneys, mocked Jamie’s contention that she had not read the agreement she has asked a court to invalidate, an agreement that Frank says provides him with sole ownership of the Dodgers.

“Justice may be blind,” Cook said, “but justice does not reward those who refuse to see.”

Cook said Jamie got exactly what she wanted in the agreement —namely, the McCourts’ homes in her name and the McCourts’ businesses, including the Dodgers, in Frank’s name, to protect the residences from potential creditors. That Jamie said she neither read nor understood the marital property agreement defies credibility given her experience as a lawyer, Cook said.

“Jamie was not lulled into signing" the agreement, Cook said. “She was not tricked. She was not defrauded. This agreement was what she wanted....

“If Jamie McCourt, Esq., is not bound by the [marital property agreement], then realistically no one ever would be. That would be a public policy disaster for California.”

Cook attacked Jamie’s arguments as “self-serving revisionist history,” saying she had reaped the benefits of the agreement without ever objecting to it until 2008, even after the document had been explained to her in the interim.

“She did not say one word about her supposed misunderstanding until the McCourts’ marriage was on the rocks,” Cook said.

Steve Susman, another attorney for Frank, argued earlier that the errors of Larry Silverstein were not particularly relevant. Silverstein, the attorney who drafted the agreement, not only switched one page of the signed document — an action Susman said he did not condone —but also botched the language of some versions of the agreement.

Susman said Frank should not be punished for Silverstein’s blunders. Silverstein testified that he “garbled” the wording of Exhibit A, and Susman said the removal of seven words — “exclusive of the following” and “within this exclusion” — would have solved the problem.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon interrupted Susman.

“Isn’t that how [Exhibit] A started?” Gordon asked. “So it was only after talking to the two parties that the words ‘exclusive’ and ‘inclusive’ get put in? That’s interesting as to intent, isn’t it?”

Susman responded: “You might have to believe Larry Silverstein.”

-- Bill Shaikin at Los Angeles County Superior Court