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McCourt couple to discuss possible settlement

September 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The divorce battle that may determine who owns the Dodgers moves into mediation. Attorneys for Frank and Jamie McCourt are meeting in a downtown L.A. courtroom to negotiate a possible settlement.According to a court spokesperson, talks could continue into the weekend if a deal is not reached by the end of the day because a different judge will preside over the discussions.

Frank McCourt believes he is the sole owner of the Dodgers, but Jamie McCourt wants a share of the team under California's community property law. She has asked a superior court judge to toss out a postnuptial marital agreement.

Some legal observers say the case is moving into mediation because the judge in their trial could order the sale of the Dodgers.

Lawyer Larry Silverstein testified on Thursday for the third day about why he changed crucial wording of a marital property agreement concerning the Dodgers and why he didn't tell his clients.

Jamie McCourt was the Dodgers CEO before her husband fired her last year.

Silverstein admitted that he switched the words "exclusive" and "inclusive" rights in some property agreement documents he prepared for the couple while they were married and did not notify them of them of the changes. Silverstein was the couple's estate planner in Mass.

"To switch it on Jamie before she signed it was an ethical breach. To switch it after it was notorized is worse than that," said Jamie McCourt's attorney David Boies.

Jamie McCourt's legal team claims that her husband and Silverstein engaged in fraud by correcting the document and not telling their client. Frank McCourt and Silverstein deny that allegation.

Silverstein said Jamie McCourt wanted her husband's businesses separate from her group of luxurious homes to protect them from Frank McCourt's creditors. He also testified Jamie McCourt never indicated she wanted ownership of the team. There were different versions of the postnuptial agreement, Silverstein said, and he made changes to correct a "mistake."

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