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McCourt teams make closing arguments

September 29, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers hangs in the balance as attorneys for Frank and Jamie McCourt made their closing arguments in the divorce trial.

Their arguments centered around a controversial postnuptial property agreement signed by both spouses that seemed to have contradictory language concerning the Dodgers ownership.

The couple's lawyer at the time, Larry Silverstein, changed crucial language on certain drafts of the agreement that have called its legitimacy into question.

Jamie's attorney, Dennis Wasser argued that the agreement was not valid and that Jamie had only signed it to protect the family homes from Frank's business creditors as he purchased the Dodgers mostly on credit. Wasser argued it was not meant to serve as a binding division of property in the event of divorce.

Frank's attorney, Sorrell Trope responded that Jamie couldn't have it both ways - an agreement if married, but not an agreement if they divorced.

Jamie's team focused on the testimony given by Silverstein and what they called the "switcheroo." He reportedly switched out the page that excluded the Dodgers as Frank's property for one that included the team, though he testified that he did not recall doing so.

Wasser suggested that Silverstein had committed fraud, knowing that he could be suspended, disbarred or prosecuted for changing a signed document.

But Trope fired back that Jamie's attorneys were simply spinning words and that Silverstein had substituted the correct page for an incorrect page and that the couple knew the intent and substance of the property agreement. He said the body of the agreement makes it clear that the Dodgers are the sole property of Frank.

There is a chance that the mediation will take the decision off the judge's shoulders in this case. The McCourts are scheduled to meet Oct. 9 and Oct. 10 to try and reach a conclusion out of court. That will be their second attempt at trying to work things out.

If they cannot come to an agreement out of court, it could be late December before ownership of the Dodgers is decided.

Frank McCourt has said previously that if the judge decides in the favor of his soon-to-be ex-wife, he will appeal, which could keep the case in court for another three years.

Jamie McCourt was fired as the team's CEO on October 2009, and she filed for divorce the same month, citing irreconcilable differences. The McCourts have been married since 1979 and have four grown sons.

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