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McCourts may be close to reaching agreement on Dodgers

Frank and Jamie McCourt were in a closed-door meeting in a judge's chambers in their dispute over who owns the Dodgers Wednesday.

June 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Frank and Jamie McCourt again came face-to-face in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Thursday as they try to settle their bitter divorce. Ownership of the Dodgers is the biggest sticking point.

While the Dodgers trail the league almost at the bottom of the National League West, owner Frank McCourt came to court again to keep the team away from his ex-wife and away from Major League Baseball, which is threatening a takeover.

Major League Baseball seized control of the team's financial operations last month. It is expanding its investigations into security as well, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

There are questions whether McCourt cut back on safety personnel and whether that action allowed violent fans to beat up Giants fan Bryan Stow.

Major League Baseball's appointed monitor over the Dodgers, Thomas Schieffer, told Eyewitness News: "We are trying to be as comprehensive as we can. We want to give everybody a fair shake. We are not finished, but hope to be in the near future. Nobody wants to drag this out."

"She wants the ball club sold," said Jamie McCourt's attorney, Dennis Wasser. "If we come to an agreement we will. Can't discuss the terms with you."

Many fans urge new ownership, hoping that some high-profile ex-Dodgers step in with the bucks to make payroll and draft new talent.

"The fans are fed up, and it's a big shame," said fan Clint Thute.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon set a hearing for early Friday to determine if both sides had reached a deal. Gordon initially declared an impasse but rescinded it when attorneys indicated they needed more time.

"They'd like to make a settlement that the two of them can live with as opposed to having to live with the settlement that the judge imposes on them," said Steve Mindel, a Los Angeles-based lawyer who specializes in family law.

Mindel said the fact that the judge in the case has extended the settlement talks indicates that the two sides are close to reaching an agreement.

"It's very clear that the parties must be very close to settlement. They've worked so hard. This is such an important issue to both Frank and Jamie McCourt that you got to believe that they're going to do everything in their power to resolve this case, and take this out of the hands of the judge," said Mindel.

In December, the judge deemed a postnuptial marital agreement, which gave Frank McCourt sole ownership of the Dodgers, invalid and cleared the way for Jamie McCourt to seek half the team under California's community property law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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