McCourts battle over future of Dodgers ownership in court

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Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Frank McCourt, owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, arrives at Los Angeles County Superior Court for day two of a non-jury divorce trial on August 31, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

The celebrity divorce trial of the year – maybe of the last 10 years – began yesterday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom. Attorneys for Frank and Jamie McCourt delivered their opening arguments. The question isn’t “who gets the kids?” It’s “who gets the Dodgers?"

There’s no jury to convince. L.A. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, an ex-cop, will decide whether Jamie McCourt has a stake in the Dodgers, or if soon-to-be-ex-husband Frank is the team’s sole owner. The dispute hinges on a post-nuptial agreement both signed six years ago, not long after they took over the ballclub.

The couple signed six copies of a deal to divvy up property – but they didn’t sign them together. Some copies say Frank is the sole owner; some say Jamie has an interest in the team. Judge Gordon will decide which documents are correct.

Jamie’s attorney Dennis Wasser told the judge his client never intended to give up her interest in the team. “It doesn’t make sense,” he said. Frank’s attorney Stephen Susman said Jamie didn’t want to share the risks of owning a baseball team, so she proposed an agreement that kept several homes in her name in case creditors went after Frank.

The trial will last 11 days, but not in a row; Judge Gordon will hear testimony this week, then he’ll take a two-week break.

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