Resolution or desolation in the McCourt trial?

Mediation aimed at a settlement in the McCourt civil case have been scheduled for Friday, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports and The Associated Press.

Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce on Tuesday’s Mccourtroom events:

… My gut feeling, the basics of which are shared by several close watchers, is that Frank and Jamie absolutely meant to execute the Massachusetts MPA–the one now extraordinarily favorable to Frank. Remember, it was not always so imbalanced. I believe that Frank wanted the upside and Jamie the stability. But, several years later, as the value of the team skyrocketed and the value of high-end real estate plummeted, Jamie’s late discovery of the document switch might have given her legal team all it needs.

Their argument is simple: if you have two sets of documents which are completely opposite on a material term, how can you enforce either? Jamie isn’t asking Judge Gordon to bless the California MPA. She wants the whole thing tossed, which would put into motion a series of events nearly certain to lead to the sale of the Dodgers.

Frank’s counter is pretty simple itself. Jamie admits to not reading either version of the MPA–she had no knowledge of the California Agreement until this year. If she meant to sign the Massachusetts MPA, the argument goes, and she never knew of the discrepancy at the time of execution, shouldn’t the court enforce the Agreement she meant to sign? Frank supports this case by trotting out witnesses who can testify to Jamie’s knowledge of marital property law and intent to insulate herself from the risks associated with the Dodgers acquisition.

At the end of the day, the lasting question is this: What do you do when two parties signed a document they never read containing Exhibits conflicting as to the most important item in the document? If you believe they meant one thing, is that enough? Or do you have to throw it all out on its face?

Those questions aren’t easy to answer, and each party risks a ton by leaving the issues up to Judge Gordon. That’s why the parties will meet Friday morning at 9:30 in front of Judge Peter Lichtman in confidential, non-binding mediation. Both sides are expected to present Judge Lichtman with a brief summary of exactly what they would want and need in a settlement. If, to use a term of art introduced to this litigation in Silverstein’s testimony yesterday, there is a nexus between the parties’ needs and wants, I believe it’s entirely possible this thing is resolved shortly. …

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  • The state of Casey Blake, from Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness:
  • … There’s only been seventeen seasons since 1961 in which a third baseman 37 or older (since Blake will be 37 most of next year) has managed to even play enough to qualify for the batting title. Looking at that list, most of them are Hall of Famers (Mike Schmidt, Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken, Jr.), or about to be (Chipper Jones) – and even then there’s quite a few dreadful seasons on that list. Do we really expect that Casey Blake is the one who bucks that trend?

  • In 2010, the Tampa Bay Rays are winning with a lower payroll than the Dodgers. In 2011, the Rays will be trying to do so with an even lower payroll, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Hardball Talk).
  • Former Arizona manager A.J. Hinch has been hired as vice president of professional scouting by San Diego.
  • My little girl is eight today. Eight!  Goodness …  happy birthday, sweetie.
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