SBD/March 2, 2011/Franchises

Jamie McCourt Asks Court For Access To Dodgers' Financial Information

Jamie filed latest motion after learning of Frank's possible loan from Fox
Jamie McCourt's attorneys in a court filing yesterday alleged that Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt "has failed to protect" his ex-wife's financial interests "in part by negotiating a 'secret deal' with Fox that 'would have endangered' the value of the Dodgers' broadcast contracts," according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Her attorneys asked that Frank "be ordered to provide to Jamie extensive financial information regarding the Dodgers' business operations, including documents related to negotiations with television outlets and efforts to obtain additional financing for the cash-strapped franchise." The court set a hearing for April 11. Ryan Kirkpatrick, an attorney for Frank, said that "both parties are obligated to share financial information and that Frank has 'fully complied' with his duties." Kirkpatrick said that the two sides have "set a meeting to discuss financial disclosure, although Jamie's lawyers say Frank's lawyers have been slow to do so." Shaikin notes L.A. Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon in December "threw out an agreement that would have granted Frank sole ownership of the Dodgers," and Jamie claims that the decision "makes her half-owner of the team" (L.A. TIMES, 3/2). The AP's Christina Hoag reported Jamie filed her request for Frank to "turn over all documents about team finances" after learning about a $200M loan Frank tried to secure from Fox. Jamie's attorney, Michael Kump, said in the filing, "It is outrageous that Jamie and her counsel have to rely upon the news media for information that Frank is affirmatively obligated under California law to provide before the fact." But Frank, who maintains that the Dodgers are "his property alone, said his ex-wife has agreed that he is the designated control person in charge of running the team's business operations" (AP, 3/1). Jamie's attorneys are optimistic that the April 11 hearing "will kickstart the next phase of this 17-month legal battle, in which the couple's assets will be characterized and ultimately divided." It is "not yet known whether this process will result in the sale of the Dodgers" (ESPNLA.com, 3/1).
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