Monday, December 5, 2011
Last October, Dodger's owner Frank McCourt settled a divorce with his wife. Now, he may be looking to recover costs from Bingham McCutchen LLP, the law firm that helped him draft an allegedly faulty marital property agreement that separated the couple’s personal assets from their business assets. Long time trusts and estates partner, Lawrence Silverstein, prepared this agreement to protect their personal assets from business creditors.
Questions about the agreements arose during the divorce trial when parties discovered that there were discrepancies among the original six signed copies of the agreement. McCourt has not brought suit yet against the firm, but since the divorce was so publicized, this conflict is also exposed more than Bingham would like. If McCourt does sue Bingham, Bingham will probably argue that even if the agreement was not valid, Mr. McCourt suffered no harm because the outcome was still beneficial to him. Mr. McCourt will likely argue that the alleged mistake caused legal fees, made the cost of the divorce payment higher and ultimately caused the Dodgers to file for bankruptcy protection.
See Ashby Jones, Dodgers Owner Warms Up to Challenge His Law Firm, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 5, 2011.
Special thanks to Joel Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.