Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Updated: September 22, 3:04 AM ET
Lawyer changed Dodgers ownership
ESPN.com news services
LOS ANGELES -- A lawyer who drafted the postnuptial agreement for Jamie and Frank McCourt said he switched versions to list the Dodgers as Frank McCourt's separate property.
Testifying on Tuesday at the couple's Los Angeles divorce trial, Larry Silverstein said he changed the agreement in 2004 after it was signed -- and didn't tell Jamie McCourt the new version gave her husband sole ownership.
The agreement is at the center of the dispute between the McCourts and could decide who owns the Dodgers, the stadium and surrounding land worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
In a key exchange, Jamie McCourt's attorney David Boies questioned Silverstein about the change made to the agreement:
"The words that you wrote on the California version of Exhibit A mean that Frank's interest in the Dodgers is not included in his separate property, correct?" Boies asked.
"That's not what I meant," Silverstein replied.
Boies: "But it's how it reads, correct?"
Silverstein: "Just going by the words that's correct. But it was an error."
Boies: "Who gets to determine which of the two versions is in error? Is that up to you, unilaterally?"
Boies: "In fact it's not up to either party unilaterally? Do you agree with that?"
Boies: "You will agree that those two Exhibit A's, just looking at their terms, treat ownership of the Dodgers in completely different ways, correct?"
Boies: "And your view is that one of them is a mistake?"
Silverstein was later excused because of health reasons, and Jamie McCourt retook the stand. The court announced that Silverstein will be back on the stand Thursday morning. A source told ESPN The Magazine's Molly Knight that Silverstein's doctors requested he be kept on the stand for no longer than half a day at a time.
The McCourts signed copies of both versions of the agreement but Jamie McCourt testified Monday that she never read the agreement.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN The Magazine's Molly Knight was used in this report.