Appellate Court Victory for Susman Godfrey Client Frank McCourt

February 2015

(Califonia, February 2015) The California Court of Appeal issued an opinion on February 24, 2015 ruling in favor of Susman Godfrey’s client, Frank McCourt, in his marital dissolution proceeding with his former wife, Jamie McCourt.  In this proceeding, Jamie McCourt filed a motion to set aside the parties’ property settlement agreement which gave Jamie a tax-free fixed payment of $131 million, over $50 million in real estate and other significant benefits and gave Frank McCourt the Los Angeles Dodgers and related assets.  At the time of the settlement, the Dodgers were in bankruptcy, Major League Baseball was seeking to force a sale of the team and the court had not yet made any determination as to ownership rights to the property in question. 

Frank McCourt subsequently entered into a settlement with MLB to allow the sale of the Dodgers pursuant to a public auction process and the Dodgers were ultimately sold for $2.15 billion.  At the time of the sale, Jamie McCourt continued to demand and accept her payments under her settlement agreement with Mr. McCourt.  Several months later, she filed a motion to set aside the property settlement agreement, alleging that Mr. McCourt had misled her about the value of the Dodgers.

The trial court denied Jamie McCourt’s motion, finding that her claim that she had been misled was not credible, that she had full knowledge of the potential value of the Dodgers at the time she made her agreement with Mr. McCourt and that Mr. McCourt had disclosed all of the material information he had regarding the value of the Dodgers.  The California Court of Appeal has now issued an opinion rejecting Jamie McCourt’s arguments, and affirming in full the trial court’s denial of Jamie McCourt’s motion to set aside the martial property settlement agreement.  Mr. McCourt is represented by Susman Godfrey attorneys Marc Seltzer, Matt Berry and Bryan Caforio.  Our co-counsel is Horvitz Levy LLP.