If you're new to the site, or would like a refresher on why we're here, you can check out the sort-of comprehensive trial guide I put together on the eve of the first day. Otherwise, let's take a few moments to talk about things to come this week and beyond.
The day will start with Jamie McCourt under direct examination from her own superstar trial attorney, David Boies. This was very much by design. By hammering Frank on the stand during the latter half of the first week and keeping Jamie to himself by the week's end, Boies effectively won the week. Frank, as would be expected of any of us, wilted some under direct, and Jamie hasn't had to suffer the same experience.
Until this week, that is. While Boies prefers to run at a pretty steady pace and use fatigue as a weapon, you can expect Frank's attorney, Stephen Susman, to attack aggressively. He'll use every available opportunity to force Jamie to concede that, yes, she was indeed concerned about the viability of the couple's business activity, and, yes, she did push for the MPA at the heart of this matter. At least that's what Susman will need to do to put his client in a position to own the Dodgers for the long run.
That's maybe a bigger issue than the trial itself. Yes, this litigation will determine the validity of the MPA. But that's likely just the first step. Whatever Judge Gordon's ruling, there are several specters lurking. First is the threat of continued litigation; whether it is by appeal or perhaps a different legal theory, whichever party loses on the MPA will surely extend this issue in the court room well past the end of next week. Next comes the bigger question: if a McCourt ends up with the team, will he or she have the financial wherewithal and public support to make it work?
It's not likely Jamie can walk with the team. Her lawyers concede that, if she wins on the MPA (and assuming that's the end of the litigation), neither McCourt would have the resources to take the other out. Besides, neither McCourt seems likely to willingly let the other control the team, regardless of who wins. No, if Jamie McCourt intends to own the Dodgers, she'd need help in the form of outside investors. Even more daunting, she'd need to get through Major League Baseball's approval process, which doesn't seem particularly promising at the moment.
For Frank, it's a bit easier, in theory at least. Win on the postnup, survive on whatever comes next, and leave no questions about who owns the club. However, there are voices ranging in volume from whispers to screams saying Frank simply doesn't have the money to keep the club himself. Especially if he's saddled with a hefty obligation to Jamie, the liquidity required to rescue the team from its self-imposed decline might be more than Frank could raise and sustain.
Or maybe not; if nothing else, Frank is a fighter whose ability to make something out of nothing is truly remarkable; it's how he got the Dodgers. In my book, the biggest question facing his long-term ability to own the Dodgers isn't cash, it's credibility. This protracted divorce has cost the Dodgers dearly in the goodwill department, and there is no question that "Anyone Else" is the fan favorite to own the Dodgers. And, unfortunately for Frank, the one surefire fix--winning--doesn't appear especially likely. Not when the young, cheap talent is no longer as young, as cheap, and, well, as talented.
But short of financial ruin or MLB intervention, Frank would get his chance if he survives the litigation. And how he'd handle that chance would be scrutinized as closely as an owner's decisions have ever been.
That's a conversation for a different day. Jamie's winning right now, and how she fares on the stand this week will go a long way toward telling us just how far in the future we should be talking. I checked into my hotel tonight, and I look forward to being at court bright and early tomorrow. Check back here for detailed, but infrequent updates. Follow me on Twitter (@DodgerDivorce) for immediate news and quick analysis.