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Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a settlement in their contentious divorce battle over ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Los Angeles County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, who is overseeing the couple’s divorce, approved the deal during a hearing on June 17. “We’re very happy that we’ve reached an agreement with Jamie,” said Ryan Kirkpatrick, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Susman Godfrey and one of Frank’s attorneys. “It was a lot of work, but it set clear what’s going to happen going forward.” The settlement followed Major League Baseball’s recent takeover of control of the Dodgers. Commissioner Bud Selig has been investigating the team’s finances and has appointed a trustee, Tom Schieffer, senior counsel in the Dallas office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. As part of the settlement, Jamie and Frank McCourt agreed not to challenge a television broadcast contract with Fox. The settlement would divide the proceeds of that contract to provide a $385 million loan and equity infusion that includes a $235 million payment to the Dodgers, $80 million for debt related to the team and $50 million set-aside into a separate account. The money also would give Jamie and Frank McCourt each $5 million in attorneys’ fees and costs, plus an additional $5 million in discretionary funds. Frank and Jamie McCourt could spend as much as $20 million each in legal fees, according to some outside estimates. The settlement calls for Gordon to conduct a one-day trial to determine who owns the Dodgers. That trial has been scheduled for Aug. 4. If the judge finds that the team is Frank’s separate property, Jamie McCourt would receive $100 million, including the $50 million set-aside and the $5 million in attorneys’ fees, and retain the couple’s homes, including estates in Malibu, Calif., and Vail, Colo. Frank McCourt would be responsible for paying $55 million up front, plus the remaining $45 million within two years Frank McCourt agreed to pay Jamie $650,000 per month in spousal support, which he will continue to pay if he wins the Dodgers at trial. That figure will drop to $325,000 per month after he makes the $55 million up-front payment; spousal support would end after the final $45 million payment. If Jamie wins, spousal support will cease and both will receive $650,000 per month in distributions of community assets from the $50 million set-aside fund. The settlement agreement specifies that Jamie and Frank McCourt would continue to be responsible for their own claims against Bingham McCutchen, which drafted a 2004 marital agreement that Gordon found in December was invalid under California law. The couple signed the agreement as they were moving from Massachusetts to California. Gordon ruled that the contract failed to “transmute” the baseball team from community property into Frank McCourt’s separate property. Jamie McCourt argued that Lawrence Silverstein, a trust and estates lawyer in Boston, had switched part of the contract at the last minute to give Frank McCourt sole ownership of the team. In April, Bingham sued Frank McCourt in Massachusetts state court, seeking to prevent its former client from filing a malpractice case against the firm. Jamie McCourt’s attorney, Dennis Wasser, a partner at Wasser, Cooperman & Carter in Los Angeles, did not return a call for comment. Amanda Bronstad can be contacted at [email protected].

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