July 4, 2014: Judge Sides with Former Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt in Divorce Fees Dispute
Although every divorce case has its challenges, high net worth divorces are particularly difficult to settle. Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie, know this all too well. After an unsuccessful attempt to contest their divorce settlement, Jamie McCourt has been ordered to pay her ex-husband and former Los Angeles Dodgers owner $1.9 million as reimbursement for legal fees.
The tentative ruling was issued by Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon, who announced his decision on July 1. As shocking as the high price-tag for McCourt’s attorney fees may be, Gordon’s decision was based on provisions in the ex-couple’s divorce settlement stating that if either party should contest the agreement, they must pay for the opposing party’s legal fees.
The couple first announced their plans for divorce in 2009 and reached a divorce settlement in 2012. In September of 2013, the court denied Jamie McCourt’s claim that Frank had not paid her enough for the value of the Dodgers, which were sold in 2012 for more than $2 billion.
In response, Frank McCourt’s lawyers went after almost $2 million for repayment of the legal fees accrued while opposing the motion. In April of this year, Jamie’s attorneys contended that the fees were too high, but Gordon did not agree.
“The language in the stipulated judgment makes it clear that the parties intended (it) to be an end to the litigation in this matter, and that the terms of the judgment were carefully considered and negotiated,” Gordon states in his ruling.