Trying to follow the byzantine trail of Frank McCourt’s lawsuits

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

I need a scorecard.

Really, how can anyone keep track of all the courtroom drama Frank McCourt is currently slogging through? How can McCourt? This guy is involved in so many lawsuits, he should have married an attorney.

Let’s see, where to begin?

-- The divorce.

That would be the never-ending divorce. This will mark the third consecutive year the Dodgers will march into the off-season with unsettled ownership.


Frank and Jamie McCourt have been at this for two years and about the only thing they’ve agreed upon is to sell one of their eight mansions. It’s an odds on favorite to go down as the most expensive divorce in California history.

And their divorce, of course, begat:

-- Legal actions involving his old law firm.

In an odd preemptive move, the law firm he used to draw up that curious, failed marital property agreement sued him. Frank lost his suit against Jamie on this one (though he’s threatened an appeal), and then fired Bingham McCutchen. Which subsequently tried to sue him. The court wouldn’t go for it.

Now each side awaits the divorce settlement before Frank sues Bingham McCutchen. He’s so sure of victory, he used the future settlement as collateral in a personal $30-million loan from Fox in the spring. -- Bankruptcy.

Frank McCourt’s permanent legacy -– the man who drove the Dodgers into bankruptcy. Somehow it still seems hard to believe.

This is the big one. Major League Baseball has been made the opponent and has asked the court to put the Dodgers up for sale. McCourt has asked the court to allow him to auction off the team’s TV rights package to save his broke butt.

-- Fox.

Fox now accuses the Dodgers of violating their existing TV agreement, which is still good for another two years and gives it exclusive negotiating rights starting a year from now.

These are big-boy lawsuits.

-- The Bryan Stow family.

They’re suing for an unspecified amount for the beating of Stow on opening day, alleging cutbacks in security and antiquated lighting at Dodger Stadium contributed to his beating. Stow has brain damage and has only begun to speak.

-- The great hairstylist fiasco.

One of the sillier though revealing bits of information to come out of the divorce proceedings was that the couple had a hairdresser on a $300-a-day retainer to come by whatever mansion they were hanging out at and make their curls look beautiful.

Only, the hairdresser, David Mackey, claimed he was owed $18,000 by the couple and sued last April. Not sure what’s happened to his one. There could be plenty of lawsuits such as this out there we’re just not aware of.

The McCourts are also reportedly under investigation by the IRS and had to settle with the state attorney general’s office for paying Howard Sunkin more than $400,000 in salary out of a team charity.

The overall amount of attorney’s fees has to just be staggering. It’s already been estimated the divorce alone will cost close to $35 million in legal fees.

With all the money spent on lawyers, they could almost buy a baseball team. Like that would ever happen.


Photos: The Dodgers and the McCourts

Fox sues Dodgers in effort to stop television rights sale

-- Steve Dilbeck