LOS ANGELES – A Bingham McCutchen real estate lawyer testified in the ongoing divorce trial over ownership of the Dodgers that he miswrote their agreement, mistakenly excluding the Dodgers from Frank McCourt’s separate assets. “I just miswrote it,” said Larry Silverstein.
As the McCourt divorce trial continues, David Boies who represents Jamie McCourt grilled Silverstein over the mistake and when it was corrected.
Silverstein testified last week that during a meeting with Frank, he noticed that the marital property agreement excluded rather than included the Dodgers from Frank’s separate assets. Silverstein added that he later went back to his Bingham McCutchen office to correct that critical error.
However, the error was not corrected for some time, which the lynch pin issue of the trial.
Both Frank and Jamie signed three separate copies of a Massachusetts version and a California version of the agreement — for a total of six signed agreements from each spouse. That way, Frank, Jamie and Silverstein would each have a signed copy of both the California and Massachusetts version. Yet, the California version still excluded the Dodgers from Frank’s separate assets.
“I’m talking about the words you used,” Boies asked Silverstein. “The words you used are important correct? This was part of what the people signed and notarized? … And that was the final contract, wasn’t it sir?”
“No, the ones that had the error was not a final,” Silverstein answered.
“Is that up to you to unilaterally decide which one’s final? In fact, isn’t it up to either party unilaterally?” Boies asked.
Silverstein did not reply.
“In March 31, 2004,” asked Boies, “you didn’t even know that there were two separate versions of the Marital Property Agreement, did you?”
It turns out that the marital property agreement Jamie signed on March 30, 2004 and Frank signed on April 14, 2004 was not the final version. Moreover, Silverstein admitted to substituting the corrected version of the document that includes the Dodgers as Frank’s separate property after April 14, 2004.
Boies pointed to the uncorrected version of the Marital Property Agreement.
“Do you agree with me,” he asked. “If you just look at this language that … they (Dodgers and other assets) are not Frank’s separate property?”
“Yes,” Silverstein answered.