The McCourt trial is on hold today as the parties meet in a mediation. Josh over at Dodger Divorce provides a brief rundown of what’s happening and what’s at stake (and if you care about this subject at all you should be reading him every day anyway).
I rarely had good results in mediation when I was practicing. Sometimes because I was a crappy negotiator. Sometimes because my clients were insane. Sometimes because the mediator himself just didn’t do a good job. Sometimes because the conciliatory nature and unfamiliar mechanics of it all are so hard to get into after you’ve been fighting tooth and nail for weeks. As a result I’m rather skeptical of mediation.
But I think the key thing here is that both sides bled some this week. Frank because his lawyer admitted to switching documents around, which is never a good thing and could conceivably be seen as evidence that he tried to muscle Jamie out of Dodgers ownership through less than kosher methods. Jamie because, well, let’s face it, her dumb act (“what’s a document?”) simply isn’t plausible, and if you doubt her when she says how ignorant she is about the agreement in question, you must necessarily give less weight to the whole document switching business.
Settlements don’t happen when people are at each others’ throats. They often do happen when people see their own case get beat up a bit in court, and realize the risks they face. I’m still not terrible optimistic given that it’s Frank and Jamie we’re talking about and each of them have shown wide, wide streaks of irrationality and greed throughout this saga. But there is hope.