As we mentioned yesterday, today the court-appointed mediator in the McCourt divorce case is going to propose settlement terms to Frank and Jamie. Thom Loverro of ESPN 980 in Washington tweeted late last night that a source is telling him that the proposal from the mediator is going to favor Jamie, and will have her in an ownership position with the Dodgers.
This could cut any number of ways. It’s possible that it’s a signal to the parties that the judge is inclined to rule in Jamie’s favor. It’s also possible, however, that it bears no relation to the ultimate ruling. The job of a mediator, after all, is to try to get the parties to settle, and a proposal that showed Jamie with no ownership interest at all would likely kill any incentive to settle on Frank’s part. All I can say for sure is that, based on my experience as a litigator, it’s not always useful to attempt to use a mediator’s proposals as tea leaves for the ultimate outcome. He may not know the judge’s thinking, for one thing. Or, if the does, he may more interested in trying to counter what he feels to be the parties’ relative willingness to settle. And sometimes, you’ll be shocked to know, mediators have their heads up their rear. But I’ll leave my personal feelings on alternative dispute resolution out of this for the time being.
But the report is out there. And according to yesterday’s reports, if Frank and Jamie don’t settle, the ruling could quickly follow, possibly as soon as next week.