One would have to try hard, you'd think, to undercut oneself in the public eye as effectively as Frank and Jamie McCourt have done. Time and again. The Dodgers owners keep finding new and creative ways to make themselves look the fool. It would be an impressive effort, if it weren’t so sad.
The latest revelation from their tawdry divorce: the pair will spend between $14 million and $19 million on lawyers. One of the most expensive divorces ever in California, and one that has other divorce lawyers shaking their heads (or, more likely, drooling).
(Santa Monica attorney Lynn) Soodik said it was "very unusual" that each of the McCourts has retained multiple law firms. Seven lawyers appeared in court last month for a hearing on whether to postpone the trial date, on the same day other lawyers in the case were said to be conducting a deposition of Jamie McCourt.
Connolly Oyler, another Santa Monica attorney with experience in celebrity divorces, said a total cost of $5 million would be "consistent with most high-profile cases."
Jamie McCourt has asked that Frank pay $8.5 million to two law firms and another $500,000 to the accountants retained to unravel the couple's finances. In a deposition filed last month, Jeff Ingram, the chief operating officer of the McCourt Group, testified that Frank McCourt could need $5 million to $10 million to pay the lawyers and accountants working on his behalf.
Said lawyers, once they get a close look at the McCourts finances, may want to make sure they get that money up front.
What is frustrating for baseball fans in Los Angeles is that the $19 million figure is more than the starting infield of the Dodgers will make this season. Everyone in the Dodger front office sticks with the party line that this does not impact the team on the field, that they can make moves and trades and the divorce will not stop them.
But with the way court records have shown the McCourts used the Dodgers as their private ATM, it’s hard to believe that. Especially after a summer where the Dodgers did not make moves to bring in a free agent second baseman or name starting pitcher. They did pay to keep some of their young talent around a couple more years, but that was not just good business, letting them go would have led to a fan revolt.
And the McCourts need those fans to keep coming to Dodger Stadium. They have bills to pay.