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McCourt ex loses out on big money in high-profile divorce

If residents of New Orleans do not think a savvy divorce attorney is necessary to navigate the intricate landscape of a high-asset divorce, they should familiarize themselves with the recent case between Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife.

There are many components to consider in a high-asset divorce and one wrong move can leave one side out in the cold. This happened in this high-profile divorce case that put Frank McCourt's ownership of the professional baseball team in jeopardy.

McCourt's wife also owned interest in the Los Angeles Dodgers, which dragged the team into the divorce proceedings. However, the lawyer for McCourt's wife accepted a deal that netted her $131 million if she relinquished her interest in the baseball team, which she did. It might have seemed like a good deal, but in hindsight, McCourt ended up winning big. He turned around and sold the Dodgers for a whopping $2.15 billion price tag after their divorce, leaving the wife out of the deal.

How did McCourt's wife and her lawyer feel about the latest news? Both of them were unavailable for comment.

Experts appraised the value of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the discovery phase of the divorce. Their results ranged from $900 million and $1.3 billion. Law experts also point to the fact that bad appraisal advice might have contributed to the way things played out.

During negotiations over the team, the stock market was also slumping. This could have suggested to the lawyer that the value of the team would plummet during these economically tough times.

Still, law experts that understand these types of cases are not necessarily heaping the blame on the lawyer or any individual in particular. For all they know, McCourt's wife might still consider this a good deal. It allowed her to move on instead of being dragged through a continuing litigation that would have had a negative effect on her remaining finances.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "Jamie McCourt's Share: Baseball's Worst Deal?" Ashby Jones, March 28, 2012

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