Michael Kump Plays Key Role in Highly Publicized McCourt Trial

Michael Kump represents Jamie McCourt and was one of her primary trial lawyers in the high profile trial that began on August 30, 2010 and ended on September 30, 2010 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The outcome will help determine who owns the Los Angeles Dodgers as between Jamie and her former husband.

Michael has been representing Jamie McCourt since before she filed a marital dissolution action on October 27, 2009 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Jamie and Frank McCourt in February 2004 became the owners of one of the marquee franchises in American sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jamie became the highest ranking woman in Major League Baseball, serving as Vice Chairman in 2004, and then as President in 2005 until she became CEO in 2009.  When the couple separated in 2009, Mr. McCourt took the position that he was the sole owner of the Dodgers based upon a marital property agreement signed in March 2004.

Michael and the rest of Jamie’s legal team asserted in the dissolution action that the marital property agreement was invalid and unenforceable on certain legal grounds. Early in the dissolution action, Honorable Scott M. Gordon scheduled a bench trial for August 30, 2010 on the sole issue of the validity and enforceability of the marital property agreement. The KWIKA team of Michael, Suann MacIsaac and Jonathan Steinsapir handled a substantial portion of the discovery and brief writing for this phase of the dissolution action.

The KWIKA team with the assistance of forensic document examiners made a shocking discovery in mid-July 2010:  the McCourts in 2004 had actually signed two versions of the marital property agreement, the “California version” which excluded the Dodgers from Mr. McCourt’s separate property (thereby preserving Jamie’s marital property rights in the Dodgers), and the “Massachusetts version” which included the Dodgers within his separate property. Prior to this dramatic discovery, the only version offered in evidence by Mr. McCourt was the Massachusetts version, which gave him sole ownership of the Dodgers. As a result of this bombshell discovery, the law firm that had jointly represented the McCourts in connection with the martial property agreement admitted on the eve of trial that one of its partners, after the originals of the agreement had been signed and notarized, switched out the key page in the California version excluding the Dodgers from Mr. McCourt’s separate property with the page from the Massachusetts version that included the Dodgers in his separate property. The law firm never disclosed the switch to Jamie, or to her lawyers or the Court in the dissolution action, until the eve of trial.

The trial began on August 30, 2010 and lasted eleven court days, culminating with closing arguments on September 29, 2010. During the trial, Michael handled two of the key witnesses, conducting the direct examination of the McCourts’ California trusts and estates lawyer, and cross-examining the California lawyer who prepared the marital property agreement and was one of the lawyers representing the couple in connection with the agreement. The case is under submission and Judge Gordon is expected to issue a ruling before the end of the year.

Throughout the trial, Michael was interviewed several times on television and quoted extensively in the media. The following are links to some of the press accounts quoting Michael: