Jamie McCourt

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Jamie D. McCourt (born December 5, 1953)[1] is a businesswoman and investor. She is also a former Co-Owner and executive of the Los Angeles Dodgers. She became the highest ranking woman in Major League Baseball, appointed first as Vice Chairman of the Dodgers in 2004, then as President in 2005, and finally as CEO in 2009.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Jamie McCourt (née Luskin) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, to Jewish parents.[4] Her father, Jack Luskin, ran the Luskin's chain of appliance stores in Maryland.[5] As a 17-year-old freshman at Georgetown University, she met Frank McCourt, whom she would marry in 1979. She earned a degree in French at Georgetown University (1975), a law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law (1978) and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.[6]

She relocated from Boston to Los Angeles in 2004 with her husband and their four sons, Drew, Travis, Casey, and Gavin.[7] She joined the Dodgers' front-office organization as an executive after the team was acquired.[8]

Career[edit]

For fifteen years she was a practicing attorney, engaged in international and securities law in New York as well as in corporate, real estate, and family law in Boston. She then spent ten years as vice president and general counsel of the McCourt Co., the family real estate development firm in Boston.

Beside her legal and real estate work, she also taught classes at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She sponsored the 2009 Maccabiah Games, is a trustee of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and in 2009 was appointed a trustee of the University of Southern California.[9] For her philanthropy to Jewish causes, in 2006 she received the National Scopus Award from the American Friends of The Hebrew University. In 2008, the Los Angeles Business Journal named Frank and Jamie McCourt the “Power Couple of the Year”.

In September 2008, the McCourts purchased the Los Angeles Marathon.[10]

McCourt divorce/Dodgers ownership dispute[edit]

In October and November 2009 the McCourts separated and later commenced divorce proceedings. Their respective attorneys publicly identified a dispute as to whether the Dodgers assets were community property (i.e. owned 50% by Jamie McCourt), or were separate property, 100% owned by Frank McCourt.[11] The team and stadium assets were purchased for $430 million in 2004 and were valued at $722 million in 2009 (according to Forbes), a theoretical increase in value of $292 million (68%) in five years.[12]

On October 22, 2009, Frank fired Jamie from her position as CEO of the Dodgers.[13]

Jamie McCourt was represented in the divorce by trial lawyer David Boies, with assistance from Wasser, Cooperman & Carter.[14]On December 7, 2010, Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that a postnuptial agreement giving Frank McCourt sole ownership was invalid due to switched documents proving Jamie's 50% ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.[15]

On June 17, 2011, Frank and Jamie reached agreement on a settlement, which was contingent upon Major League Baseball approving a 17-year television contract between the Dodgers and FOX Television. The discussion set aside the Dodgers ownership issue until a scheduled one day trial on August 4, whereupon if the Judge sided with Frank he would keep the team and pay a settlement fee to Jamie and if the Judge sided with her the team would be sold.[16] However, on June 20, baseball rejected the television deal and the settlement agreement fell apart.[17] On June 27, 2011 the team filed bankruptcy papers and led to a bitter dispute between Frank and the Baseball Commissioner over the future of the team.

On October 17, 2011, it was announced that the McCourts had reached a settlement dividing their assets equally whereby Jamie McCourt would receive about $130 million and renounce her claims on the team. This settlement ended what is widely believed to be the costliest divorce in California history.[18]

When Frank sold the Dodgers three months later for a record $2 billion, Jamie claimed she was defrauded and petitioned the court to throw out the settlement and award her $770 million.[19] However, the Judge denied her motion and ruled that she is not entitled to more than the original settlement.[20] The Judge's ruling was affirmed on appeal on February 24, 2015, with the appellate court holding in pertinent part: "Jamie simply chose the security of a guaranteed $131 million payment, plus more than $50 million in real and personal property, over the uncertainty and risk presented by the valuation and sale of the Dodger Assets."[21]

After baseball[edit]

Since her divorce, Ms. McCourt has spent her time on her own company, Jamie Enterprises, as well as various community endeavors. She also was a visiting professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.[22] In 2012, Jamie was among those who helped LACMA raise $2.8 million to acquire new artworks at the museum's annual Collectors Committee weekend.[23] In 2013, she bought a vineyard estate in Napa Valley, California for $11.25 million with the intention of both living there part-time and continuing to produce the property's wine.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ "Dodgers promote Jamie McCourt, Dennis Mannion". 
  3. ^ Jamie McCourt gets Dodgers promotion, USA Today, March 17, 2009.
  4. ^ Hall, Carla (2010-08-23). "A baseball love story veers off the base paths". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  5. ^ USA Today article 8/23/05
  6. ^ Biodata at University of Maryland webpage
  7. ^ Susan Josephs, "Bringing Women Into Baseball", Jewish Woman Magazine
  8. ^ Greg Risling, [1], statesman.com.
  9. ^ Jamie McCourt Joins USC Board of Trustees, USC Press Release, June 26, 2009.
  10. ^ Los Angeles Business Journal, Jan 5, 2009
  11. ^ "Separated McCourts Both Claim Ownership of the Dodgers", Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2009
  12. ^ Forbes: the Business of Baseball
  13. ^ Dodgers' Frank McCourt fires wife as CEO
  14. ^ [2] Los Angeles Times March 8, 2010, "Jamie McCourt retains famed trial lawyer David Boies"
  15. ^ McCourt Divorce: Judge Rules Jamie McCourt Is Co-Owner Of Dodgers The Huffington Post
  16. ^ McCourts reach divorce settlement
  17. ^ Commish: TV deal not in Dodgers' best interests
  18. ^ Frank and Jamie McCourt reach settlement involving Dodgers
  19. ^ Jamie McCourt wants $770 million from ex-husband
  20. ^ Jamie McCourt not entitled to more
  21. ^ Appellate opinion from the Second Appellate District of the Court of Appeal of the State of California, Court of Appeal Case No. B254182
  22. ^ Jamie Enterprises bio
  23. ^ Industry Power Players Help LACMA Raise $2.8 million to Acquire New Artworks
  24. ^ Jamie McCourt gets back to her Parisian roots -- buys Napa vineyard
  25. ^ Former Dodgers CEO Pays $11.25 Million for Napa Vineyard Estate

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bob Graziano
President of the Los Angeles Dodgers
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Dennis Mannion