Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dodgers Can Keep Lawyers, MLB Says, Ending Bid to Fire Firm

The Los Angeles Dodgers can keep using the two law firms that filed the team’s bankruptcy petition, Major League Baseball said, dropping an effort to have the attorneys fired.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig withdrew the motion to disqualify Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware, said last week that he didn’t “think very highly” of the effort.

In a court filing last night, Major League Baseball said it decided to drop the attempt to fire the attorneys at the suggestion of a mediator who has been trying to negotiate a settlement between Frank McCourt, the team’s owner, and Selig.

Major League Baseball had said the law firms should be removed because they were representing McCourt’s interests and not those of the Dodgers. The team accused Major League Baseball of attacking the law firms to distract the attorneys as they prepared to defend McCourt’s plans to sell television rights to Dodger games.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy in June after Selig refused to approve a new television contract McCourt had negotiated with the current broadcaster, News Corp.’s Fox Sports.

Gross this month will hold a hearing to decide whether to grant Selig’s request to force McCourt to sell the team or to let McCourt try again to sell TV broadcast rights. Gross has said he expects both Selig and McCourt to testify at the hearing, scheduled to start Oct. 31.

The bankruptcy case is In re Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, 11- 12010, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

By Steven Church,

Source: Businessweek

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