After several weeks of trial, months of media spotlight, thousands of dollars in court costs and attorney's fees, and much heated disagreement between all involved, the McCourt divorce may come down to one little word.

Larry Silverstein, the Massachusetts attorney that prepared the McCourts' highly-contested property agreement, testified last week that he changed the agreement after the document was signed by both Frank and Jamie McCourt. Although at first glance the change he made appears to be minor - changing the word 'exclusive' to 'inclusive - when taken in context, it completely changes the nature of the couple's property division.

The McCourts purchased the LA Dodgers in 2004, which prompted the 2004 property agreement that is now in dispute. In the agreement as altered by Silverstein, the Dodgers are described as inclusive of Frank's separate property, effectively giving him full ownership of the team. The original document described the team as exclusive of Frank's separate property, which would divide the team between the McCourts under California's community property laws. There are six copies of the agreement in evidence, three of which contain the altered language.

Attorneys for Jamie McCourt claim that she never intended to surrender ownership rights to the Dodgers and that Silverstein changed the word against her wishes and without her knowledge. According to Silverstein, his actions in altering the document were simply to correct an error he made in drafting the original document. He claims the change was in fulfillment of both McCourts' desire to put their homes in Jamie's name and all business assets in Frank's name.

Jamie's attorneys are urging Judge Scott M. Gordon to throw out the agreement completely, which would likely result in a sale of the team. The McCourts will return to court this week after a failed attempt at court-ordered mediation.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Attorney acknowledged changing key word in contested property agreement between McCourts", Bill Shaikin and Carla Hall, 21 September 2010