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'What Is Your opinion, if any, of Frank McCourt?'

Defense lawyers of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt ask this and 44 more in a jury questionnaire. The civil trial stems from an attack in the Dodgers Stadium parking lot in March 2011.

Dodgers Stadium. File photo.
Dodgers Stadium. File photo.

A proposed jury questionnaire submitted by Frank McCourt's attorneys, who are preparing to defend him in a civil trial stemming from an attack in the Dodger Stadium parking lot that left a man with permanent brain injuries, directly asks readers for their views of the team's former owner.

"What is your opinion, if any, of Frank McCourt?" is question No. 34 of the proposed 45-question survey filed by his lawyers in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday.

In the questionnaire pitched by the defense, jurors also would be asked in the two immediate questions before that about their opinions of the Dodger organization and Dodger Stadium, and whether they have ever had a negative experience at the facility.

The McCourt attorneys additionally want to probe whether jurors have come to any opinion as to whether plaintiff Bryan Stow should be compensated by McCourt or the Dodgers.

Meanwhile, Stow's lawyers filed a motion asking that new team owner Magic Johnson, former team manager Tommy Lasorda and both current and former Dodger players be excluded from jury selection, opening statements and closing arguments of the trial.

"Their presence in the courtroom will create chaos and distraction," the Stow attorneys' court papers state.  "Finally, their presence will create a substantial danger of unfair prejudice to (Stow)."

Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan from Santa Cruz, was attacked by two Dodger followers after the opening day game on March 31, 2011. A lawsuit filed on the former paramedic's behalf two months later alleges there was insufficient security in place when he was injured.

The questionnaire offered by McCourt's attorneys is not the final version that will be submitted to prospective panelists when the trial begins May 27. That decision will be up to Judge Victor Chavez.

The defense's proposed questionnaire also inquires whether jurors or anyone close to them have ever observed a fight at a sporting event; whether they have views of security in place at sports stadiums and other public arenas; and whether they have heard or read about safety or security at Dodger Stadium.

The jurors would also be asked whether they know anyone with a major illness or disability, or who has physical impairments or suffered injuries as a result of being involved "in a fist fight or altercation."

In still another motion, McCourt's lawyers want to exclude opinions offered in deposition testimony by their client's former wife, Jamie McCourt, concerning security at Dodger Stadium when she was the team's CEO. She recommended improvements that her then-husband thought were too costly, said Stow's lawyer, Thomas Girardi.

McCourt's attorneys have countered that Jamie McCourt was fired from the organization in 2009 and had no knowledge about fan safety in 2011 when Stow was attacked.

Girardi said no person or entity in the current ownership of the Dodgers faces any potential liability.

—City News Service


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