MLB withdraws motion to disqualify Dodgers' lawyers

Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:31pm EDT

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Los Angeles Dodgers will be allowed to continue to use its lawyers to represent it in its bankruptcy petition, a day after the Major League Baseball withdrew a motion to disqualify the team's lawyers.

In court papers filed with a bankruptcy court in Delaware, the league said it was withdrawing its motion on the suggestion of the court appointed mediator.

Last month, the league had said the team's lawyers -- Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP and Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP -- were putting the interest of the owner, Frank McCourt, ahead of the baseball team they represent and should be disqualified.

Joseph Farnan, a retired federal judge, was appointed mediator last week to try to settle the battle for control of the league against team owner Frank McCourt.

In response to the league withdrawing its motion, Dodgers said the withdrawal was "appropriate" and "ends an unnecessary attempt by MLB to divert the focus in these bankruptcy proceedings from maximizing the value of its estate."

In a separate filing on Tuesday, Fox Sports, a division of News Corp , objected to the proposed auction of the right to broadcast Dodgers' games, in a bid to bring in billions of dollars.

In September, the Dodgers proposed an auction of the rights to broadcast its games. The auction is expected to bring in billions of dollars to stabilize the team's long-term finances and allow it to emerge from bankruptcy.

Last month, Fox had sued the team to stop the proposed sale of television rights and had said any steps taken by the team to sell media rights would be in violation of its current broadcast agreement with Fox.

In order to conduct the auction, the team had to break its current broadcast agreement with Fox, which grants Fox exclusive negotiating rights till November 2012.

The team filed for bankruptcy in June after Major League Baseball's commissioner, Bud Selig, rejected a proposed $3 billion, 17-year media rights deal with Fox.

The case is In re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware, No. 11-12010.