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Quote of the Day - Getting divorced just because you don't love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do. - Zsa Zsa Gabor
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How A Dissent Can Become A Majority Opinion

MIPTC doesn't normally cover divorces - a search for that word on this site will bring up only a few relevant posts.  But this opinion is worth a look.  It involves a deceased construction worker and two women.  One, his second wife (and alleged soon-to-be-ex) and the other, his daughter.  They brought a wrongful death suit, and hit for $1.1 million.  Then the problems came.

They couldn't decide how to divide it up.  The fur started to fly.

Daughter alleged that Dad was going to divorce his second wife (in that capacity for just eight months before he died) because stepmom was a prostitute, and when Dad found out, he was about to send her packing.

At trial, Orange County Superior Court Judge Randall Wilkinson ruled for a 90/10 split, with the winner's share going to daughter.  Needless to say, stepmom appealed, and the Court of Appeal upheld the decision.

But then there was the matter of that blistering 37-page dissent by Presiding Justice David Sills, who said the majority committed "a serious miscarriage of justice" and had "pretty much ignored about 150 years of California case law dealing with wrongful death damages."  Sills thought that it didn't matter whether Dad was going to leave his second wife - he was still married at the time of his death, and argued that the "lion's share" belonged to the second wife because to hold otherwise would restore "fault" to a no-fault divorce state.  Sills' dissent was longer than the main opinion. 

Yesterday, the California Supremes voted unanimously to hear the case, and it's likely Justice Sill's dissent will become their ruling.  What's your prediction?

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Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 21:30 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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