Pashman Stein Walder Hayden has received a ground breaking affirmance of a trial court reopening of a 28-month old Judgment of Divorce and Incorporated Settlement Agreement. In a unanimous 25-page opinion, the court upheld the rights of a wife raised in China who had not immediately perceived the unfairness embedded in her initial Judgement of Divorce. The court reopened the proceeding for a trial even though the Petition to do so was filed more than 28 months after the original Judgement was entered. The Appellate Division affirmed the trial courts 1.4 million dollar judgement for the plaintiff who contended that her husband had cheated her out of her rightful 50% share of the family company assets including those in China and that the out of state matrimonial lawyer hired by her ex-husband to represent her in the initial divorce appearance had failed to protect her interests.
“By affirming the trial courts order award of $1.4 million, including $234,000 in attorney fees, the Appellate Division applied equitable principles of fairness and justice over the rigid interpretations of statutory deadlines that would have created an injustice” said James Plaisted, partner at PSWH, who handled the matter for the firm.