In re Marriage of Estes

929 P.2d 500 (1997)

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In re Marriage of Estes

Court of Appeals of Washington
929 P.2d 500 (1997)

Facts

Yong Estes (plaintiff) and Ronald Estes (defendant) were married for 10 years and had no children. Yong worked as a part-time bank teller, while Ronald had a successful career as an attorney. At the time of separation, Ronald had five or more personal-injury cases that were based on contingency fees, which are fee that ties an attorney’s compensation to a percentage of the client’s award in the event that the client is successful. The trial court placed no value on those contingency-fee cases and awarded those cases to Ronald as separate property. Following the entry of the dissolution decree, Yong moved for reconsideration. Yong’s motion for reconsideration was denied, and she filed an appeal. Less than two months after the dissolution decree was entered, Ronald obtained a settlement in one of the contingency-fee cases, and his contingency fee totaled $178,640.72. Upon learning of the settlement agreement, Yong moved to vacate the dissolution decree due to newly discovered evidence that allegedly showed Ronald had misrepresented the value of the case. The motion was denied, and Yong appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Schultheis, C.J.)

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