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Marriage of Georgiou & Leslie
California Court of Appeal
160 Cal. Rptr. 3d 254 (2013)
Leslie (plaintiff) and Georgiou (defendant) were married. Georgiou worked for a law firm. Georgiou earned 10-percent fees on cases in which Georgiou secured the client. In 2002, Georgiou signed the plaintiff in the Enron securities case. In 2003, Georgiou filed a petition for dissolution of the marriage. In 2007, Leslie and Georgiou signed a marital settlement agreement. At the time, Leslie knew of Georgiou’s fee agreement and that the firm had collected over $7 billion from Enron. Leslie estimated that the fee for the Enron case would be between $9 and $33 million, and that Georgiou planned to argue for his full 10-percent fee. Under the settlement agreement, Leslie agreed to take 10 percent of the Enron fee. In December 2007, the court granted dissolution, incorporating the agreement. In 2008, a court awarded Georgiou’s law firm $688 million in attorneys’ fees in the Enron case. The firm paid Georgiou a nine percent fee. Pursuant to the marital settlement agreement, Georgiou paid Leslie $4 million in September 2008. In December 2010, Leslie filed a motion to set aside the dissolution judgment based on (1) Georgiou’s failure to fully disclose the value of his fee, and (2) a breach of the fiduciary duty regarding the management of marital property. Georgiou filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion based on (1) the one-year statute of limitations for motions to set aside a judgment of dissolution on the ground of failure to fully disclose the value of marital assets, and (2) the fact that a claim for breach of the fiduciary duty does not apply in a post-marital dissolution judgment action. Leslie appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McConnell, J.)
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