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Marriage of McTiernan & Dubrow

Court of Appeals of California
133 Cal. App. 4th 1090 (2005)


Facts

John McTiernan (plaintiff) and Donna Dubrow (defendant) were married in November 1988. McTiernan was a movie director before he and Dubrow married. McTiernan maintained a career as a movie director during his and Dubrow’s marriage, as well as after the couple separated. Dubrow was a production company executive. McTiernan earned approximately $15 million during the course of his marriage to Dubrow. Dubrow earned approximately $1 million during the course of the marriage. McTiernan was highly regarded in his capacity as a movie director, and his success and skill level afforded him a measureable expectation of future business. Using the excess-earnings model, the trial court determined the value of McTiernan’s goodwill to be $1.5 million. This model compared each of the McTiernan’s individual earnings against the earnings of an average peer. McTiernan’s goodwill was deemed to be an asset subject to division in the martial-dissolution proceeding between McTiernan and Dubrow. McTiernan appealed the trial court’s ruling.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Flier, J.)

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Concurrence (Boland, J.)

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Concurrence/Dissent (Cooper, J.)

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