Love and Money

     Money can’t buy you love.
     It can, however, buy you lots of litigation.
     Those of you who might enjoy a bit of sort-of-celebrity voyeurism but want it without feeling intellectually empty should check out a ruling from a California appeals court called In re Marriage of Hill & Dittmer.
     Here we have the heart-wrenching tale of a woman who signed a prenuptial agreement thinking that her husband was worth a mere $40 million when, in fact, he might have been lying and was worth quite a bit more.
     The tragedy is compounded by the fact that the wife was worth only $10 million when she married the creep and agreed to his chintzy terms.
     I won’t spoil the tale for you, but, to justify the time spent on voyeurism, I direct your attention to an appendix to the ruling that contains part of the parties’ prenuptial agreement. Some of you might want to use this (or avoid this) as a template for your clients.
     Here’s an ironic excerpt:
     “The parties agree that they would marry each other and enter into this agreement regardless of the nature, extent and value of each other’s assets, liabilities, income or expenses….”
     But that doesn’t mean their lawyers agree.
     Meanwhile, a would-be husband has sued a woman for fraud in Los Angeles Superior Court (BC476475). He says he spent more than $215,000 on “gifts, vacations, cosmetic surgeries and dentistry, and rent” and she didn’t even move in with him.
     Her “repeated promises of love and affection for plaintiff were disingenuous, and (her) repeated promises to move into plaintiff’s residence and co-habitate with him and to entertain the possibility of marriage to plaintiff were false when made.”
     Clearly this was someone who thought money can buy you love. Or maybe love can get you money. It’s an interesting chicken/egg issue.
     Warning to women dating rich guys: if they can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on you, they can also afford lawyers.
     The advent of pre-dating agreements may soon be upon us.
     
     MEL BROOKS BIAS. Here’s a hypothetical for those of you needing to brush up on workplace bias rules.
     A black deputy sheriff on probation gets fired after installing some non-issue lights, failing to check the wiring in his patrol car, and using the car to go to the gym.
     Some white deputies on probation don’t get fired after, among other things, driving unsafely, causing an accident, and having problems with prisoner control.
     The white guy who replaced the black guy struggled with decisions and completing reports and ran into a suspect’s vehicle. He’s still got his job.
     Grounds for a discrimination suit?
     Umm….
     Check out Harris v. Warrick County Sheriff’s Department from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit for the surprise answer.
     After all, ignoring a few rules and crashing into suspects aren’t really comparable, so how could this be discrimination?
     “(W)e do not sit as a super-personnel department to determine which employment infractions deserve greater punishment,” said the rulings.
     So to avoid discrimination, treat employees as differently as possible.
     Reasonable as that might be, I think this plaintiff might have done better if he hadn’t claimed that he was harassed because some detectives watched Blazing Saddles in his presence.
     I would have fired the guy for dissing Blazing Saddles too.

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