ELIN HIRES HIGH POWERED LAWYER
Elin has reportedly hired high powered California attorney Sorrell Trope to represent her when she takes Tiger to the cleaners. Mr. Trope is a partner in Los Angeles based Trope and Trope which is located at 12121 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 801 Los Angeles, California 90025, (Los Angeles Co.)
On their company website, Sorrell and Sorrell boasts of having over “400 years of legal experience in Family Law” and they claim that “more than half our lawyers have been honored in SuperLawyers Magazine.” (To give you some perspective, Ira Sorkin who represented Bernie Madoff in his ponzi scheme is a superlawyer!) That doesn’t come cheap, for sure.
The $64 million dollar question is, Will Tiger have to pay for Elin’s attorney fees? On top of the reported $500 million she’s gunning for?
Sorrel has represented other high powered celebs such as Carey Grant (allegedly) Nicole Kidman and Britney Spears in their divorces. He’s been practicing law since right after the second world war (in Jamaican that’s since Whappee killed Phillip)….Well, the firm has been in existence since then, and yes, he was a founding partner. That’s impressive when you think about it. Right?
So is Tiger going to have to pay for all this? Well, did Elin Nordegren have a job outside the home or was she a housewife only? If the Swedish bombshell was only a housewife, then it is highly conceivable that her high powered lawyers will be paid for by her husband Mr. Tiger Woods. If she asks for attorney’s fees–which you can bet your bottom dollar Trope will–Elin will probably get it. Those bad boys are going to exact as much money as they possibly can from the billionaire athlete of the year. That much you can take to the bank. They are going to milk that cash cow like nobody’s business, and because of all this bad press, the judge will likely find a way to grant their requests.
Sure, Elin may have separate accounts from which to pay her own attorney’s fees. She was rumored to have received a lump sum payment of $5 million right after the story broke that Tiger had had an accident. That would be her “separate” property and certainly, his camp could argue that she can afford to pay her attorney’s fees from it. But I doubt Sorrell will have that. No way.
The big question I have with her choosing them is, can they even bring the case in California? The New York Post seems to think not. And they have a point. The Woodses are residents of Florida it would seem. But I don’t think residency in a matrimonial action is about where you spend most of your time in every circumstance. It’s a question of are you a resident here or not? Do you have a home here? Do you pay state taxes here? What is your nexus to this state? What contacts do you have to this state? Strategically, the first hurdle Sorrell will jump over is that Elin qualifies as a California resident. I don’t think that should be too difficult if, as is being reported, they own a home in California. If, cumulatively, she spends at least 5-6 months in California per year, and if they pay taxes, and if they have any ties to the state, I think they can argue she’s a resident of California and she will be able to file. But depending on who you talk to, you will get a different answer to this question. Surely, if Elin did hire Sorrell, you know what their argument is going to be….I wonder how she selected them? I wonder if they ambulance chased her, or what?…in any event, if she can’t file for divorce in California, she can always just file for separation and stay in California for six months and convert the seperation to a divorce. No big whoop.
Anyways. The idea with the monied spouse paying attorney’s fees is to level the playing field in a divorce action. It has been deemed “inequitable” to have one spouse afford the services of a lawyer who charges upwards of $600 per hour (with very thick carpets in their lobby to boot) and have the other spouse with a lawyer who charges $250 per hour (with a virtual office), or even less, just because that spouse is not the breadwinner in the family. Is there any dispute who the breadwinner is in the Woods family?
FYI: The amount of money a lawyer charges per hour is often equated to his or her “experience” or certainly the perceived experience and expertise. You are not, for example, going to find a rookie fresh out of law school charging $600 per hour, as a general rule. Nobody would pay that for a wet-behind-the-ears attorney. At the same time, just because a lawyer has 60 years of practice under his belt necessarily doesn’t mean he’s that much better than the rookie. In fact, younger lawyers may be more plugged in to current law and technology given that they recently passed the bar, which would give them an edge over older lawyers – sometimes. Not surprisingly, some of these older guys don’t even know how to send an email.
In any event, there is a good chance that Tiger will be paying Elin’s attorney’s fees. You can bet her lawyers will ask for it when the time comes. How much are we talking about? Well, if we go to trial? We are looking at about $250K to 500K depending on how messy this gets.
Those lawyers are not stupid. They will make sure to push this as far as they can. Oh, and another thing is, they are going to challenge the prenup if there is one. No matter how airtight it seems on the surface, they will mount a challenge to it. Why not? Tiger is footing the bill. What the hell do they care if in the end, they lose?
ELIN HIRES HIGH POWERED LAWYER