Shirley’s Justice

After a week away from home, Shirley (pictured right) returned to find her husband in a particularly foul mood and very aggressive towards her and her son, then 10, and three-year-old daughter.  Before she knew what was happening, Shirley’s husband rushed at her, stabbed her repeatedly in the chest— in front of her children—and left her for dead with a knife protruding from her body.  Her husband was arrested and served four years in jail for the assault.

Referred to Her Justice by a social services agency, Shirley sought a divorce, custody of her children, child support and her fair share of their marital property.  Her Justice placed the case with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.  Shirley’s case was complex and, due to several issues in the courts, including lost paperwork and erroneous decisions, the case was drawn out for several years.

When Shirley finally received the court’s decision two years after the trial, it was clear to her attorneys that the case had been mishandled by the judge, who had not taken into consideration legal precedent that allows egregious actions, such as her husband’s stabbing attack, to be taken into account when distributing marital property.  Notwithstanding that her husband pleaded guilty and was sentenced to prison, the court held that their home should be divided equally between Shirley and the man who had tried to kill her.  Realizing an appeal was necessary, Fried Frank assigned the case to first-year associate Amanda Giglio, (pictured left), who, with ongoing counsel from Her Justice, proceeded to resolve this and other issues that had been dragging on in the courts.

Finally, after an eloquent oral argument by Amanda, the court reversed the initial decision regarding the distribution of the marital home, awarding Shirley 95% of the equity in the home and her husband only 5% – actually securing precedent in this case, as no court had ever reversed a trial court’s decision because of egregious fault.  Fried Frank also won Shirley an additional $30,000 in past due child support which the trial court had failed to include in its arrears calculation.

Shirley’s case is now resolved.  Without Her Justice and Fried Frank, Shirley would have been in an untenable financial situation.  Despite ongoing health issues as a result of her injuries, Shirley is safe, financially independent and secure in her own home with her son and teenage daughter.