If you’ve messed up and managed to get married without an airtight prenup, you’re going to have a messy divorce. Unless you have a fairy tale romance that can never be torn asunder, but statistically you don’t, so you should be planning for divorce. And congratulations to our gay brothers and sisters — with Illinois joining the 21st century this week as the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage, you too will soon have to begin planning for divorces.
But when you get divorced, who should you hire to represent you? One publication has compiled its list of the 10 divorce lawyers you don’t want across the table from you….
The publication is Ask Men, which raises the question: if divorce is, predominately, about placing men on the defensive, is there such a thing as a divorce defense attorney? Shouldn’t there be a corresponding list highlighting the lawyers who successfully staved off money-grabbing lawyers and limited their clients to modest payouts? Unfortunately, a good divorce defense lawyer is one who keeps the case out of the news, so when it comes to knowing those folks, like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know.
This story is a little older, but Ask Men is hyping it again (or at least unwittingly getting it back on the first page of Google) and it crossed our desk. Who do you think the most dangerous divorce attorneys are? Because Ask Men thinks it’s these folks:
10. Robert Stephan Cohen — He scored Christie Brinkley’s big divorce win over Billy Joel. But he also protected her assets in her later divorce from nobody Peter Cook. So maybe this guy is the divorce defense lawyer we’re looking for! Or maybe not, since the Cook divorce was basically a lay up since Cook cheated on the supermodel with a teenager. You’d wonder why anyone would cheat on Christie Brinkley…
…and they shouldn’t, but you watch an episode of Community and see Chevy Chase, remember that this scene was 33 years ago, and suddenly you see why a philanderer might step out even though they shouldn’t.
9. William S. Beslow — Patricia Duff’s lawyer when she divorced Ronald Perelman. I always have to remind myself that this is “billionaire Ronald Perelman of Revlon” and not the much more interesting Ron Perlman of Sons of Anarchy. I doubt Beslow could best Hellboy. Beslow has also represented Mia Farrow, Linda Evangelista, Marla Maples, and Demi Moore, and since the original Ask Men article, Beslow jumped into the George Soros-Adriana Ferreyr split. They weren’t even married, so if Beslow can get anything out of that, he’s should move much higher up this list.
8. Earle Lilly — A lawyer went after A-Rod and won. Excuse me for not being impressed, but as the performance-enhancing drug scandal evolves, it looks like A-Rod routinely fails against lawyers like they’re pitchers in a clutch situation.
7. Gloria Allred — G-L-O-R-I-A Glorrrria! Of course the preeminent publicity lawyer would make this list. This is a good time to remind everyone that Staci would absolutely love to interview Gloria Allred, so if you know how to help make Staci’s dream come true, let us know.
6. Dennis Wasser — Wasser represented Melissa Mathison when Harrison Ford divorced her so he could bone Ally McBeal. Wasser helped Mathison secure $118 million and future royalties from the movies Ford made during the marriage. Since that included the Jack Ryan movies, and a couple of Indy films, and absolutely did not include Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Wasser did right by his client.
5. Sandra Davis — Stepping across the Pond, Sandra Davis negotiated Princess Diana’s settlement in her divorce from Prince Charles. She also represented Jerry Hall when the latter broke up with Mick Jagger. Only David Bowie came out of a relationship with Jagger better off than Hall.
4. Donald Schiller — Schiller represented Juanita Jordan and took Michael to the hoop like he was Washington Wizards-vintage Jordan. I’d be impressed with Schiller’s acumen, but I’ve seen the Bobcats front office and I think screwing Michael in a negotiation is like taking candy from a baby. I mean, Michael Jordan wouldn’t even bet on Michael Jordan’s negotiating skill.
3. Fiona Shackleton — First of all, she’s a Baroness.
OK, maybe not that Baroness, but it’s still cool. Shackleton represented Heather Mills when she decided she didn’t need Paul McCartney when he was 64. They broke up a month before he reached the age of the musical question.
2. Daniel Jaffe — Jaffe took over a billion from Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch didn’t notice.
1. Sorrell Trope — Of the predictable law firm of Trope and Trope. His success stories include representing Britney Spears, Nicole Kidman, and Elin Nordegren. Not a bad run. If only he could get Britney out of conservatorship.
And Business Insider, no stranger to the practice of creating top 10 lists to get readers to click through 10 slides, joined the party with a list of their own. The significant differences are the inclusion of Dennis Wasser’s partner Laura Wasser who represented Britney Spears as well; Mark Vincent Kaplan, who represented Federline and J.Lo’s ex, Chris Judd; Ira Elegant, who represented Shaq; Raoul Felder, who represented Giuliani when he screwed over Donna Hanover like she was a poor minority living in New York; and, Bernard E. Clair, who represented some billionaires.
Not sure where William Zabel is on either of these lists, since that’s who I’d think of if I was thinking of divorce lawyers. Maybe if he snatches a billion or so from Rupert Murdoch he can make the list next time around.
Top 10: Lawyers You Don’t Want To See In Divorce Court [Ask Men]
10 Lawyers You Don’t Want Representing Your Spouse In A Divorce [Business Insider]