Fried Frank Scores Pro Bono Victory for Abuse Victim

The Firm scored a major victory for client Alice M.  Alice sued her husband for divorce claiming an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage after suffering years of extreme physical abuse including vicious beatings and rapes.  Ultimately, Alice's husband Terrance T. was convicted of first degree rape for raping Alice, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.  In the divorce action, Terrance countersued for divorce for cause, claiming that Alice had abused him by falsely accusing him of rape, and he counterclaimed for equitable distribution of the marital assets—a modest retirement fund Alice earned by putting herself through college and gaining employment while Terrance was incarcerated.  In a 46 page decision, Justice Sunshine of Kings County ruled that, due to egregious fault in repeatedly and viciously assaulting his wife, Terence is entitled to no recovery and is not entitled to a divorce for cause.  Thus, Alice is entitled to 100% of the marital assets including her pension fund (she is a city worker).  This was an unusual ruling because typically, fault is not considered in dividing the marital property.