As all divorce attorneys in Pasadena know, even though the financial fate of a divorcee is ultimately up to a judge to decide, there are some exes who just can't get over losing their fortunes - and some of them go on to blame their lawyers. Nobel prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz is one of those guys; he's now suing his ex-divorce lawyer, alleging that the lawyer's failure to file divorce papers in time cost Stiglitz a chunk of his $300,000 Nobel Prize money.
Jury selection started last week in the professional negligence trial filed by Stiglitz against Rita M. Bank of Ain & Bank in Washington. According to court papers, the trial is scheduled to last six days and will feature testimony from Stiglitz as well as lawyers from New York and Washington. Stiglitz says he lost more than $5 million because Bank concealed the fact that she met with Jane Hannaway, Stiglitz's second wife. The suit claims Hannaway and Bank met to discuss a potential divorce before Stiglitz hired her in 2000. Hannaway filed for divorce in 2002. Bank has denied the allegations and has refused to comment about the case. Stiglitz claims he repeatedly asked Bank to file divorce papers in 2000 and 2001 but she never granted his request. By stalling for time, the lawsuit suggests, Hannaway was then able to stake claim in his Nobel Prize money which he co-won in 2001. Stiglitz's case alleges that he could have saved "millions of dollars in legal fees, expert fees and future incomes and royalties" had Banks filed for divorce in a timely manner. He is seeking $1 million in damages from Banks.
Stiglitz is an acclaimed author and will be sworn in as the International Economic Association president this week. He was married for a third time in 2004 to Anya Schiffrin.