X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A nasty fight over $1.1 million between a dead man’s daughter from a former marriage and his second wife — allegedly a prostitute whom he was planning to divorce — has landed in the state Supreme Court. Though the details read like a TV soap opera, the case actually contains serious issues about spousal rights and wrongful death actions. All six permanent justices voted Wednesday to hear it. Soon after crane operator Raymond Corder died in a construction accident in May 2001, Shaoping “Sherry” Corder — his wife of eight months — and Lisa Corder — his adult daughter from a first marriage — filed wrongful death actions that were consolidated. The two got a $1.1 million settlement, but couldn’t agree how to apportion it. At a subsequent trial, Lisa Corder presented evidence that she and her father were very close and that he had been preparing to divorce his new wife because she allegedly was working as a prostitute against his wishes. Giving the seemingly imminent divorce great weight, Orange County Superior Court Judge Randell Wilkinson allocated 90 percent of the settlement money to Corder’s daughter and 10 percent to his second wife. In a divided opinion, Santa Ana’s 4th District Court of Appeal on Sept. 26 upheld Wilkinson’s ruling. “The evidence credited by the court showed that at the time of Raymond’s death, Sherry had a reasonable expectation of perhaps four months of spousal support from a husband who had concluded it was a mistake to have entered the marriage,” Justice Raymond Ikola wrote. “The court found as a factual matter that the marriage was on the verge of ending, and it is not our role to second-guess that determination.” Justice Kathleen O’Leary concurred, but in a tempestuous 37-page dissent, Justice David Sills accused his colleagues of committing “a serious miscarriage of justice” and said they had “pretty much ignored about 150 years of California case law dealing with wrongful death damages.” Sills also argued that Ikola and O’Leary were, in effect, bringing back fault divorce — a concept abolished by the state Legislature more than 30 years ago — and said the two were just plain wrong in allocating the money based on evidence of Corder’s intent to leave his wife. “Underlying the trial court’s decision was the assumption that because of the wife’s fault, her support would have been less,” he wrote. “Perhaps that was the law 30 years ago, but today a divorced spouse who has acted badly during the marriage still has a greater legal entitlement to support than a self-supporting adult daughter!” Attorneys for neither side could be reached Wednesday. Sherry Corder is represented by El Segundo, Calif., lawyer John Heubeck, while Lisa Corder’s attorney is Ronald Harrington, of Newport Beach, Calif. The case is Corder v. Corder, S138666.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.