In Hollywood there is a small circle of lawyers who handle the superstar divorces. The last time Tom Cruise got unhitched he used Dennis Wasser, a mega divorce lawyer who filed first and managed the whole deal. Nicole Kidman was blindsided, she said. But lawyering up in Hollywood for divorce is common. So Katie Holmes’s choice of New Jersey lawyer Jonathan Wolfe is very interesting. For one thing, Wolfe filed in New York. So there won’t be a typical Hollywood situation. Katie has managed to go way outside that small circle where Cruise has power, influence and friends. In New York, he’s not a player and there’s no community for him to play in. It was very smart.
Katie’s father and brother, attorneys in Toledo, Ohio, no doubt had a hand in this strategy. Wolfe has an impressive background. His career started at the very heavy Manhattan firm of Milbank Tweed. He’s not a lightweight. His bio reads: “Mr. Wolfe utilizes his background in financial disputes to represent leaders or the spouses of leaders from the business, professional and entertainment/sports communities in complex matrimonial matters. A significant portion of his practice is devoted to business valuation, the treatment of trust assets in divorce and the protection of non-marital assets. He also assists clients in all other aspects of matrimonial and family law, including custody, parenting time, and the negotiation and preparation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.”
It’s not clear whether Wasser will represent Tom again, or if he’s a license to practice in New York. Cruise may have to call in a Manhattan heavyweight to deal with this. I’ve no doubt his regular attorney, Bert Fields, is all over it.