Ex-girlfriend doesn't have to pay $269k to developer Jordan Schnitzer for attorney fees

Portland real estate mogul Jordan Schnitzer has lost his attempt to force his ex-girlfriend to pay $269,000 in attorneys' fees -- money that he spent last year trying to keep her from seeing the son created with his sperm and her egg. Multnomah County Circuit...

Ex-girlfriend doesn't have to pay $269k to developer Jordan Schnitzer for attorney fees

Portland real estate mogul Jordan Schnitzer has lost his attempt to force his ex-girlfriend to pay $269,000 in attorneys' fees -- money that he spent last year trying to keep her from seeing the son created with his sperm and her egg.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Katherine Tennyson said Wednesday she won't order Cory Sause to pay Schnitzer's hefty legal bills, generated by at least 10 lawyers he hired.

The decision came in part, the judge said, because she didn't want to "reward" either side for a major mistake: failing to draw up adequate legal documents outlining their parental rights to the boy born by surrogate 13 months ago.

Both sides racked up considerable legal fees leading up to and through three days of hearings last June and July as Sause sought to undo a legal declaration that Schnitzer was the boy's sole legal parent.

In August, Tennyson ruled in favor of Schnitzer -- failing to undo the declaration -- but at the same time left the door open for Sause to take up the matter again by filing new court papers.

Schnitzer has said the plan was always for him to be the only parent in the boy's life if his romantic relationship with Sause didn't work out. Schnitzer hasn't let Sause see the boy since the day he was born in December 2015.

Sause has said the plan was always that the boy would live with Schnitzer but she would be a part of his life.

After the ruling last summer, Schnitzer claimed Sause needlessly cost him $269,000 in attorneys' fees, plus about $7,500 in other costs, for her "frivolous claim."

Schnitzer's lawyers state in court papers that they billed him from $165 an hour to $400 an hour.

Since the hearing, both Schnitzer and Sause have filed new court papers to try to settle the question of parental rights once and for all. A nine-day trial is scheduled for September and October.

-- Aimee Green

agreen@oregonian

o_aimee

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