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Woman skips trial, gets hit with $9-million verdict

The wife of a former Greensboro, N.C., lawyer won a $9-million award for alienation of affection against a former college dean who was accused of luring the lawyer-husband away from domestic fidelity.

The verdict might have been inflated by the fact that the defendant, Anne Lundquist, didn’t show up to defend herself at trial. She told the (Greensboro) News & Record she was not given enough notice of the trial date. Lundquist, of Aurora, N.Y., said she now is looking for a North Carolina lawyer to help her appeal the judgment.

Apparently, she can’t look to the plaintiff’s estranged husband for help. Allan L. Shackelford’s N.C. law license is suspended, according to online bar records. His current address also is listed as Aurora, N.Y.

North Carolina is one of the few states that allows lawsuits for interference with marriage. The terminology requires some translation. “Alienation of affection” is what some might call “home-wrecking.” “Criminal conversation” refers to what Virginians term “adultery.”

By Peter Vieth

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