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Attorneys of Ernie Banks' widow withdraw in suit over estate

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CHICAGO (AP) Attorneys representing the widow of baseball great Ernie Banks have withdrawn from a lawsuit over his estate.

Elizabeth Banks has contested the will the former Chicago Cubs first baseman signed three months before his January 2015 death, which left his inheritance to Regina Rice, a longtime friend who took care of his financial affairs, the Chicago Tribune ( ) reported.

Elizabeth Banks, who was in the process of divorcing the 83-year-old Hall of Famer at the time of his death, had alleged in court documents that Rice ''isolated and controlled'' him in his final months.

Both sides recently told Cook County Judge James Riley that they were close to a settlement. But Elizabeth Banks' attorney, Thomas Jefson, asked to withdraw from the case Wednesday.

He didn't state a reason in his two-page motion, just that ''differences have arisen between (the firm) and Elizabeth that make it impossible'' for the firm to continue to represent her.

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Riley approved the move, giving Elizabeth Banks the three weeks allowed under the law to find a new attorney. No settlement is likely to be reached by the time Riley retires in November.

Rice's attorney, Linda Chatman, said Banks had apparently rejected last-minute changes to the proposed settlement made by her own attorneys. She said the dispute over the will's validity will likely go to trial if a settlement can't be reached.

Elizabeth Banks, who lives in California and didn't appear in court, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.


Information from: Chicago Tribune,