A Woman Scorned: Lady Justice Gets the Last Word on Anna Nicole Smith

“I hate to be the one to tell you this, but I told you so” said Larry Birkhead as he exited the Bahamian courtroom when his paternity of Dannilynn was confirmed.  Well, I also don’t like to say I told you so, but today the 9th Circuit issued its opinion in the matter of Marshall v. Marshall finding against Anna Nicole Smith’s estate and Howard K. Stern, and in favor of the rightful Marshall heirs.  In doing so, the court has articulated some archaic probate laws regarding what constitutes preclusion, and core versus non-core issues.  They found Vicki’s (aka, Anna Nicole Smith’s) claims were NOT core to the bankruptcy proceeding.  Please click on this link to view the opinion in its entirety: 9th Circuit For a more in depth analysis, including my confirmed legal prediction, please read the article below entitled Probate Battle Illustrates Value of Constitution’s Full Faith & Credit Clause.  Lady Justice prevailed today, and I anticipate the Supreme Court will confirm this decision should the matter be appealed by Howard K. Stern yet again.

Anna Nicole Smith: The Phantom of the Courts

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, Britain’s Royal Opera will feature the production Anna Nicole, the story of Anna Nicole Smith’s life and untimely death, set to open February 17, 2011.  Smith’s life was made for the stage. The former model went from “impoverished Texas waitress to oil tycoon’s widow to reality television star,” as Rachel Lee Harris nicely illustrates in her recent New York Times article, Royal Opera in London to Stage ‘Anna Nicole’. While the opera is likely to focus on the tragedy of her early death, Smith still plays a vital role in a real life drama that remains unfinished.  Anna Nicole Smith first became famous when she married oilman, J. Howard Marshall II.  But this short marriage has turned into a long-lasting legal battle over the fate of Marshall’s fortune. This complicated legal dispute has dragged out for almost 15 years, with no resolution. Smith challenged Marshall’s estate plan with claims that he verbally promised to include her in his will.  But she had no hard evidence. Nothing was ever formally written in his will that revealed his intention to give her any of his fortune. In fact during the trial in Texas probate Read More …