Anna Nicole Smith And Charles Dickens…And The Supreme Court
One has to love a Supreme Court case which concludes with the Chief Justice writing about Charles Dickens…as it relates to Anna Nicole Smith!
In his majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts likened the Nicole/Marshall saga to the dispute depicted in “Bleak House,” the 1,000-page Dickens novel about a never-ending court battle that outlives the parties in the case.
As to the backstory that has been going on for years…
It seems scarcely imaginable that there is still an ongoing inheritance battle involving the deceased former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, her late husband, the Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, and the tycoon’s deceased son, E. Pierce Marshall.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court again reviewed the case, which at root involves how the Marshall assets should be divvied up.
Here’s how we described the matter back in a Law Blog post published almost five years ago to the day:
In 1994, Smith married . . . J. Howard Marshall when she was a 26-year-old stripper and he was an 89-year-old billionaire. He died 14 months later, and E. Pierce and Smith have battled ever since. The dispute made it all the way to the Supreme Court. Last month [in May 2006] the Court ruled in favor of Smith. . .
On Round 2 at the high court, the justices were called on to decide a relatively narrow procedural issue involving the authority of a U.S. bankruptcy court in California and a Texas state probate court to adjudicate pending estate claims between Smith and Pierce Marshall, WSJ’s Jess Bravin reports.
At issue was whether the bankruptcy court, which earlier ruled in favor of Smith, should prevail over the Texas court, which found for Pierce Marshall, according to WSJ.
The tycoon’s son won the day, with the Supreme Court ruling that the bankruptcy court lacked the constitutional right to rule in the type of claim Smith’s estate presented.