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Monday, May 01, 2006

Travelling Family Feud With A Promise to Bank On

Clark Dark has a report. Clark?
Thanks, You. Just moments ago the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest court in the land, ruled in a unanimous decision that Anna Nicole Smith should have a fresh chance to pursue claims in federal court.Smith a 26-year-old topless dancer when she married J. Howard Marshall II, then 89, in 1994 has been embroiled in an intense family fight since his death the following year. His estate is estimated at 1.6 billion dollars.

The legal battle was competing court jurisdiction. A Texas court held a five-month trial an decided Smith was not entitled to receive anything from Marshall's estate. Smith brought a separate claim in federal court in California.

Justices said today just moments ago that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was wrong in ruling that federal courts could not handle Smith's case.

Smith had been awarded $474 million by a federal bankruptcy judge. That was later reduced by a federal district judge and then thrown out altogether by the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit. The case now goes back to California.

Up to this point Smith has received nothing from Marshall's estate, although before his death Marshall showered Smith with $6.6 million in gifts that included two homes, expensive jewelry and clothes. She contends that he also promised her half his estate.

"I will continue to fight to uphold my father's estate plan and clear my name," Pierce Marshall so says the son of the late billionaire tycoon. Marshall also said in a statement he would "continue to fight to clear my name in California federal court. That is a promise that (Smith) and her lawyers can take to the bank."
Writing for the court in favor of Smith Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg noted that there are several pending issues that could still keep Smith from collecting any money.

All in all the court has given one-time stripper and Playboy Playmate
Anna Nicole Smith to okay to pursue part of her late husband's oil fortune
. I'm Clark Dark reporting from Washington, D.C.

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