Daughter of the late celebrity icon Anna Nicole Smith may receive millions of dollars from the estate of the late J. Pierce Marshall, her husband. Smith was embroiled in a bitter and lengthy court battle over the estate with Marshall’s son, E. Pierce Marshall, before her death. E. Pierce Marshall attempted to prevent Smith from receiving her inheritance from her late husband during the estate administration process. E. Pierce Marshall later died in 2006. A California federal judge has now ordered Marshall’s estate to pay sanctions over “massive discovery abuse” that took place during those trials to Smith’s daughter.
The judge issuing the decision was US District Judge David O. Carter. Judge Carter ordered unspecified sanctions against E. Pierce Marshall. He found the man guilty of using delaying tactics in order to stall the trials. One example that was cited involved the shipping of important legal documents to a lawyer in Louisiana in order to keep Smith’s legal team from accessing them. Judge Carter referred to Pierce’s behavior as “too pervasive and too egregious to be ignored.”
In addition to the sanctions ordered from Pierce, Judge Carter also instructed attorney Edwin Hunter to demonstrate why he should not be required to pay sanctions as well. Hunter represented the Marshall family during the legal battles. He allegedly was caught engaging in several unethical activities designed to benefit his client’s interests.
When issuing his ruling, Judge Carter did not specify an amount that is to be paid to Smith’s daughter. However, the judge previously noted in a statement given last March that the amount could reach as high as $49 million. Smith’s attorney, Phil Boesch, noted that the decision represents a “complete vindication of Anna Nicole’s rights and a total condemnation of what was done to her.”
Contact our office of experienced Anaheim trust attorneys today for further information. Call our office at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.