* Slow and steady wins the race, especially when it comes to reporting the news. A few news sites were eager to let readers know that Amanda Knox lost her appeal… except she didn’t. [Atlantic Wire]
* The Supreme Court has rejected yet another Obama birther lawsuit. Legal reasoning? “STFU, we’ll probably only have to deal with this dude for another year.” [CBS News]
* TWU to NYPD: Please don’t force us to listen to these Occupy Wall Street fools. We’d rather have our regular crazies on board. Of course, their lawsuit says it a bit more eloquently. [Wall Street Journal]
* Karolina Stefanski is being sued by an ex over some blank checks to the tune of $80K. Seriously, who cheats on a Playboy model? I mean, come on, boobs. [New York Post]
During her short lifetime, Anna Nicole Smith managed to sell sex, jeans, weight-loss pills and, with her reality show, a sense of superiority to millions of Americans who could take some solace in the fact that they were not that messed up. She was voluptuous, then she was just plain fat, then she was voluptuous again and, all the while, she slurred her words and giggled through a series of unfortunate events that were all surely her own doing, right? She asked for all of this, right? The deaths and bankruptcies, rises and falls. She had it coming and when her life became entangled in a series of lawsuits, well… that was the natural outgrowth of a life lived so stupidly.
And then she died. Because, of course she did. And the lawsuits refuse to die. Because, of course they do. As noted last fall on this website, the Supreme Court took up one last (?) appeal in the case involving Anna Nicole Smith and sex and money. Except, the Court employs euphemisms like jurisdiction and congressional intent and non-Article III bankruptcy judges, because heaven forfend or something.
As her case flops and wheezes its way to the finish line, now is the perfect time for a look back at Anna Nicole’s life….
Anna Nicole Smith: her candle burned out long before her legend ever did. And the great beauty’s legend continues to grow, over three years after her untimely death in February 2007, as litigation involving her estate contributes to the development of a rich body of law regarding bankruptcy and probate law — in a tribunal no less distinguished than the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear an appeal from the estate of Anna Nicole Smith, the late Playboy model and TV reality-show star, in the decades-old dispute over an inheritance from her tycoon husband.
The action, involving a sensational set of characters in an otherwise dry case at the intersection of probate and bankruptcy law, came on a day of varied court business that included acceptance of 14 new cases for the 2010-2011 term that officially begins Monday.
Sounds scintillating. Let’s get all up in Anna Nicole’s business, shall we?
Despite her death back in February 2007, Anna Nicole Smith (aka Vickie Lynn Marshall) continues to make headlines. From the Ninth Circuit comes bad news for her former lawyer (and lover) Howard K. Stern, and her daughter, Daniellynn. From E! Online:
[A court] said today that the estate of Anna Nicole Smith is not entitled to the $300 million-plus judgment previously awarded from her late oil tycoon hubby’s billion-dollar estate.
The court battle over Texas oilman J. Howard Marshall II’s millions has been ongoing since 1995.
You can download the opinion from the Ninth Circuit here [PDF]. You’ll see a familiar name on the list of counsel.
Kathleen Sullivan, new name partner at Quinn Emanuel, filed an amicus brief in the case for the Washington Legal Foundation, arguing in support of the decision by the Texas probate court that originally denied Smith’s claim to Marshall’s $1.6 billion fortune.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Dechert partner G. Eric Brunstad, the veteran Supreme Court litigator who represented the victorious estate of Pierce Marshall in this case. (Brunstad was also Lat’s bankruptcy law professor at Yale.)
* SCOTUS to hear some pretty interesting cases next term. [Washington Post; New York Times; CNN]
* Apparently, Ross Perot owns the Magna Carta, for now. [CNN]
* Jack Bauer arrested for DUI, was allegedly speaking in an urgent, raspy tone. [MSNBC]
* Attorney sues Larry Birkhead for defamation. [MSNBC]
* Calls for campus paper editor to resign. [CNN]
They prefer crack, thank you very much.
Because why else would the justices rule against noble, crusading students, and in favor of the mean old school officials, in Morse v. Frederick — aka the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case?*
But free speech proponents shouldn’t despair. Over at SCOTUSblog, Marty Lederman notes:
Morse is a very limited holding — essentially limited to the drug context. The Alito concurrence, joined by Kennedy, is controlling. He writes:
I join the opinion of the Court on the understanding that (a) it goes no further than hold that a public school may restrict speech that a reasonable observer would interpret as advocating illegal drug use and (b) it provides no support for any restriction of speech that can plausibly be interpreted as commenting on any political or social issue, including speech on issues such as ‘the wisdom of the war on drugs or of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.’”
In other words: Hey liberals, this Alito guy might not be as bad as you thought.
* As we previously observed, petitioner Deborah Morse, one of the prevailing school officials, is “a curvaceous, dark-haired beauty.” But we would hope that Supreme Court justices would decide cases based on the merits, not on the attractiveness of the parties.
Of course, sometimes both factors point in the same direction. See, e.g., Marshall v. Marshall — the Anna Nicole Smith case. Quick Preliminary Notes on Hein and Morse [SCOTUSblog]
Judge Larry Seidlin is best known for tearfully presiding over the Anna Nicole Smith proceedings in Florida state court. But perhaps it’s the American people who should be shedding tears right now. From the Daily Business Review:
Broward Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin – the weeping probate judge who presided over the recent legal fight for custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s body – announced today that he is leaving the bench at the end of this month.
“It is now time for me to devote more of my daily life to my own young family and to pursue the many opportunities that have been offered to me outside the judicial system,” Seidlin wrote in his resignation letter to Gov. Charlie Crist.
So why should we shed tears over the departure of this fine jurist?
It has been rumored that Seidlin has a television show in the works.
* Creepy smut producers gone wild. [MSNBC]
* Pacman Jones suspended for the 2008 season, Chris Henry out for eight games. [SI]
* It’s Birkhead! [CNN]
* Duke lacrosse charges likely to be dropped. [CNN]
Here’s an interesting analysis of the underlying merits of the litigation over J. Howard Marshall’s estate. It contains some bome bad news for Anna Nicole Smith’s infant daughter, Dannielynn.
From a Legal Times piece by Professor Horace Cooper (who narrowly missed being a colleague of Kiwi Camara, and probably isn’t unhappy about that):
[T]here is little chance that this child will inherit millions. Why? Because Anna Nicole Smith’s legal claims on J. Howard Marshall’s estate were always tenuous.
And once the courts act, they will likely extinguish the claim altogether. That means Dannielynn is more likely to be saddled with legal bills and other debt from litigation associated with her mother’s estate than she’s likely to inherit any portion of Marshall’s estate.
We’ll spare you Professor Cooper’s detailed examination of the case, which deploys such fancy-pants legal terms as “de novo” and “res judicata.” We’ll just give you his bottom line:
A separate trial in the Bahamas is going forward to determine who Dannielynn’s biological father is. Once that is answered, will the biological father continue his efforts to secure custody after all the legal claims on the Marshall estate are extinguished?
I predict that once those claims are finally exhausted, even King Solomon himself might not have the wisdom to find a father for this baby.
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
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