For Immediate Release
Statement From The Family of E. Pierce Marshall
DALLAS (March 19, 2010) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today vindicated the efforts of the late E. Pierce Marshall to uphold his father’s estate plan.
The Ninth Circuit opinion supports the 2001 five month jury trial in Texas Probate Court, which established that Anna Nicole Smith was never entitled to any assets from the Marshall family beyond the $7 million in cash and gifts she received from J. Howard Marshall, II . The jury also unequivocally rejected Smith’s claim that E. Pierce Marshall and others interfered with her receiving any additional gifts while her husband was alive or at his death.
“The lies that were told about told about E. Pierce Marshall have finally been put to rest,” said a statement issued by the Marshall family. “Pierce Marshall was never intimidated by Anna Nicole and her bevy of contingency fee lawyers’ use of her celebrity and the legal system to try to loot J. Howard ‘s estate. We are proud to have supported his efforts and continue that fight. Our only wish would be that Pierce were here to see his vindication.”
“Many people have asked over the many years if the fight to uphold my father’s last wishes was worth it,” Pierce Marshall said in a statement issued in 2004. “I know Anna and her lawyers were counting on our family giving up and paying them an absurd sum to go away. That was never going to happen. We never wavered from our belief that, in the end, justice based on the rule of law would prevail.
“We are deeply appreciative that the Ninth Circuit took the time to closely examine the important legal issues raised by this case and agreed with our analysis of the law and facts regarding those issues,” said G. Eric Brunstad, Jr. who represented the Marshall family.
“Anna Nicole Smith and her attorneys never presented a single witness on document that upheld her absurd claims,” said David Margulies, a spokesperson for the Marshall family.
“Texas jurors in the Probate Case listened carefully to all the evidence Smith and her lawyers presented and ruled in favor of E. Pierce Marshall on every point.”
The 9th Circuit upheld the Marshall family’s argument that the case has been fully adjudicated in the Texas Probate Court, which ruled in favor of E. Pierce Marshall and against Smith on every issue. The 9th Circuit ruling states in part: “The district court should have afforded preclusive effect to the Texas probate court’s factual findings and relevant legal conclusions. The determinations adverse to Vickie Lynn Marshall
in the Texas probate court prevent her from establishing the elements of her counterclaim, such as J. Howard Marshall II’s intent to give her a substantial inter vivos gift, the tortuous nature of Pierce Marshall’s conduct regarding the estate planning
documents, and the reasonableness and amount of her expectancy. We reverse the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions that judgment be entered in favor of the Estate of Pierce Marshall.”