Monday, December 8, 2014

Just Incase Part III

You have stuck with me through two posts about The Brothers Koch, the J Howard Marshall family and Anna Nicole Smith! You are a very good person with a long attention span.

Part I and II

One more time, if you dare, back to our tale of two families with both money and contention and the blond bombshell that poured gasoline on the fire. (If I were cleverer, I would make a hilarious comparison to the Brothers Koch, the Keystone Pipeline, the potential petroleum product therein and congress.)

When we left her, Anna Nicole, widow of billionaire JHM II, filed for bankruptcy in California and sued her much older stepson E Pierce Marshall in Texas for interfering with her rightful 13-month-wedded inheritance.

She was countersued by EPM for interfering with his management of the estate and went the extra mile and sued her for defamation.  

California bankruptcy Court, after hearing such gems that Anna Nicole’s dear departed husband was unable to spend more than $100,000 on her for Christmas due to EPM’s maniacal intervention, ordered EPM to pay her $475 for interfering with her inheritance. Caught up? You just think you are!

In 2002, Federal District Judge Carter (remember him because he will be back) nullified the Don’t-Mess-With-The-Inheritance judgment. However, he did award the Widow of Cleavage $88 million because Pierce’s legal team “presented documents under false pretenses, suborned perjured notary oaths and backdated documents.”

In 2004, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said nope, Federal judge Carter can’t interfere so shut up already.

In 2006, the US Supreme court said nope, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals could shut up because this wasn’t their damn business. 

In 2007 Anna Nicole died of a drug overdose and I’ll get to that legal quagmire in just a minute.  

In 2010, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that California Bankruptcy court could STILL shut up because Texas Probate Court was in charge of the estate issue.  

In 2011 the US Supreme court heard THIS appeal of the appeal and ruled that Anna Nicole’s estate attorney could just stop crying about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling or they would give him something to cry about.  

Beside, they were really busy deciding stuff like corporations are people. After all, I’m sure the Brothers Koch have lovely summer property and it would be a real shame if the justices didn’t get an invite this year.

The case bounced back to Judge Carter.  In 2012 he said he would rule on sanction against the Pierce estate (remember that Pierce died one year before Anna Nicole) because judges really, really don’t like it when lawyers show up with fraudulent documents.  However, in August of 2014, when he finally did make a ruling, he did not agree to sanctions because:  

Pierce Marshall, who is deceased and therefore cannot be present, cannot attend the hearing, and cannot answer for himself the allegations against him.

Time spent litigating the relationship between (Anna Nicole) and J. Howard has extended for nearly five times the length of their relationship and nearly twenty times the length of their marriage. It is neither reasonable nor practical to go forward.

The lesson here is you can fib your ass off in civil court as long as you die before sanctions are ruled on.

Done? Ha!

In 2014, J. Howard Marshall III, who had claimed bankruptcy thereby circumventing his brother from collecting on a settlement for interfering with the JHM II estate, decided after 10 years in bankruptcy limbo that living on $50,000 a month might be manageable and withdrew his bankruptcy claim.  

That means, and I don’t know why, that Anna Nicole’s daughter Danielynn can go back to estate court in Texas. Well not Danielynn because she is 8, but I’m betting there is no lack of legal representatives who would take it on.

If that isn’t enough of a legal quagmire, there are several other legal side-debacles.

Late in 2006, Anna Nicole gave birth to a daughter and three days later her son Daniel died from a drug overdose.  Five months after that, in 2007, Anna Nicole died of a drug overdose. 

Anna Nicole’s attorney, talent agent, non-legally binding wedding vow exchanger (I don’t get it either) and possible father of Dannielynn, Howard K Stern (not Howard with-no-K Stern) became the manager of her estate. 

The judge ruling on what party could take custody of Anna Nicole’s body, very publically sought a television show of his own during the live televised proceedings. He came up with some truly tactless statements such as, “That baby is in a cold, cold storage room. It’s not decaying so fast.”

In 2007 Howard was court ordered to provide a DNA sample and Dannielynn Hope Marshall STERN became Dannielynn Hope Marshall BIRKHEAD, rumor being that Howard and Anna Nicole fled the US to avoid such awkward questions.

In 2007, in a separate case, HKS (I am really liking how almost all of the player in this sordid drama have such visible middle initials) sued journalist Rita Cosby for alleging that she had homosexual sex tapes of Stern and Dannielynn’s father and photographer Larry Birkhead. In 2009 the suit was settled out of court.

In 2010 HKS was sued for libel by Anna Nicole’s estranged mother but her suit was dismissed. Probably the only reasonable legal decision made yet but I don’t know if she gets to appeal. It appears that appealing is a big thing.

HKS sued other people too like a developer in South Carolina for theft of estate property, but I think you get the thrust of my argument that the legal system is totally and completely screwed.

However, now we get into some criminal action. In 2009, the California Attorney General and Los Angeles County District Attorney charged Stern as the principal enabler in Anna Nicole’s drug addiction and contributor to her death.

In 2010 he was found guilty but the ruling was overturned in 2011 for lack of evidence that Stern intended to break the law by using assumed names to acquire multiple drug prescriptions for his non-legally binding, civil union, spouse. (He is an attorney for hell sake. I would say pleading ignorance to intentional law breaking would not be a viable option but obviously I don’t know anything.) 

In 2012 the California 2nd District Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal order and directed the trial judge to say too bad so sad, Stern is guilty.  Stern . . . wait for it . . . appealed the appeal. Then there was messing around until Nov 2014 when the California Supreme Court ruled that the prosecutors could ask for a new trial. (Again, does no one in the justice system have better stuff to do!?! I guess not when cameras could potentially be rolling.)

So, you say, that is a very good illustration of how our justice system has infinite amount of time, resources and do-overs when money and notoriety are at stake but what does this have to do with the Brothers Koch?

First, they started this. Well, Daddy Koch did. J Howard Marshall had big boy money because he invested in Daddy Koch. 

Then, Daddy Koch disinheriting his older son, setting a bad example for impressionable new billionaires everywhere.  

Finally, the Brothers Koch’s legal squabbles with the Want To Be Brothers Koch forced JHM II and JHM III into irreconcilable differences.  

See? All of this is their fault. Not enough evidence? (I guess it depends what court you ask.) 

All right, how about the death of The New Your City Opera? Evidently, they had been relying heavily on the Brothers Koch’s charitable dollars. 

In September, the opened Anna Nicole, a “well-reviewed opera on the dramatic life of the late human train wreck.” 

The Brothers Koch declined to continue the financial lifeline. 

"(They) never quite warmed to Anna Nicole, and it seems this dislike extended to her operatic likeness as well."

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