On Monday, August 18, a federal judge ended nearly two decades of legal limbo between the estates of late Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith and her late Texas billionaire husband J. Howard Marshall II by ruling against the Smith estate’s final move to collect $44 million in sanctions from Marshall’s fortune.

According to U.S. District Court Judge David Carter, J. Howard Marshall’s son and executor of his estate Pierce Marshall and his legal team displayed “a distinct disinterest in rules or ethics” during the 19-year legal process. However, lawyers of Smith’s family failed to substantiate actual damages brought about by the behavior, which led the judge not to award sanctions.

Fourteen months after Marshall and Smith’s wedding in 1994, the oil tycoon died and left his entire estate to his son. Smith contested that her deceased husband promised to leave her $300 million, prompting a long legal strife that continued even after Smith’s death in 2007 and Pierce Marshall’s death in 2006.

Don’t let your battle over inheritance drag on like this. If you are trying to contest an estate or facing any probate issues in Chicago, a lawyer at Peck Ritchey, LLC, might be able to help you. Call us at (855)328-5787 and tell us your situation.


Attorney Kyle Fahey handled our matter with skill and professionalism, and was always responsive. 10/10, would work with him and the firm again.

–Jon T.

The peace of mind that Peck Ricthey's office has given me is worth every penny. The services they provided me and my family in an emergency medical situation is beyond outstanding. Last minute notice, Peter Brady and team were compassionate, understanding and most importantly efficient and got the job done. Look no further if you have any needs that this office can provide for you. Definitely in good hands! Thank you, a thousand times over for all of your help.

–Christine K.

Very responsive and knowledgeable at handling our brother’s estate. Would definitely recommend!

–Ralph C.

I solicited Peck Ritchey, LLC for assistance with a living trust for which I became the beneficiary. I needed assistance with understanding the details of how it all worked. However, I was especially concerned because there were threats of allegations made by family members and a lawsuit was filed against me. I needed a solid professional who had my best interests in mind. Peter Brady took my case and he managed it flawlessly. He explained everything in a way I could understand, he knew the law inside and out, he was always available to answer questions, and even offer support when things seemed like they could become extremely problematic. In addition to this, he had a plan. He navigated the course as if he already knew the next move by the opposing attorney. He made me feel like everything was in control and that’s because he knew exactly what he was doing and he consulted with me about everything. We ended up settling out of court and ultimately the court officially dismissed the lawsuit. I honestly believe if it wasn’t for Peter and his expertise this could have gone in an entirely different direction. Peter did a stellar job and I couldn’t be more pleased and impressed with his performance.

–John T.

Tim Ritchey is as smart, honest, and genuine as they come. He truly puts helping people above making money. If you have a need, don’t hesitate to hire him.

–Jay T.

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