The Supreme Court today handed down the biggest legal win ever for a Playmate, reversing the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Marshall v. Marshall, which had cost Vickie Lynn Marshall, a.k.a. Anna Nicole Smith, several hundred million dollars.
The previous biggest win involved a custody dispute over a Chihuahua called "Mr. Pooky."
The opinion itself is fairly dry, dealing as it does with the "probate exception" to federal jurisdiction. The Court unanimously held that the Ninth Circuit had wrongly applied the exception and reversed the judgment.
There were a couple of decent quotes. Justice Ginsburg (who wrote the majority opinion) criticized the probate exception as something "stemming in large measure from misty understandings of English legal history," although the ruling does not eliminate it. Concurring, Justice Stevens agreed with the result but said he would put the doctrine out of its misery entirely: "Rather than preserving whatever vitality that the "exception" has retained . . . I would provide the creature with a decent burial in a grave adjacent to the resting place of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine," which he would also execute if he had the chance.
Oh, Rooker-Feldman doctrine, how quickly they forget. All the wonderful times we had together . . . [sniff].
Link: Opinion on Findlaw.com