For Immediate Release

Contact:
Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law

5/3/2006

Law Professor Cited in Anna Nicole Smith US Supreme Court Opinion

A law review article by Peter Nicolas, a professor at the UW School of Law, was cited in the May 1, 2006 Supreme Court decision finding in favor of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, aka Vickie Lynn Marshall.

In Marshall v Marshall, the Court was unanimous in finding that Smith could pursue her claim in federal court to her late husband's fortune. The Court reversed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which had held that the case fell within the probate exception to federal court subject matter jurisdiction, concluding that the 9th Circuit had interpreted the exception too broadly. In arriving at that conclusion, the Court relied in part on Nicolas' article, "Fighting the Probate Mafia: A Dissection of the Probate Exception to Federal Jurisdiction", which described the scope of the probate exception to federal court jurisdiction and explained how some federal courts had interpreted it too broadly.

The court's decision can be read at: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/04-1544.pdf