Remember Jarndyce and Jarndyce? The Chancery suit that goes on and on in Dickens’ Bleak House?
From the first chapter of Dickens’ Bleak House:
Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.
We have another scarecrow of a case – Anna Nicole Smith – whose suit for her deceased husband’s estate has been to the Supreme Court of the United States and drags on. Now there is a new wrinkle: According to AP writer Matt Sedensky, the FBI investigated whether Anna Nicole Smith plotted to kill her husband’s son, E. Pierce Marshall, as he and Anna Nicole battled over his father’s fortune.
Sedenksy writes: "Smith’s FBI records, obtained exclusively by The Associated Press, say the agency investigated Smith in 2000 and 2001 in a murder-for-hire plot targeting E. Pierce Marshall who was at the center of a long legal fight to keep the starlet, model and stripper from collecting his father’s oil wealth, valued in the hundreds of millions. The younger Marshall died three years ago of natural causes."
"The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in 2006 that Smith could pursue her late husband’s fortune, overturning an appellate decision, which continues to be fought in California. The money became a factor after Smith’s death, too, with Stern, her mother, and another boyfriend all fighting over an estate that ultimately will go to her daughter, who is now 3."