Anna Nicole Smith, formerly known as Vickie Lynn Marshall of Houston Texas, was formerly a Playboy Playmate and Playmate of the Year, former exotic dancer, etc.  Her path to immortality started when she met and married an elderly Houston oil millionaire, J. Howard Marshall.

When he died only a year later, the struggle over his many millions started a legal tug or war that has lasted over a decade. And finally resulting in a U.S. Court case that has the potential to change the course of American bankruptcy jurisprudence. Who would have thought it would be Anna Nicole, to cause such a momentous change in the jurisdiction of U.S. Bankruptcy Courts? Anna Nicole was let's say, a very exciting woman. Read her biography.

In a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down Thursday, the Court considerably reduced bankruptcy courts' powers to hear certain disputes, mainly state court and/or "common law" disputes. But this happens a lot in bankruptcy courts, the judges have to rule on disputes between parties that are not based solely on bankruptcy law.

It's too early to tell how far-reaching this opinion will be, or if Congress will step in and pass legislation to fix the problem. In the meanwhile, it is really shaking up the bankruptcy courts, and many many trees will be cut down to publish all the articles, law reviews, books, etc. that will be written about the Stern v Marshall decision. Interested in reading the decision? Grab a cup of coffee, or maybe a couple pots of coffee and pack a lunch, and click here.

J Thomas Black
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Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law- Texas Board of Legal Specialization
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