Claims for Marshall family billions by estate of former Playboy model thwarted after years of litigation

HOUSTON – August 25, 2014 – Attorneys from Ware, Jackson, Lee & Chambers LLP claimed victory this week after defending the estate of Texas billionaire J. Howard Marshall from years of legal claims by the estate of his late wife, former Playboy model and reality television star Anna Nicole Smith.  A California judge ruled against the latest legal efforts by the estate of Smith, effectively ending the California portion of the 20-year legal battle.  Marshall, an oil tycoon who married the blonde bombshell in 1994 when he was 89 and she was 26, died in 1995 and left his billions only to his son.

In the underlying Houston probate trial, which lasted six months, WJLC partners Don Jackson and Jeff Chambers defeated claims of $1.6 billion brought by Anna Nicole Smith and Howard Marshall, Jr. against the Marshall family and entities, as well as winning  $30,580,500 against certain plaintiffs on counterclaims. After two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court, WJLC lawyers, as part of the appellate team, reversed a California Bankruptcy Court’s $475,000,000 award against Pierce Marshall.  Judge David O. Carter’s opinion, resulting from the California proceedings in which WJLC attorneys played a pivotal role, ends the last vestige of the California litigation – and with the Marshall family having paid nothing to Anna Nicole Smith or her heirs, despite claims Smith and her lawyers made in excess of $1 billion.

“This case was an epic struggle to honor the intentions of J. Howard Marshall and his estate,” said Jackson.  “I’m extremely pleased by the work of our entire team and hopeful that this matter will be completely laid to rest.”

Ware, Jackson, Lee & Chambers, LLP, established in 1993, is a boutique litigation law firm with a focus on civil jury trials and arbitration.  The firm specializes in litigation involving all industries, including construction, insurance, oil and gas, environmental, financial and securities, manufacturing, medical, real estate, petrochemical and transportation.  More information on the firm is available at www  Copies of Judge Carter’s order are available for download here and at


Contact: John P. David