Smith Death a Case Study at Law Schools

Associated Press Writer

MIAMI (AP) — Anna Nicole Smith never finished high school, but the strange twists of the model's life – and now her death – are helping teach lessons at law schools around the country.

Even before her death last month, Smith was a case study for students of estate law. Her lengthy, widely publicized court feud with the family of her late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II, over his estate landed them in at least one widely used textbook, "Wills, Trusts and Estates."

Now, because of a poorly drafted will and the courtroom fights over her burial and custody of her infant daughter, law professors are finding her troubles can again serve as an example to students.

Professors say that over the past month they have answered questions about court proceedings in the case or have used Smith to illustrate an issue in class. Some have even distributed and discussed copies of her will.