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A lifetime of lawyers for Anna Nicole

The former Playboy model’s lead attorney quits, lawyer becomes lover

Anna Nicole's lawyer quits
Oct. 12: Anna Nicole's lawyer quits (not the one claiming to be the father of her child) and Mel Gibson is sorry. Keith Olbermann gives the lowdown on "Countdown."
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Susan Filan
Senior legal analyst
Anna Nicole Smith's life is full of lawyers. Some are coming and some are going. On the way out is her lead attorney in the Bahamas, Michael Scott, who has withdrawn as her counsel. Scott said his parting from Smith was not amicable. He quit representing the former Playboy model and reality TV star because of strategic differences between his former client and her former lawyer, Howard K. Stern. 

On the way in is Howard K. Stern. Stern used to be Smith's lawyer, but is now her lover. Stern and Smith "married", although not legally, aboard a Catamaran in waters off Nassau, Bahamas. Were this union legal, Stern would be Smith's third husband.

Scott was critical of his former client's decision to "wed" Stern so soon after the death of her son, Daniel, and before Daniel's body was buried. Daniel Smith died three days after the birth of Smith's daughter. Daniel Smith's embalmed body is still at a Nassau funeral home.   The funeral home is waiting for further instructions from the family before proceeding with the burial.

Not only is Stern Smith's former lawyer and new "husband", he also claims to be the father of Smith's daughter, Dannilynn Hope. Stern is listed on the infant's birth certificate. By holding themselves out as married, and holding himself out as the father, Smith is trying to establish Stern as the baby's father.

On the way in is Smith's L.A. lawyer, Ron Rale. Rale is representing Smith in the paternity action that her former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead has filed against her.   Birkhead claims that he is the father, that she is potentially an unfit mother, and that he wants her to return to California to submit to DNA paternity testing. 

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Legal experts differ as to whether Anna Nicole Smith will have to return to California to submit to paternity testing. At issue is whether the court has jurisdiction.  My prediction is that Birkhead's action will survive, Smith will have her blood drawn, a DNA lab will test the blood, and we will know whether Birkhead is the biological father. If he is not, Smith can name whomever she wishes as the father. If Birkhead is the biological father, then Birkhead, Smith, and Stern will have to work together to co-parent Dannilynn.

On the way out: a simple life for Dannielynn. On the way in: even more lawyers. Enough to last a lifetime.

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