Legal Ethics

Big Legal Bill for Anna Nicole Smith's Baby


Adults who had a relationship to Anna Nicole Smith are still wrangling over a number of issues related to the deceased starlet’s estate. But they are seemingly entirely agreed on one thing: a bill of nearly $200,000 submitted by the court-appointed lawyer representing the interests of Smith’s baby daughter is outrageously high.

The $198,493.98 sought by Florida attorney Richard Milstein in a Broward County court filing includes $94,572.50 for his own work (billed at a rate of $475 per hour) and $97,224.50 for work performed by other lawyers and paralegals at his firm, according to the Associated Press. Their hourly rates range from $155 to $495.

“This representation required the guardian ad litem to devote significantly all of his professional and personal time and attention to the interests of Dannielynn for a period in excess of two weeks,” Milstein wrote in his petition, referring to his young client, Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead.

The bill reportedly would exhaust a $200,000 trust fund established for the baby after Anna Nicole Smith’s death from an accidental drug overdose earlier this year. However, as noted in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, she eventually could inherit considerably more if her mother’s estate prevails in litigation with the estate of Smith’s husband, Texas oil billionaire J. Howard Smith II. He predeceased the former Playboy bunny, leaving an estate with an estimated value of $500 million.

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