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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anna Nicole and the International Conflict of Courts

One thing coming out of the odd case of Anna Nicole Smith is the conflict between courts – from different states, and now, from different countries. Courts in California, Florida and the Bahamas are now involved in this case. I've seen this before as an international attorney.

It points out that we need a better Interstate and International court system. As it stands, we have courts in three places delaying both the burial of Anna Nicole and the DNA testing of the contesting parties. The DNA testing should have been a “no-brainer” that took less than a day for a judge to order. It has yet to happen.

What if there are conflicting rulings between the Bahamas and Florida/California on these issues? Does Anna Nicole become the next Mao or Lenin, lying in state for decades under glass?

Conflicts between courts in different states can be resolved by the US Supreme Court, no problem. The problem is when there are conflicts between US courts and courts of other countries in cases like this where “time is of the essence.”

The issues of money and property can take years to be resolved. THAT is normal.

But when a person can’t get buried for weeks because of the courts, something needs to be changed. The delays could open the door to international court conflicts (in this case between the Bahamas and State Courts) –where there is no Supreme Court jurisdiction.

The alternative may be that Anna joins Elvis mixed with Mao under glass.

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