E. Pierce Marshall

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Everett Pierce Marshall (January 12, 1939 – June 20, 2006) was an American businessman and a son of J. Howard Marshall II. According to a Dallas Morning News article, he was a very private man, but became known due to defending the long-running legal dispute from his father's third wife, Anna Nicole Smith.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Marshall attended Millersburg Military Institute, Culver Military Academy, Webb School and received his undergraduate degree from Pomona College in 1961. He began his career at General Motors as an engine test engineer, followed by a brief tour with the United States Navy. After leaving the Navy, Marshall worked for the New York investment banking firm of Loeb, Rhoades & Co. He used this experience later when he entered the securities brokerage business in the 1980s.

Beginning in 1969, Marshall moved to Houston, Texas to manage various investment projects with his father, including various roles at Koch Industries, International Oil & Gas and Marshall Petroleum. While continuing to work with his father he also worked with his father-in-law. In 1981, after his father-in-law's death, he was elected Chairman of the Electron Corporation (an iron foundry concern). Later, he was appointed President of Electron and led the company through a successful turnaround, saving over 300 jobs in Colorado and Oklahoma. When his father's health began to deteriorate in 1993, he ceased his securities brokerage business, delegated his responsibilities at Electron and assumed operational responsibilities at Marshall Petroleum.

J. Howard Marshall died in 1995, leaving Pierce the bulk of the family fortune. In 2001, a jury in Texas upheld the estate and rejected all claims against him. However, Smith's legal dispute with Pierce in federal court yielded decisions both for him and against him. The issue of the probate exception reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Smith (Marshall v. Marshall) and remanded to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to adjudicate issues not previously reached. On June 25, 2009 the same three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on the remaining appellate issues in the case.[2] On March 19, 2010 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its second opinion on remand, finding in favor of E. Pierce Marshall and that the California Bankruptcy Court was entirely without jurisdiction and the California Federal District Court was precluded from reviewing matters already decided in the Texas Probate Court.[3] On June 23, 2011, the United States Supreme court decided the case in a 5-4 decision (now styled Stern v. Marshall 10-179). The majority of the Court decided Congress cannot constitutionally authorize non-Article III bankruptcy judges to enter final judgments on state law based counterclaims to proofs of claim which are not necessary to resolve the claim itself.[4]

In 2005, Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $1.7 billion, a valuation he rejected.[5] Marshall was one of four voting shareholders of Koch Industries when he died of a brief but aggressive infection on June 20, 2006, at age 67.

In a February 9, 2007 interview with Fox News Channel's John Gibson, Rusty Hardin, the family's attorney, said that the family would wait until Smith's immediate affairs in the wake of her sudden death were disclosed before discussing the status of litigation.

A motorsports enthusiast, Marshall competed in the last running of the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, better known as the Cannonball Run, in April, 1979. Teamed with SCCA racers Dave Faust and Kirby Goodman, Marshall drove a Chevrolet Malibu with the 9C1 Police Patrol Package and a 350 cubic inch LT-1 Z-28 Chevrolet Camaro engine, finishing 13th in a field of 47 competitors, completing the run from Darien, Connecticut to Redondo Beach, California in 36 hours, 51 minutes. Marshall wrote, "Over two decades later, the laughs and the memories are still fresh. I was fortunate to be involved".[6]

In 2012, Bloomberg discovered that Marshall's widow, Elaine Tettemer Marshall, was the 4th richest woman in the United States with an estimated net worth of $12.7 billion.[7]