Smith's Baby's trust fund may be depleted

  1. Lawyer for Smith's Baby Wants Payment
    Oct. 15, 2007, 6:46 PM EST
    The attorney who represented Anna Nicole Smith's infant daughter in the rancorous dispute over the starlet's body is seeking nearly $200,000 for his work.
    Richard Milstein served as the court-appointed guardian ad litem for Dannielynn Hope Marshall Birkhead. He has filed paperwork in state court in Broward County seeking $198,493.98 from a trust set up in Dannielynn's name.
    Attorneys for the girl's father, Larry Birkhead, and Smith's longtime companion, Howard K. Stern, say Milstein's bill would exhaust nearly the entirety of an estimated $200,000 remaining in the trust, though the girl could eventually inherit millions more.
    Besides acting as Dannielynn's representative in a Fort Lauderdale court, Milstein also helped coordinate funeral arrangements for Smith.
    "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 argued in his petition.
    He did not return a phone call Monday seeking additional comment.
    The matter is scheduled for a hearing Nov. 8, but attorneys for Birkhead, Stern and Smith's mother have already opposed.
    "It is unconscionable for a trust established for a baby to be billed at a large firm hourly rate," wrote attorneys for Birkhead and Stern. They also said the Playboy model's mother, Virgie Arthur, should pay at least part of the bill, which the mother's attorney called ridiculous.

    Lawyer Stephen Tunstall did find common ground with Birkhead and Stern in his objection to Milstein's accounting. He said the guardian ad litem "went wild" in generating a bill.
    Smith, who died Feb. 8 in a Hollywood hotel, was the widow of Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. She had been fighting Marshall's family for years over his estimated $500 million fortune, which could eventually go to Dannielynn.
    Associated Press writer Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.
  2. This amount of money does seem to be a bit excessive. I would hate to see her trust fund depleted. Neverending drama with this crew.
  3. ^ I agree. I am sure he needs to be paid, but that surely seems totally excessive.
  4. He's ripping off this poor baby. She might inherit more millions but she might also not.
  5. That's what I was thinking. She needs some money left to take care of her.
  6. What she needs is for her daddy to get a job and support her instead of selling her photo/story to the tabloids.
  7. ^^ I SO agree. That little girl needs to be far away from the public as possible.
  8. In most cases, no matter what, the lawyer gets paid first. Sad but true. I feel sorry for that little girl but you can't pick our parents. :sad:
  9. How does one enter into a contract with a baby? This is so greedy.
  10. Shame that the fund will be depleted, amount seems excessive for sure!
  11. Most people expect to be compensated when they go to work. Is it wrong that the lawyer would expect pay for work done?
  12. Nothing wrong with being compensated when work is done, but OVER CHARGING and taking advantage of your client is WRONG!!!:tdown:
  13. Depends on what the lawyer's hourly rate is.

    For the sake of argument, if his rate is $375/hour (I have no idea if that's accurate at all, just a guess based on some lawyers that I deal with at my company), that's 13.23 forty-hour work weeks. Not including the costs lawyers often bill for, such as long-distance telephone charges, transportation to court, materials, paralegals, etc.

    Honestly, that charge seems like a lot to a regular person, but to a big-name attorney, it's really not.
  14. OMG. I couldn't have said it any better!!
  15. With all the pictures/stories/magazine covers ect. her dad has been selling of her, he should pay off the bill. Come on Larry stop mooching off of your daughter!