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2006-10-12 08:51:40

Anna Nicole Smith's Bahamian Lawyer Quits

Anna Nicole Smith's lead attorney in the Bahamas said Wednesday he has withdrawn as counsel for the reality TV star, citing disagreements on matters of strategy and concerns about her conduct.

Michael Scott said he was unsettled by Smith's decision to exchange vows with her boyfriend even before she made funeral arrangements for Daniel Smith, her 20-year-old son who died Sept. 10. People magazine bought photos of the ceremony, which was not a legal wedding and was held aboard a catamaran on Sept. 28 in waters off Nassau, Bahamas.

"A disagreement on a commercial transaction made it difficult for us to remain as counsel," Scott told The Associated Press over the phone.

A Nassau funeral home has been holding Daniel Smith's embalmed body while awaiting further instructions from the family. He died while visiting Smith in a Bahamas hospital where she had given birth to a daughter three days earlier.

Bahamian police investigating Smith's death expect to submit their report as early as this week to authorities who will determine whether a jury inquest is necessary.

Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist who conducted a private autopsy, concluded that he died from a lethal combination of methadone and two antidepressants.

Scott, who was also the lawyer for Daniel Smith's estate, said he decided to withdraw effective Tuesday after consulting with his partners. He said he has notified Anna Nicole Smith in writing.

"It was not really an amicable parting," said Scott, reached on his cell phone in Florida.

Scott cited disagreements with Smith's boyfriend and longtime attorney Howard K. Stern, who says he is the father of Anna Nicole's newborn daughter.

There were "strong differences of opinion between myself and Howard over strategies," said Scott, who declined to elaborate, citing attorney-client privilege.

The Associated Press

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