Protection Status
From our private database of 15,400+ case briefs...

Spearman v. Spearman

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
482 F.2d 1203 (5th Cir. 1973)


Edward Spearman married his first wife, Mary Spearman (defendant), in Alabama, and the Spearmans had two daughters. Later, Edward moved to California and married Viva Spearman (defendant). At the time of his death seven years later, Edward had an insurance policy with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Metropolitan) (plaintiff), under a group policy in the amount of $10,000. The policy provided that, if no beneficiary were designated, the proceeds were to be paid to Edward’s widow. Edward did not designate a beneficiary. Mary and Viva both claimed to be Edward’s widow for the purpose of receiving the insurance proceeds. Metropolitan filed an interpleader action in federal district court to determine which defendant was the Edward's widow. The district court found, based on the evidence presented, that there had been no legal proceeding dissolving the marriage between Edward and Mary. Further, Viva testified that she was aware of the possibility that Edward’s marriage to Mary had not resulted in divorce. The district court concluded that Mary was Edward’s widow. Viva appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Roney, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 310,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 15,400 briefs, keyed to 210 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.