LAS VEGAS, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- William Morse, the attorney who successfully defended eccentric millionaire Howard Hughes' estate from a bogus claim, has died at age 82.
The veteran Las Vegas attorney, who died Monday, will be remembered as a patriot and "outstanding trial lawyer" who brought honor to the legal profession, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., told the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Morse, born in Silver Creek, Neb., moved to Las Vegas with his family in the 1930s. He dropped out of college after the attack on Pearl Harbor, joined the Navy and flew torpedo bombers over the Atlantic and Pacific. Morse gained his law degree after World War II.
Morse held various judicial and state posts during his 54-year career, but gained his greatest fame defending Hughes' estate in the 1970s claim by Melvin Dummar. Morse persuaded a jury to reject Dummar's claim that Hughes left him one-sixteenth of his estate for rescuing Hughes from the desert in 1967.