Blanche Hamilton Karsch was grocery shopping in Memphis when she learned that she had received a 3.5 million dollar inheritance. Mrs. Karsch responded with “Really. That’s nice,” before selecting a 5¢ head of lettuce.
But things weren’t that easy. Blanche had been adopted from a New York orphanage by Hugh and Kate Magevney Hamilton, a prominent Memphis couple. When Mrs. Hamilton died, many Magevney relatives challenged the distribution of the inheritance to Karsch.
William Park Metcalf of Metcalf, Metcalf & Apperson represented Mrs. Karsch in court, and it was reported that his pleadings on her behalf “left not a dry eye in the court.”
Metcalf won the court case for Mrs. Karsch, and the case became a landmark for adoptees’ rights of inheritance. Metcalf, Metcalf & Apperson, now Apperson Crump, remains Memphis’ oldest continuously practicing law firm.