Judge Smith

Ferrara v. DAddario (In re Tinney)

Plaintiff, a bankruptcy trustee, filed an action against defendant attorney alleging that the attorney committed legal malpractice when he represented the debtor in certain probate court matters related to the estate of the debtor's deceased adoptive mother. The attorney filed a motion to withdraw the reference to the bankruptcy court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.S. § 157(d).
Ruling: 
Reference of debtor's action for legal malpractice in probate court proceeding withdrawn.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 06,2008, LexisNexis #0908-031

Mullarkey v. Tamboer (In re Mullarkey)

Plaintiff debtor sued defendant creditors, alleging that they had committed fraud on a bankruptcy court and that their actions as to a foreclosure constituted racketeering. The District Court for the District of New Jersey referred the matter to the bankruptcy court, affirmed that court's denial of the debtor's motions for, inter alia, a change in venue, and denied the debtor's motion for reconsideration. The debtor appealed.
Ruling: 
District court erred in failing to consider debtor's racketeering and fraud claims against creditor on the merits.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on July 31,2008, LexisNexis #0808-104

Ditto v. McCurdy

Appellant patient obtained a judgment against appellee physician for medical malpractice, the physician filed a bankruptcy petition, and the patient asserted that the judgment debt was nondischargeable based on willful and malicious injury under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The patient appealed the order of the District Court for the District of Hawaii which affirmed the bankruptcy court's grant of summary judgment to the physician.
Ruling: 
Medical malpractice judgment was dischargeable as mere negligence does not provide basis for nondischargeability.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on December 14,2007, LexisNexis #0108-062

Frazer v. Drummond (In re Frazer)

Appellant debtors filed a petition under chapter 13, and a plan for paying their creditors. Appellees, a trustee who was appointed to represent the bankruptcy estate and a creditor, filed objections to the debtors'amended plan for paying their creditors, and the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Montana sustained the objections and denied confirmation. The debtors appealed.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court erred in holding debtors were required to cure default under real estate contract within 60 days of filing.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on September 27,2007, LexisNexis #1107-084

In re Shenango Group Inc.

Appellant, a reorganized debtor, sought review of a decision from the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, which affirmed a bankruptcy court decision holding that the debtor was obligated under its reorganization plan to fully fund its pension plan to cover an increase in benefits to certain beneficiaries.
Ruling: 
Debtor bound by confirmed plan to fully fund pension plan to cover increase in benefits.
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In re Myers

Appellant debtor filed a chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. The bankruptcy court dismissed the case under 11 U.S.C. § 1307(c) as having been filed in bad faith and denied the debtor's motion to convert the case to chapter 7. The District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania affirmed. The debtor appealed.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court did not abuse discretion in retroactively annulling stay upon bad faith dismissal.
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Nicole Energy Servs. v. McClathey

Defendants filed a motion to withdraw the reference of an adversary proceeding from the bankruptcy court.
Ruling: 
Adversary proceeding that would not involve substantial decisions under non-bankruptcy law did not call for withdrawal of reference.
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T & D Moravits & Co. v. Munton (In re Munton)

Appellant subcontractor challenged a Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California ruling denying summary judgment that a debt arising from appellee debtor's breach of fiduciary duty relating to a construction project was not dischargeable. At issue was whether a state court default judgment under the Texas Construction Trust Fund Statute ("TCTFS") conclusively established that debtor was a fiduciary under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4).
Ruling: 
State construction trust fund statute created fiduciary relationship resulting in nondischargeable loan debt.
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Jordan v. Smith

The bankruptcy court revoked appellant debtor's discharge of indebtedness pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(3), for refusing to obey its administrative order, which expressly forbade debtor from transferring any interest in her property, even after discharge. Debtor appealed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a).
Ruling: 
Discharge properly revoked for debtor's failure to obey administrative order.
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Neal v. The Kansas City Star (In re Neal)

Appellants, a debtor and her unnamed creditors, sought review of a judgment of the District Court for the Western District of Missouri, which granted appellee newspaper's motion to reverse and vacate a bankruptcy court's order sealing the list of creditors under 11 U.S.C. § 107(b)(2).
Ruling: 
Bankrutpcy court abused discretion in sealing list of creditorsas list was not scandalous or defamatory.
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