Judge Duncan

In re Arsi

A bankruptcy debtor was disbarred from practicing law based on misconduct, and the debtor was ordered to pay restitution by the South Carolina Supreme Court (Court). The Court and its Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") moved for a determination that the exception to the automatic bankruptcy stay under 11 U.S.C. § 362(b)(4) was applicable.
Ruling: 
Disbarred attorney debtor's restitution obligation was excepted from discharge.
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In re Spencer

Debtors, a married couple who filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, objected to an amended proof of claim filed by claimant, a lender which was relying on a mortgage executed by debtors in its favor in filing a proof of secured claim. At issue was the effect, if any, of a defect in the manner in which the mortgage was acknowledged on the claimant's interests and rights.
Ruling: 
Debtors could not avoid lien that hypothetical lien creditor could not have avoided under state law.
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In re Nettles

Movant, a creditor, sought orders of the court replacing the trustee who had previously been appointed in an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding instituted by other creditors of debtor. Movant also asked the court to determine who was "in charge" of certain trusts. The trustee opposed the motions and cross-moved for sanctions.
Ruling: 
Creditor's motion for replacement of trustee in involuntary case brought by the creditors denied.
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American Investors Life Ins. Co. v. Salinas (In re Salinas)

Defendants, the personal representatives of estates of various deceased persons (estates), asked the court to abstain from exercising jurisdiction over a two-count complaint filed by plaintiff insurance company, which request was made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334(c)(1) or (2). The company later withdrew its first cause of action. At issue was whether abstention was proper.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court abstained from proceeding to determine if debtor was acting as agent of insurance company when recommending improper investments.
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Duncan v. Duncan (In re Duncan)

Appellant estate administrator sought review of an order of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which granted summary judgment to appellee debtor in an adversary proceeding brought by the bankruptcy estate to challenge the dischargeability of a judgment debt owed by the debtor arising out of a state wrongful death action.
Ruling: 
Dischargeability of wrongful death damages award was not collaterally estopped since the judgment was based on a different legal standard than section 523(a)(6)'s willful and malicious injury standard.
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