Judge Case

Smith v. Shearman & Sterling (In re BCE West LP)

Plaintiff chapter 11 Plan Trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant law firm seeking to avoid a payment under 11 U.S.C.S. § 547. The law firm was hired by a special committee of the board of directors of the debtor to advise it in connection with a proposed merger and roll up transaction. The law firm asserted that the payments were made in the ordinary course of business under 11 U.S.C.S. § 547(c)(2).
Ruling: 
Payments to law firm for one transaction were not avoidable as made in the ordinary course of business as consistent with debtor's payments to other professional service providers.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on February 28,2008, LexisNexis #0408-067

Lees v. Lees (In re Lees)

Plaintiff, defendant debtor's former spouse, filed an adversary proceeding seeking a determination that the debts owed her were nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C.S. § 523(a)(15). At issue was the allocation of a state-court award for attorney fees in a divorce proceeding between pre- and post-petition periods. Further at issue was whether the portion of the fees awarded for the debtor's prepetition conduct was non-dischargeable.
Ruling: 
Attorneys' fees awarded in divorce decree but which state court indicated were not in the nature of support were dischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on January 23,2008, LexisNexis #0208-137

In re College Props. Ltd. Pship

The attorney for the chapter 11 trustee filed his third fee application, seeking approval of $105,226.00 in fees and $6,849.63 in costs, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 330. Limited partners of the debtor limited partnership filed objections. At issue was whether the fees, almost entirely incurred in the defense of certain limited partners' appeal, should be payable from the amounts set aside for distributions to those objectors.
Ruling: 
Fees incurred in defense of limited partners'appeal of global settlement agreement ordered paid from funds set aside from those partners.
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Commercial case opionion summary, case decided on November 13,2007, LexisNexis #1207-096

Edmondson v. Bradshaw (In re Bradshaw)

Plaintiff, the former husband of debtor, and the debtor were engaged in a long-running and hotly contested child custody proceeding. A state court awarded the former husband a portion of his attorney's fees incurred in the child custody dispute, under Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 25-324. The debtor sought to discharge that judgment, and the former husband moved for partial summary judgment of nondischargeability under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5).
Ruling: 
Attorneys'fees awarded to debtor's spouse in long-running child custody proceeding were nondischargeable.
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Consumer case opionion summary, case decided on August 24,2007, LexisNexis #1007-064

99 Westchester Invs. LP v. Johnson (In re Johnson)

Plaintiff creditor commenced a dischargeability proceeding against defendant debtors, asserting that a debt arising from the sale of the creditor's airport car rental locations to a corporation was nondischargeable in the debtors'personal bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a) or 727.
Ruling: 
Debtor did not act fraudulently in purchase of airport car rental locations by corporation of which debtor was an officer.
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Warfield v. GMAC (In re Moore)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor seeking to avoid the creditor's lien as an unauthorized postpetition transfer under 11 U.S.C. §§ 549 and 544(a). The trustee also moved to compel turnover of the proceeds of the creditor's sale of the vehicle.
Ruling: 
Trustee could avoid lien that did not fit within safe harbor provisions.
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TPG of Scottsdale LLC v. Scott Desert Shadows LLC (In re Scott Desert Shadows LLC)

Defendant seller filed a motion to quash a lis pendens filed by plaintiff assignee on the same day as the assignee's complaint for fraudulent inducement, promissory estoppel, negligent misrepresentation, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, reformation, moneys paid by mistake, and conversion.
Ruling: 
Rejection of executory agreement for sale of real property terminated the agreement effective the day preceding filing.
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