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LABF Program – Annual State of the Court Presentation – October 15, 2018

LOS ANGELES BANKRUPTCY FORUM
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

October 15, 2018

ANNUAL STATE OF THE COURT PRESENTATION

Join us for a special presentation by the Honorable Sheri Bluebond on the state of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, and what we can expect in the next year.

The Aftermath of Jevic and the Survival of Structured Dismissals and Settlements

After Chief Judge Bluebond’s presentation, our panel will discuss the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., and whether class-skipping settlements and structured dismissals have survived. The panel will focus on opinions from courts around the country that have addressed these issues since the United States Supreme Court ruling. Read more…

Judge Scott Clarkson to Give Lecture on Dutch Artist Rembrandt van Rijn

On October 25, 2018 at 12 noon to 1 pm Judge Scott Clarkson will give a lecture on the life and 1656 bankruptcy of the Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn.  It is a lecture and powerpoint presentation that will be held in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse, 411 West Fourth Street, Santa Ana, Room 4078, Located in the USBC Intake Department, which is found by taking the escalator up to the 2nd floor.

This is a preview of the lecture he is giving at the Denver Art Museum on November 30.  Rembrandt Lecture Flier

The purpose of this letter … is to provide notice of a current crisis [In the Eastern District]

Since not all of us are members of the Eastern District, I wanted to share a letter signed by all nine sitting district court judges in the Eastern District. I have attached a copy to this blog. Judgeship+Letter+June+2018

Read more…

Is Fraud under California Law the Same as Fraud under 523(a)(2)? Yes says Judge Maureen Tighe.

In Moussighi v. Talasazan (In re Talasazan), 1:16-ap-01119-MT (Bkrcy June 2018, C.A. Cal Tighe J.), Judge Tighe said,

Fraud under California law and § 523(a)(2)(A) are identical for purposes of collateral estoppel. In re Younie, 211 B.R. 367, 373 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 1997), aff’d, 163 F.3d 609 (9th Cir. 1998); In re Jung Sup Lee, 335 B.R. 130, 136 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2005).

This came up in an argument I had with someone recently re res judicata.  I stated that a state court judgment that says ONLY “Plaintiff wins $1 million based on the fraud of defendant,” is res judicata in bankruptcy court whether entered by default or not.   I was told I was mistaken in no uncertain terms because fraud under California law is not the same as fraud under 523(a)(2).  Wrong!

By the way, the judgment example above IS res judicata as to the amount owed in any event – at least for claims purposes.  The typical state court judgment says “Plaintiff wins $1 million” (nothing else).  Collateral estoppel in that case as to fraud still MIGHT apply depending on whether it was actually litigated etc.  Underlying documents, rulings etc are needed.  But the judgment ITSELF is res judicata as to how much defendant/debtor owes the creditor.  That statement does NOT mean that if there was fraud, the damages for fraud are $1 million.  But it does mean debtor owes creditor $1 million (which is discharged unless 523(a) applies).

The Talasazan matter has an interesting twist.  The debtor moved for summary judgment on the grounds that fraud was litigated in state court and the ruling was in the debtor’s favor and therefore could not be relitigated.  The problem is that the state court judge did not say that.   Judge Tighe wrote:

“[W]hile fraud was pled, argued, and briefed after trial, the Third Amended Judgment does not include fraud in the list of causes of action on which Plaintiffs prevailed.

It appears that the Superior Court ruled in Plaintiffs’ favor on the negligent misrepresentation cause of action rather than fraud.

For purposes of collateral estoppel, as detailed below, the Superior Court’s silence with respect to the fraud action, in the context of undisputed evidence from both sides that the issue was fully litigated, was a ruling in favor of the Debtor and not the Plaintiffs.”

Judge Zurzolo Brown Bag on May 14, 2018

Judge Vincent Zurzolo will host a Brown Bag discussion on Monday May 14th at 12:15 p.m. in his courtroom at the Los Angeles Division.

The specific topic is his new procedure to advance the hearing date on confirmation of a chapter 13 plan for chapter 13 cases over which he presides.

In addition, attendees can ask questions about chapter 13 procedures or other general court matters. Please see the flyer and 4 exhibits that will be discussed by clicking the link below.

To view this announcement and the exhibits please click here.

RIP Hon. Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Image result for stephen reinhardtThe “liberal lion” has passed.  He will be missed.  The LA Times article is here.

San Fernando Valley Bar Assn to Honor Judge Geraldine Mund

Email from Steve Fox,

Dear All:

The bankruptcy section is not conducting a meeting in February.  We will be back soon with some really good programs.

At the SFVBA’s annual judge’s night event on Thursday February 22, 2018 , Judge Mund is being honored.  The program will have a number of bankruptcy judges in attendance (along with state court judges) and it would be great to have a lot of bankruptcy attorneys in attendance for Judge Mund. Read more…

Judge Meredith Jury’s Comments at the cdcbaa Ashland Awards Dinner

Judge Jury received the cdcbaa award as Judge of the Year at our annual Ashland Awards dinner last month.   Her comments were epic and the award so well deserved.  Luckily I was able to track down someone who taped her statement on an IPhone (or something).  I had the comments transcribed with Judge Jury’s permission and posted on the cdcbaa website.  You can read her statement here.   It is one of my greatest honors to count her as a friend.

More on Sundquist: Are Fees Based on Contingency Fee Agreement here Reasonable?

No according to Judge Klein (in 40 pages).

Sundquist v. Bank of America (In re Sundquist) — B.R. — (Bkrtcy, E. D. Cal. Nov, 2017) Klein, J.

Issue:   Is it appropriate to “expunge” an attorney’s lien on the facts here?

Holding:   Yes.  The court here “canceled” the fee agreement between counsel and the debtor on the basis, in part, that fees exceeding $70,000 here were unreasonable.

Judge Christopher Klein

This is a 40 page diatribe excoriating the efforts of debtor’s counsel on behalf of the debtor.  It lays out very nicely however the rules of determining what fees are “reasonable” and how that determination intersects with state law.    Read more…

Hon. Harry Pregerson 1923 – 2017 RIP

Judge Harry Pregerson

I interviewed Judge Harry Pregerson about ten years ago in his chambers in Woodland Hills.  I was writing a short profile of him for the San Fernando Valley Bar Journal.  To say he regaled me over four hours with stories is to put it very mildly.  He was seriously wounded in the Pacific at the Battle of Okinawa when he was 22 years old.  He spent a few months I believe recovering on the island of Tinian.  He loved talking about the time he presided over the Oakland Raiders v. NFL trial, especially how smart the lawyers were and a few little tricks that they played trying to get an advantage with the jury.  In the bankruptcy arena, Judge Pregerson was on the panel in the Kagenveama case and later on the en banc panel in Flores where he dissented.

The article I finally wrote is below the jump.  The LA Times article on his death is here.

Judge Harry Pregerson
“Senior Judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals” Read more…