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case roundup

8th cir
Bender v. Xcel Energy, Inc., No. 06-2634
In an action brought by former executives who filed an ERISA action against the successor to their company’s parent corporation claiming that it denied benefits due to them under certain plans, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) the district court properly concluded that plaintiffs were not participants in a 2000 Statement and therefore could not maintain their action against defendant for deferred compensation benefits; and 2) the district court properly concluded that substitute releases certain plaintiffs provided for purposes of participating in a Severance Plan did not satisfy their obligations under that plan, and thus their claims for stock benefits failed.

9th cir
Ellett v. Stanislaus, No. 05-16677The failure of a debtor to provide an accurate social security number to a creditor in the notice mailed to the creditor informing it of the first meeting convened under 11 U.S.C. section 341(a), does not place the creditor on sufficient notice to protect its rights in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy proceeding despite the fact that the mailing otherwise contained the debtor’s correct name and address.

In re: Wind N’ Wave, No. 05-56254Creditors who receive compensation under Bankruptcy Code section 503(b)(4) should also be compensated for costs incurred in litigating a fee award, so long as the services meet the section 503(b)(4) requirements and the case “exemplifies a ‘set of circumstances’ where litigation was ‘necessary’.” In an appeal arising after creditors petitioned a bankruptcy court to recover legal fees incurred in connection with filing an involuntary Chapter 7 petition against the debtor, a bankruptcy appellate panel (BAP) decision reversing the denial of such fees but denying fees for the appeal itself is reversed as the BAP erred in summarily denying creditors compensation for services arising out of the successful appeal.
federal circuit

Digeo, Inc. v. Audible, Inc., No. 2007-1133
In a patent dispute arising in circumstances in which plaintiff purchased a patent at a bankruptcy estate sale but certain assignments turned out to be forgeries, denial of defendant’s motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. section 285 including its request for additional discovery to develop a section 285 claim is affirmed as: 1) there was no clear error in the district court’s finding that the case was not exceptional; and 2) the court did not abuse its discretion in denying additional discovery.

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