Cir 1 [Oct 06, 2008]
In a bankruptcy matter alleging gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty for formulating and promoting an unworkable restructuring plan to the bankruptcy courts, judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed over claim that the district court erred in dismissing complain on in pari delicto defense grounds.
In a bankruptcy matter, dismissal of trustee-plaintiff’s claim is affirmed where: 1) the trustee filed his notice of appeal in the wrong set of cases; and 2) the misdirected filing deprived the district court of jurisdiction to modify, vacate, or rescind the fee awards.
In a bankruptcy matter, questions on attorney’s lien statute are certified where there was no controlling precedent and where the questions were determinative of the pending cause of actions. Certified questions are: 1) Does chapter 221, section 50 of the Massachusetts General Laws grant a lien on patents and patent applications to a Massachusetts attorney for patent prosecution work performed on behalf of a client? and 2) If chapter 221, section 50 of the Massachusetts General Laws does grant a lien and the issued patents or patent applications are sold, does the attorney’s lien attach to the proceeds of the sale?
Cir 2 [Oct 14, 2008]
Bankruptcy court’s order enjoining property-owner plaintiff from further prosecuting state claims against defendant-MCI is affirmed where to the extent plaintiff’s claims were viable under state law, they were pre-petition claims that were discharged by confirmation of defendant-MCI, Inc.’s plan of reorganization.
Cir 3 [Oct 16, 2008]
In a bankruptcy case, allowance of a state government’s claim against debtor for damages for cleanup of contamination at a gas station is affirmed where: 1) the claim was subject to the police-power exception to the automatic stay against the pursuit of money judgments in bankruptcy cases; and 2) a state court had jurisdiction to enter a default judgment against debtor, notwithstanding that the state had already brought a related claim before the bankruptcy court.
Cir 5 [Oct 13, 2008]
In a suit accusing defendant of filing a claim attempting to collect a pre-petition debt in violation of an automatic stay in plaintiffs’ Chapter 13 bankruptcy, an interlocutory order granting partial summary judgment for plaintiffs is reversed where: 1) unpaid escrow payments that accumulate pre-petition in the year that a bankruptcy petition is filed, and which the creditor had a right to collect under the loan documents, constitute a “claim” under the Bankruptcy Code; but 2) the filing of a proof of claim including the amounts of these payments does not by itself violate an automatic stay in a bankruptcy proceeding. (Revised opinion)