Cir 7 May 15, 2008
In a bankruptcy proceeding in which plaintiffs sought to be assigned a contract bankruptcy debtor had with a third party, bankruptcy court’s denial of a motion to compel the trustee to assume the contract and then assign it is affirmed where: 1) the court did not improperly consider whether the contract between the debtor and the third party had expired in order to determine if the trustee could assume the contract without being subject to sanctions under Rule 9011; 2) orders extending the time for the trustee to assume or reject the contract were not a basis to contend that the contract had not expired; 3) third party was not estopped from asserting that the contract had expired; and 4) there was no need for an evidentiary hearing to determine whether the contract had expired.
Cir 8 May 13, 2008
In consolidated bankruptcy proceedings wherein the bankruptcy court denied a motion seeking recusal of the bankruptcy judge, approved a settlement negotiation, denied a motion for hearing on the settlement, and approved an award of attorneys’ fees, judgment is affirmed where: 1) the recusal motion was made untimely; 2) upon reviewing the totality of the circumstances, the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in approving the settlement agreement or denying the motion for settlement hearing; and 3) because the fee award was only challenged on the basis of a conflict and not contested as to whether the amount was reasonable, the court did not abuse its discretion in its award of attorneys’ fees.
Cir 8 May 14, 2008
In an appeal following a bankruptcy court’s denial of a motion to require a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee to show cause why he should not be found in contempt for failing to pay contributions ordered while the debtor’s case was in Chapter 11, the appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where: 1) the bankruptcy court’s order denying a motion to show cause was not a final appealable order; and 2) the order did not qualify as a collateral order, for purposes of the collateral order doctrine.