Case Summaries

Bankruptcy Law

[10/16] In re Cherrett
In a bankruptcy action, the court held that the bankruptcy court's order denying a motion to dismiss debtor's Chapter 7 petition under 11 U.S.C. section 707(b) constitutes a final, appealable order and that the bankruptcy court did not err in finding debtor's housing loan from his employer to be a non-consumer debt.

[10/02] In Re Walldesign
Affirming the district court's order reversing the bankruptcy order that would have let a committee of unsecured creditors could recover fraudulently transferred funds solely from a corporate cheat because the appellate court agreed with the district court that the committee could also recover funds from the parties to whom the cheat made payments from the corporate account because the 'good guys' involved in these dealings were still in a better position than unsuspecting creditors to guard against corporate fraud.

[09/28] In Re J and S Properties LLC
Affirming the district court's support for a US Bankruptcy Court decision that qualified immunity applies to discretionary actions taken by a trustee to preserve a bankruptcy estate's assets.

[09/28] Higgins v. The Superior Court of San Diego County
Issuing an order to show cause and grant a petition for writ challenging the trial court's denial of a motion to dismiss on account of the failure by the case initiator to serve them with a summons and complaint within three years of the commencement of the action because the nondebtor party's service of process was not subject to a an automatic stay upon filing of the bankruptcy petition.

[09/22] In Re The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico
Reversing the district court's denial of a motion for intervention by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in an adversarial proceeding against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which was seeking debt adjustment under the Bankruptcy Code as incorporated in the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act because the Bankruptcy Code as incorporated includes an unconditional right to intervene.

[09/14] In Re: CWS Enterprises
Affirming the judgment of the state court confirming the arbitration award of contingency fees in the case of a party who sought to avoid the judgment by creating spinoff companies and entering into bankruptcy proceedings where the bankruptcy court's use of the lodestar method to determine the reasonableness of the attorney fees claimed because the contract that provided for these fees was not unreasonable or unconscionable.

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Probate Trusts

[10/13] Parille v. O'Connor
In an estate planning case, arising after daughter petitioned for ownership over funds remaining in joint accounts held with her deceased mother, the trial court's grant of the petition is affirmed where the trial court's finding of no contrary intent on the part of decedent is supported by substantial evidence.

[10/05] Urick, III v. Urick
Reversing a probate court order granting the special motion to strike a petition filed by a beneficiary filing a petition for instructions as to whether the 'no contest' clause of his mother's trust had been violated after his sister sought to reform the trust to eliminate his interest because although the plain language of the anti-SLAPP statute applies to petitions to enforce a no contest clause the brother still managed to establish the minimal merit necessary to show a probability of success at this stage.

[09/28] In Re J and S Properties LLC
Affirming the district court's support for a US Bankruptcy Court decision that qualified immunity applies to discretionary actions taken by a trustee to preserve a bankruptcy estate's assets.

[07/14] Lazar v. Charles Schwab Co. Inc.
Affirming the plaintiff's standing to bring a constitutional challenge under the Contracts Clause in the case of a divorced individual's attempts to claim the retirement fund of their ex following his death but affirming the claim's dismissal, application of Arizona's revocation-on-divorce statute, the holding that this statute was not preempted, the dismissal of a Contracts Clause challenge, and the transfer of the case to Arizona.

[06/30] Irvin v. Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Ass'n
Reversing the trial court's affirmation of the Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association Board of Retirement's denial of surviving spouse benefits because the entry of a judgment of legal separation did not terminate a marriage and the term

[06/01] Raymond Loubier Irrevocable Trust v. Noella Loubier
In an inheritance dispute pertaining to the assets of the deceased, as conveyed to various revocable and irrevocable trusts in the deceased's name and that of his wife, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction is vacated and remanded where, because the plaintiff trusts are traditional common law fiduciary agreements, and, further, because they are not separate juridical entities under the relevant state law of Florida, the citizenship of their trustees controls a diversity determination.

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