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Weekly LexisNexis Video News Update - June 21, 2010

Among the stories on this video edition of LexisNexis Legal News, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court on June 14 held that an attorney fees award is payable to the litigant; therefore, it is subject to an offset to satisfy the litigant's pre-existing obligation, when a debt is owed to the government...

Lessons on Fees from the Fifth Circuit's ASARCO Decision

While the Fifth Circuit has yet to definitively address the quirky Pro-Snax opinion, a new decision provides some helpful guidance on recovering attorneys' fees in bankruptcy. ASARCO, LLC v. Jordan Hyden Womble Culbreth & Holzer, P.C. (Matter of ASARCO, LLC) , No. 12-40997 (5th Cir. 4/30/14)...

Fifth Circuit Panel Urges Re-Examination of Pro-Snax

The Fifth Circuit ruled on July 15 that a bankruptcy court following Matter of Pro-Snax Distributors, Inc. , 157 F.3d 414 (5th Cir. 1997) did not abuse its discretion in substantially reducing fees requested by counsel in a failed chapter 11 case. The Debtor's counsel argued that Pro-Snax was subject...

Supreme Court to Decide If Bankruptcy Lawyers Can Get Fees For Pursuing Bonus Fees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 agreed to decide whether the U.S. Bankruptcy Code gives bankruptcy courts discretion to award lawyers their fees for successfully defending applications for enhanced attorney fees ( Baker Botts, LLP, et al. v. ASARCO, LLC , No...

Supreme Court to Hear Dispute Over Fees for Defending Fee Application

The Supreme Court doesn't take many cases on bankruptcy issues. It has only ruled on attorney's fees in bankruptcy once since the Code was adopted and that ruling was on the narrow issue of whether a chapter 7 debtor's attorney could recover fees from the estate. As a result, it was big news...

Recovering Attorneys' Fees in Dischargeability Litigation

A new opinion from Judge Tony Davis answers some interesting questions about recovery of attorneys' fees in dischargeability litigation. Schwertner Backhoe Services, Inc. v. Kirk (In re Kirk) , Adv. No. 11-1239 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 1/28/15), which can be found here [ an enhanced version of this opinion...

Fifth Circuit Reverses Pro-Snax

In a unanimous decision, the en banc Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals walked back a prior precedent which mandated an identifiable, tangible and material benefit before professionals employed in bankruptcy cases could be compensated. No. 13-50075, Barron & Newburger, P.C. v. Texas Skyline, et al (5th...

Baker Botts v. Asarco: The Supreme Court Shows Again That It Really Doesn’t Understand Corporate Bankruptcy Cases

by Ben Feder The Supreme Court has not handled its recent major bankruptcy decisions well. The jurisdictional confusion engendered by its 2011 decision in Stern v. Marshall was only partially clarified by this term’s opinion in Wellness International Network v. Sharif . The Court’s ruling...

Supreme Court Says Lawyers Don't Get Paid for Defending Their Fees

A Texas law firm did a great job and beat back a punitive attack on their fees. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that they may not receive compensation for defending their work. Baker Botts, LLP v. ASARCO, LLC , No. 14-103, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3920 (6/15/15) [subscribers can access an enhanced version...

After Woerner, Courts Look for "Good Gambles"

You've got to know when to hold 'em Know when to fold 'em Know when to walk away And know when to run --Kenny Rogers, The Gambler After the Fifth Circuit’s opinion in Barron & Newburger, P.C. v. Texas Skyline Ltd. (Matter of Woerner) , 783 F.3d 286 (5 th Cir. 2015), lawyers for...