Arnold, et al. v. Arnold (In re Arnold)

Arnold, et al. v. Arnold (In re Arnold), Case No. 15-031 (BAP 10th Cir. March 15, 2016). Unpublished.
In an award of attorney’s fees under Colorado’s civil theft statute, bankruptcy court not required to follow the 5th Circuit’s factors enunciated in Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express, Inc., but follows state law.
Procedural context:
The 10th Circuit BAP affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision awarding attorney’s fees and costs to the attorney representing the prevailing party against debtor in a state court action for civil theft. Determining whether court relied on correct legal standard is reviewed de novo. An award of attorney’s fees is reviewed for an abuse of discretion, and the bankruptcy court’s underlying findings are reviewed under a clearly erroneous standard.
Puslewave, one of the appellees, sued debtor in state court to determine ownership of patents. The action was stayed by debtor’s bankruptcy case. Pulswave and others, including debtor’s brother, brought an adversary proceeding seeking a denial of debtor’s discharge. For reasons unrelated to the appeal, a receiver was appointed over Pulsewave who represented Pulsewave in the state court action and discharge adversary. Debtor’s discharge was denied and judgment in an amount exceeding $15 million was entered against him. The receiver’s counsel filed a fee application in the amount of $24,277.00 plus costs in the amount of $573.00 and debtor objected.
Karlin, Cornish, Michael (Cornish)

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