Bos v. Board of Trustees (For Publication)

Bos v. Board of Trustees (9th Cir. March 24, 2016) (For Publication)
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's affirmance of the Bankruptcy Court, that found that Gregory Bos ("Debtor") Motion for Attorney's Fees was denied because the claim was collateral to the contract and not on a contract as the Court interpreted Section 1717 under the California Civil Code. Additionally, Debtor was not able to recover fees under ERISA because nondischargeability proceeding did not meet the test for "arising under" jurisdiction under 29 U.S.C. 1132(e).
Procedural context:
A number of Parties sued the Debtor for breach of fiduciary duty under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(4). The nondischargeability claim was dismissed as Debtor was not a fiduciary. After the case was dismissed, Debtor sought attorney fees for the litigation under California and ERISA law. The Debtor lost all appeals all the way up to the Ninth Circuit.
Debtor was an employer who entered into certain trust agreements to make payments to certain employee pension funds. Debtor did not make the payments and eventually was sued personally and a judgment in the amount of $504.282.59 was awarded against Debtor. Debtor filed chapter 7.
O'Scannlain, Ikuta, Circuit Judges and Larry A. Burns, District Judge

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