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Church Joint Venture, L.P. v. Earl Blasingame

Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

Raj Kamal Corp., et al. v. Fukushima (In re Raj Kamal Corp.)

Raj Kamal Corp., et al. v. Fukushima (In re Raj Kamal Corp.), BAP No. EC-12-1648 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Dec. 17, 2013)
Ninth Circuit BAP affirmed bankruptcy court's (E.D. California) order denying compensation to attorney for services rendered to Chapter 11 debtor and requiring disgorgement of all funds received. BAP rejected appellant's argument that attorney-client privilege prevented attorney from disclosing prior service as bankruptcy attorney to estate's accountant.
Procedural context:
Attorney filed final fee application requesting fees and costs. Bankruptcy court denied motion and ordered disgorgement of all funds received by attorney. Attorney appealed order to 9th Circuit B.A.P.
Chapter 11 debtor filed application to employ attorney, who represented he was disinterested pursuant to 11 USC 327 and FRBP 2014. Debtor also filed application to employ accountant. Attorney and accountant failed to disclose that attorney had previously represented accountant as bankruptcy counsel during accountant's Chapter 13 bankruptcy. When accountant filed fee application, following various procedural defects, accountant disclosed connection in supplemental filing. Attorney subsequently filed final fee application that also included various procedural defects. Attorney sought $29,450 in fees and expenses of $110.17. In separate case where attorney also worked with accountant and failed to disclose relationship, court learned of attorney's connection to accountant, and advised attorney of necessity of full disclosure. Attorney failed to supplement disclosure. Court held a hearing on fee application, but attorney failed to appear. Court denied application and ordered disgorgement because attorney had failed to provide sufficient disclosure of nature, extent, and value of professional service provided by attorney's legal assistants, and because attorney had failed to disclose nature and extent of his connections with accountant as required by FRBP 2014.
Kirscher, Pappas, Jury

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