Appellate Cases - Bankruptcy

Mr. Adelstein has handled several appeals or other matters involving bankruptcy law.

In re Dwyer; Duffy v. Dwyer

In an earlier appeal, Mr. Adelstein represented a husband in a family law matter and obtained a reversal of the judgment that imposed a charge against the husband's share of the marital estate. Accordingly, the wife owed the husband additional money.

The wife did not pay the money she owed. Instead, she filed for bankruptcy. The husband filed an adversarial complaint, objecting to the discharge. The complaint was due on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This day is a state holiday under Code of Civil Procedure § 135, and the clerk's office was closed, except for emergency filings. The complaint was filed the following Monday.

Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9006(a) extends time to the next court day if a deadline falls on "a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, or, when the act to be done is the filing of a paper in court, a day on which weather or other conditions have made the clerk's office inaccessible . . . ." (Similar rules are found in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a) and Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 26(a).) However, the bankruptcy court held that the complaint was untimely and dismissed it.

Mr. Adelstein represented the husband again, and obtained a reversal from the Ninth Circuit BAP. The wife then appealed to the 9th Circuit, and Mr. Adelstein obtained an affirmance of the BAP's opinion from the 9th Circuit.

Case Comment

Mr. Adelstein obtained a triple appellate victory for this client in these related matters: a reversal in the underlying family law case, a reversal in the BAP, and an affirmance in the 9th Circuit.

Case Data

9th Circuit BAP Opinion.
9th Circuit Opinion.
Courts: 9th Circuit BAP and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Case No. 03-1242 (BAP) and 04-55044 (9th Circuit)
Authors: Judge Christopher Klein (BAP); Susan P. Graber (9th Circuit)
Opinion Dates: November 21, 2003 (BAP); October 13, 2005
Trial Counsel: Baruch C. Cohen, Law Office of Baruch C. Cohen, a Professional Corporation

In re Supple; Kaufman v. Supple

Mr. Adelstein represented a husband in an earlier appeal. The Court of Appeal increased the amount the wife owed the husband pursuant to the family court judgment. The wife did not pay the additional money to the husband. Instead, she spent some, hid some, and paid her lawyer some. Eventually, she paid some of the money to her former husband and then filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to discharge the debt.

In the bankruptcy proceedings, Mr. Adelstein (who was familiar with the complex procedural history) agreed to act as co-counsel for the husband. This was one of Mr. Adelstein's rare appearances in the trial court. After a one-day bench trial, the bankruptcy court denied her discharge (1) under Section 727(a)(2)(A) for transferring and concealing property with the intent to hinder, delay, or defraud the husband and (2) under Section 727(a)(4)(A) for fraudulently making numerous false statements under oath. Additionally, the court found that the wife's debt was exempted in its entirety under Section 532(a)(15) and most of the debt (plus post-judgment interest) was exempted under Section 523(a)(4) because the wife had committed defalcation with these funds while acting in a fiduciary capacity. The bankruptcy court made an explicit finding of fact that "[t]he purpose of [the wife's] bankruptcy filing was to prevent [the husband] from being able to collect on his judgment."

Case Data

Court: U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California
Case No. LA 99–13115; Adversarial Proceeding Case No: LA 99-01980
Judgment Date: April 18, 2000