Berger & Assocs. Attorneys, P.C. v. Kran, No. 13-1931 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Bradley Ian Berger and his law firm filed suit against debtor and his law partner in state court for outstanding fees owed to plaintiffs under a referral agreement between the parties. Berger had difficulty proving the amount of fees owed because debtor's partnership failed to file certain documents with the State. The failure led to discovery sanctions and the parties eventually settled. Berger subsequently filed an adversary proceeding against debtor in the bankruptcy court, arguing that 11 U.S.C. 727(a)(3) prevented debtor from obtaining bankruptcy relief. The court concluded that Berger failed to show that the facts of this case fell within the scope of section 727(a)(3) and the court rejected Berger's contention that the court's ruling permits debtor to evade his "legal and ethical duties" where debtor had already been sanctioned by the state court for failure to keep legally required documents. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's affirmance of the bankruptcy court's grant of debtor's motion for summary judgment.