In re McKenzie, No. 12-5875 (6th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
The Trustee for McKenzie’s bankruptcy estate filed an adversary proceeding against GKH, McKenzie’s law firm (and a creditor), seeking records pertaining to entities in which McKenzie allegedly had an interest (11 U.S.C. 542). The parties entered into an agreed order. The Trustee then filed other actions, arising from the same post-petition transfer of 50 acres from the Cleveland Auto Mall, an entity in which McKenzie had a 50% interest, to a newly formed entity in which McKenzie had no interest. The Trustee alleged violation of the automatic stay, 11 U.S.C. 362(k) and preferential or fraudulent transfer, 11 U.S.C. 547(b) and 544(g)). The Bankruptcy Court dismissed, finding that under Tennessee law and notwithstanding prior dissolution, CAM existed as a separate legal entity such that the land remained its separate property. The Trustee then filed a state court action, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy to commit fraud; GKH allegedly represented McKenzie under a conflict of interest in drafting the transfer documents. Several claims were dismissed as untimely. GKH then sued the Trustee alleging malicious prosecution and abuse of process. The Bankruptcy Court dismissed GKH’s adversary proceeding alleging claims, citing quasi-judicial immunity and failure to state a claim, and denied GKH’s motion for leave to file a complaint in state court. The district court and Seventh Circuit affirmed.