In re: Blasingame, No. 14-8046 (6th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The bankruptcy court imposed Rule 9011 sanctions against attorneys stemming from their representation of debtors in an adversary proceeding in which a creditor and the trustee sought denial of discharge. The attorney filed notice of appeal regarding the sanctions order. The bankruptcy court subsequently set the amount of sanctions and, days later, amended that order and imposed additional sanctions under 28 U.S.C. 1927. The Sixth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel first denied motions to dismiss an appeal, holding that it had jurisdiction because the amount of sanctions was set forth in a final order. Notice of appeal was timely filed. Resolution of the sanctions issue will have no discernable impact on the pending discharge issue. The Panel subsequently vacated the sanctions order. In seeking the sanctions, the creditor did not comply with Rule 9011’s “safe harbor” notice requirement and the exception to that requirement did not apply. The bankruptcy court also erred as a matter of law in concluding that the attorney’s “shadow representation” of the debtors vexatiously and unreasonably multiplied the proceedings. In a separate opinion, the Panel upheld the bankruptcy court's ultimate denial of discharges.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on January 21, 2015.