Case Roundup

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In re: Carco Elec., 07-1009 [July 29, 2008]

In a dispute between competing bidders in the acquisition of debtor’s production facilities during bankruptcy proceedings, an appeal from a protective order limiting the disclosure of the bidders’ respective trade secrets during discovery is dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction where the order was neither final nor appealable under the limited scope of the collateral order doctrine.

In re: Mullarkey, 05-4081, 05-4651 [July 31, 2008]

In a suit alleging fraud in a bankruptcy proceeding by co-owners of debtor’s property, dismissal of claims is reversed where the bankruptcy court had subject-matter jurisdiction over the complaint, but erred in dismissing plaintiff-debtor’s claims on various theories of preclusion.

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Sartin v. Macik, 071464 [July 28, 2008]

A state default judgment, entered as a penalty for a party’s failure to comply with a North Carolina court’s discovery order, does not have collateral estoppel effect in subsequent litigation in bankruptcy court.

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In the Matter of: Coleman, 06-16477 [August 01, 2008]

“[U]ndue hardship” determinations, whereby bankruptcy courts decide whether student loans qualify for discharge, can be ripe in a Chapter 13 case substantially in advance of plan completion.

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In re: Paul, 07-1395 [July 28, 2008]

In an adversary proceeding brought by former debtors after a bankruptcy discharge claiming that defendant violated a discharge injunction via a state court action, an order sanctioning defendant and enjoining her from pursuing the state court litigation is reversed where neither the bankruptcy court’s findings, nor the facts of record on which they are based, demonstrated that defendant’s facially permissible actions violated the discharge injunction.

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