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Schultze v. Chandler

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 18, 2014

RICHARD K. SCHULTZE; LORENZO V. ZUNINO; ROBERT BECCHETTI; RICHARD QUESTONI, Appellants,
v.
DAVID N. CHANDLER, SR.; DAVID N. CHANDLER, P.C., Appellees

Argued and Submitted, San Francisco, California December 4, 2013.

Page 946

Appeal fro the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. 3:11-cv-04940-WHA. William Alsup, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY[*]

Bankruptcy

The panel affirmed the district court's affirmance of the bankruptcy court's dismissal of a malpractice action against an attorney for an unsecured creditors' committee.

The panel held that the bankruptcy court properly exercised jurisdiction over the legal malpractice action after its removal from state court because the action was a core proceeding. Agreeing with other circuits, the panel held that a post-petition claim brought against a court-appointed professional is a core proceeding. The panel held that this lawsuit fell easily within the definition of a core proceeding because the attorney's employment by the committee and compensation were approved by the bankruptcy court, his duties pertained solely to the administration of the bankruptcy estate, and the claim asserted by committee members was based solely on acts that occurred in the administration of the estate.

The panel held that the bankruptcy court correctly dismissed the action on the basis that the attorney represented only the committee and did not owe an individual duty of care to the committee members.

Paul A. Frassetto (argued), Frassetto Law Offices, San Francisco, California, for Appellants.

James A. Murphy (argued) and Arthur J. Harris, Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney, San Francisco, California, for Appellees.

Before: Stephen S. Trott, Sidney R. Thomas, and Mary H. Murguia, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Thomas.

OPINION

Page 947

THOMAS, Circuit Judge:

In this appeal, we consider whether the bankruptcy court properly exercised jurisdiction over a malpractice action against an attorney for the unsecured creditors' ...


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