Friday, June 12, 2009

Immune System of Bankruptcy Lawyer Further Imperiled by 11th Circuit Affirmance.


It's not easy being "extremely Floridian."

I like the lawyers at GrayRobinson, and I think they have a smart business model.

So I'm ready to write something positive, if one of you shmarties over on Brickell would send me some good news.

Instead, I have to report on this 11th Circuit opinion issued yesterday, which affirms a Middle District affirmance of a bankruptcy court sanctions order against attorney Peter Ginsberg of Peter R. Ginsberg P.C. (now at Crowell & Moring), and GrayRobinson lawyers Scott Spradley (who doesn't appear to work there anymore) and Maureen Vitucci, who served as local counsel for Ginsberg and also represented several other parties to the bankruptcy.

First off, it's just wrong that any order has to go on for eight pages before the opinion actually starts.

But once it gets going it's an interesting read. Apparently the sanctions order grew out of motion to recuse that the court determined was principally drafted by Ginsberg. In the sanctions order, the bankruptcy judge imposed monetary sanctions of $371k and barred Ginsberg from practicing in the Middle District bankruptcy court for five years.

GrayRobinson then settled their portion of the sanctions for $300k, which the bankruptcy judge approved.

I would read the whole thing, but I was particularly struck by the 11th Circuit's discussion of the tone of Ginsberg's filing and courtroom demeanor, which starts on page 44.

Here's Judge Fay on how Ginsberg treated the bankruptcy judge he had sought to recuse:
Further, Ginsberg was extremely difficult to deal with and disrespectful to
the court. He refused to answer the court's questions, treated the court as an adversary and continually made inflammatory statements. For example, Ginsberg
exaggerated the implications of Judge Briskman’s actions, alleging that his
conduct “relates directly to the judicial processes, namely the integrity of trial
transcripts, and a party’s due process rights and liberty.” (Recusal Mot. at 19.)

Ginsberg opened the Recusal Hearing by claiming: "Your honor has compromised my health, your Honor has compromised my immune system." (Recusal Tr. Vol. I
at 5.) Ginsberg also used accusatory, unsupported language in the three petitions
for writ of mandamus; asserted that Judge Briskman faced “potential career ending
punishment”; and accused him of trying to surreptitiously “brush the matter under
the carpet” so he could “retain authority over these very important issues of
judicial and professional conduct." (Response Br. at 16.)

Ginsberg also purposefully pursued recusal very publicly. After learning of
Hudson's Complaint, Ginsberg did not first request a private hearing with Judge
Briskman and all counsel in these cases to address his concerns, nor did he file the
Recusal Motion under seal (ignoring the preference for confidentiality inherent in
the Judicial Council Rules discussed below). Instead, the first time Ginsberg
raised the Complaint was in a 31-page accusatory motion which used the term
"investigation" twelve times and referenced adverse rulings fifty-four times.
Ginsberg also immediately brought the Recusal Motion to the attention of the
district court. He filed three petitions for a writ of mandamus with the district
court while the Recusal Motion was still pending.

In our view, Ginsberg’s dogged pursuit of a frivolous claim indicates bad
faith.
"Your Honor compromised my immune system"??

Seriously? That's really your opening, Peter?

Take some Naturebee and buck up, soldier.
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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

really...compromised his immune system!?! What a crock.

compromised-my-immune-system-for-the-princess said...

Talk about bad judgment all around.

Anonymous said...

GrayRobinson is a big joke. Inferior lawyering. Lots of ethical transgressions.

naturebee-lovers-of-the-latina said...

That may be one of the funniest opening arguments I ever heard.

naturebee-lovers-of-the-latina-1 said...

Ditto 2:32

Anonymous said...

During the relevant proceedings Ginsberg had stage 4 throat cancer and was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy following aggressive surgery. That's what Ginsberg was referring to regarding "immune system". Judge would not grant a continuance.

William D. Schroeder, Jr said...

Yes i was struck by the 11th Circuit's discussion too and courtroom demeanor of bankruptcy lawyer Ginsberg. How can he open the Recusal Hearing by claiming: "Your honor has compromised my health, your Honor has compromised my immune system", is completly out of context.

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Anonymous said...

wow, get your facts straight before slandering someone. it makes perfect sense for that to be his opening given that he was undergoing treatment for cancer and the judge wouldn't grant a continuance. do a little research before your next big post, will you?

Anonymous said...

This is awesome, it countered some contradictions I had heard.

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