Monday, October 15, 2012

"Bottle of Wine" Bankruptcy Sanctions Order Upheld!


Boy I remember the days when you could smooth over a dispute with a federal judge simply by delivering a nice bottle of wine and a hand-written note on the judge's doorstep.

Actually, I don't ever remember those days.

Regardless, the 11th has weighed in and affirmed the sanctions order:
Gleason has identified no authority supporting his contention that the First Amendment shields from sanctions an attorney who files an inappropriate and unprofessional pleading and then contacts a presiding judge ex parte with an offer to share a bottle of wine and “privately” resolve their dispute. When an attorney files inappropriate and unprofessional documents, a court may impose sanctions based on its “inherent power to oversee attorneys practicing before it.” Thomas v. Tenneco Packaging Co., 293 F.3d 1306, 1308 (11th Cir. 2002) (upholding a district court’s decision to sanction an attorney who submitted documents containing personal attacks on opposing counsel).

In the present case, the bankruptcy court found that Gleason’s written submissions to the court and sending a judge a bottle of wine with an offer to resolve their differences privately amounted to “sanctionable professional misconduct.”
Oh well,  I hope somebody drank it, a nice bottle of wine is a terrible thing to waste.

(Maybe it was part of the record on appeal?)

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sure. What about In re Evergreen Sec., Ltd., 570 F. 3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2009) where an attorney was run out of town for complaining too much about secret ex parte bankruptcy court proceedings?

Strange that no one (and who would that be?) looked into Gleason's main complaint: that fictional "factual findings" were being created "out of the ether."

The 11th Circuit has its priorities backwards and we in Florida suffer for it enormously. No wonder Florida is one the fraud epicenters in the country and bankruptcy cronyism is rampant.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that Miami Bankruptcy Court is a sham -- judges do everything they can to ensure that the repeat players make money. Anyone who challenges the system gets sanctioned, if they can even get heard.

Above the Law said...

ATL picked up the story.

Anonymous said...


kevin gleason is your "repeat player" and a sham. you dont try to contact the judge and send him a bottle of wine

Anonymous said...

11:54
Actually, all you do is arrange secret hearings, get rid of the evidence, have another (unnamed) bankruptcy judge "OK" the procedure. Then run the attorney who objects out of town ... as occurred in Evergreen Sec., Ltd., 570 F. 3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2009).

Also, tack on a few "out of the ether" findings and then throw a bottle of wine at any attorney who complains.

Obviously, it takes much more than a bottle of wine. Judge Olson's husband prospered mightily in bankruptcy circles once Judge Olson became a bankruptcy judge.

If Gleason is an insider, then he is one with some conscience and anyone can see what happens to a "complainer" when ludicrous decisions like Evergreen are being issued to keep everyone in line and perpetuate a system of rampant bankruptcy cronyism and abuse.

Local bankruptcy courts should need to be overhauled and investigated, but will not since there is too much money there for insiders to grab.

Anonymous said...

Bankrupcy has always been a clubby little practice. If you don't like it, pay your debts.

Anonymous said...

"clubby little practice"? That spin would have applied to Tammany Hall.

Endemic bankruptcy cronyism is not a victimless crime because the wealth of America is now passing through our local bankruptcy courts. That wealth is there for the taking with only the barest and ineffective illusion of accountability to protect us.

Don't worry about Wall Street ... look closer to home.

Florida Bankruptcy Lawyer said...

Contacting a judge to send him wine really couldn't be more obvious. The things people will do!

Anonymous said...

6:45 The best way to keep it less obvious is to comp the bankruptcy judge at a judicial junket.

Or even send him ex parte papers that the bankruptcy judge makes sure are not docketed. And who will then hold secret ex parte hearings with no reporter and issue orders to keep quiet about the whole mess.

Evergreen Sec., Ltd., 570 F. 3d 1257 (11th Cir. 2009)is a perfect and successful example of a less obvious way.

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