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In re Spickelmier

United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada
469 B.R. 903 (2012)


Facts

Dr. Spickelmier (plaintiff) was a debtor who was represented by the law firm of Barry Levinson & Associates (Levinson firm). The attorneys for the Levinson firm first filed a petition for a bankruptcy chapter for which Dr. Spickelmier was ineligible. The Levinson firm then negotiated a conversion to a chapter for which Spickelmier was eligible, but the Levinson firm failed to comply with the terms of the conversion, and Spickelmier’s case was dismissed. The Levinson firm filed a motion for reconsideration but failed to appear at the hearing on that motion. The Levinson firm then moved for an order shortening time, but the motion was identical to an earlier order the court had already denied. The court issued an order to show cause regarding these filings and put the firm on notice that disgorgement of attorneys’ fees paid by Spickelmier was one of the sanctions that the court might impose. A lawyer with the Levinson firm, Mondejar, appeared late to the hearing on the order to show cause. Mondejar was utterly unprepared to participate in the hearing and totally unable to present any explanation or justification for the Levinson firm’s repeated failures to represent Dr. Spickelmier adequately.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Markell, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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