08 B 01187, 08 A 00237, 08 A 00279
Debtor corporation manufactured and sold cookies as the Maurice Lenell Cooky Company. Two brothers, Terry and Wayne Cohen, served as CEO and President and were sole directors of the company. The company was held in a trust with Wayne and Terry as beneficiaries. Defendants Blum and Gordon were co-trustees of the trust. A dispute formed between the brothers and Wayne filed suit in Cook County Chancery Court in March 2005 against Terry, Blum, and Gordon for Terry’s alleged looting of company assets and Blum and Gordon’s failure to properly investigate Wayne’s allegations. In January 2008, four creditors filed an involuntary petition against the Debtor. Except for a valuation proceeding that eventually became moot or abandoned, little progress was made in the Chancery Case. A committee of unsecured creditors was formed and was given authorization to prosecute causes of action and to intervene in the Chancery Court on behalf of the Debtor. Under this authority, the committee removed the Chancery Court case to this Court. Defendants Blum, Gordon, and Terry opposed removal of the case and filed motions before this Court disputing proper subject matter jurisdiction and for this Court to abstain from hearing the matter and remanding it back to the Chancery Court. The Court found proper “related to” jurisdiction and also denied the defendants’ motion for mandatory abstention, permissive abstention, and equitable remand pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1452(b). Further, the committee also filed its own adversary proceeding before this Court and sought to consolidate the removed Chancery Case with their adversary proceeding. This unopposed motion was joined by Wayne and was granted.