Opinions

The District of Northern Illinois offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2013, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

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Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

Chief Judge Pamela S. Hollis

03 A 02300

Chapter 7 trustee sued KPMG, whom debtor had retained to perform a valuation analysis for its employee stock purchase plan. The trustee sought over $20 million in damages, alleging that KPMG breached its contract with the debtor, committed professional malpractice, and aided and abetted debtor's directors and officers in the breach of their fiduciary duties. Held: Judgment for the defendants. After considering the numerous decisions made by KPMG in the exercise of its professional judgment, as well as the circumstances in which the valuation analysis was issued, court determined that KPMG was not negligent.

In Re: Darlene Williams
April 23, 2007

06 B 15945

Chapter 13 debtor sought to retain her car over secured creditor's objection. Since debtor was not entitled to a discharge pursuant to 11 USC 1328(f), plan had to provide that the creditor retain its lien until payment of "the underlying debt determined under nonbankruptcy law." 11 USC 1325(a)(5)(B)(i)(I)(aa). Secured creditor objected on the grounds that the plan failed to do so. The issue was whether that phrase meant that the debtor had to pay the contract rate of interest or whether a prime-plus-risk-factor rate of interest as described in Till v. SCS Credit Corp., 541 U.S. 465, 474 (2004), would be sufficient.
Held: Till and its prime-plus-risk-factor analysis does not apply to the interpretation of 1325(a)(5)(B)(i)(I)(aa). Plan must provide that Debtor pay the contract rate of interest.

05 B 52582, 05 B 52473, 06 A 00511, 06 A 00525

Creditor who supplied business sued father and son debtors on the guarantee they had executed for the business, asserting that the debt was nondischargeable because of misstatements in the financial statements that supported the guarantee. The supplier also sought denial of the son's discharge based on omissions from his schedules. Held: Judgment for the defendants on all counts. Creditor failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it relied on the financial statements submitted with the guarantee, and there was no showing of an intent to deceive by the son.

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

Judge Carol A. Doyle

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

In re Meridee Hodges
February 28, 2007

05 B 46676

The debtor objected to the claim of the Social Security Administration (SSA) that she owed it $38,878.40 for overpayment of disability benefits. The SSA's motion to dismiss the claim objection was granted because debtor did not exhaust her administrative remedies by first securing SSA's review of her position that she had not received more than she was entitled to. The Social Security Act allows review of SSA's final decisions via a civil action and deprives the courts of original jurisdiction of such matters. The court also found that even though the government violated the automatic stay by sending the debtor a demand letter after the bankruptcy petition was filed, it was questionable whether stay violation damages could be proven because the debtor pursued the government by filing its claim, objecting to it and seeking court review of the SSA's position.

05 B 13171, 05 A 1582

An attorney was ordered to produce documents sought by subpoena in relation to his representation of 2 debtors. The court declined to order disclosure based on the common interest exception to the attorney- client privilege because the clients did not jointly seek the attorney's professional services. However disclosure was ordered based on a finding that the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege was applicable.

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