Monday, July 25, 2016
"As A Result Of Respondent's Conduct, The Bankruptcy Court And Opposing Party Were Required To Endure A Proceeding Which Was Groundless"
A public reprimand has been imposed by the South Carolina Supreme Court for misconduct in a bankruptcy matter
By order dated October 27, 2015, respondent was sanctioned by the Honorable David R. Duncan, a judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina, and assessed a fine of $5,000.00. The sanction arose out of respondent's conduct in a bankruptcy court hearing held on August 25, 2015. At the time of the hearing, the parties were in binding arbitration and respondent's arguments were still under consideration by the arbitrator. Nevertheless, during the bankruptcy hearing, respondent made arguments based on the United States Supreme Court decision in Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, 574 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 790, 190 L.Ed.2d 650 (2015). Respondent admits the arbitration proceeding was the sole forum before which to raise his argument under Jesinoski and that he should not have presented the Jesinoski argument to the bankruptcy court. As a result of respondent's conduct, the bankruptcy court and opposing party were required to endure a proceeding which was groundless.
Further, respondent admits that, at the hearing, he told Judge Duncan he was proceeding at the direction of the Bankruptcy Trustee when, in actuality, he was responsible for the argument. Respondent later wrote a letter to Judge Duncan in which he called attention to his misstatement and apologized to all concerned.
Respondent acknowledges the Court deserves no less than complete, candid disclosures which are truthful at the time they are made. He agrees his misstatement regarding the Bankruptcy Trustee was not excused by his corrective disclosure in his letter to the bankruptcy court.