A year and a day ago, we published our first of a number of posts on Baker Botts v. ASARCO, wherein the Supreme Court held that bankruptcy professionals may not recover fee-defense costs incurred in “defending” their fee applications. So, what better way to mark the one year anniversary of our coverage of Baker Botts than more coverage of Baker Botts. And, we figured we’d make-up for a lost June (this is our first and last post in June!) by plugging some of our non-blog coverage that came out in June. That counts, right?
First, I participated in a short interview with Jim Christie of Reuters on June 15. Jim, a reporter out of San Francisco, has been covering Baker Botts for quite a few months now, especially as it has played out in Delaware. He’s been nice enough over the last year to call a few times and ask this humble country lawyer from Macon, Georgia what he thinks about the cases. This time around, Jim called about the latest Baker Botts objection filed in Delaware in the Sports Authority Chapter 11. In that case, the Acting United States Trustee, Andrew Vara, who’s been leading the charge on Baker Botts, objected to the debtor’s application to employ Gordon Brothers Asset Advisors as an appraiser. The application garners a copy/paste objection from Vara because it reflects yet another attempt in Delaware to avoid Baker Botts. The objection is notable, though, because it’s aimed at a non-attorney professional. Click here for the Reuters article.
Second, the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors published its Second Quarter 2016 AIRA Journal earlier this week. Reflecting its exceptional taste or a fit of insanity, AIRA chose my Baker Botts article for the front cover of all places! The article is titled “Baker Botts v. ASARCO: An Equal Opportunity Application of the Supreme Court’s Prohibition on Fee-Defense Reimbursement to All Bankruptcy Professionals.” Super catchy and concise, eh? It provides a nice summary of the case for those, especially non-attorneys, who don’t read Plan Proponent.
It also covers an issue that we haven’t covered already: the application of Baker Botts to non-attorneys. Back in March when I submitted article, In re River Road Hotel Partners, LLC, an Illinois case, had just hit the District Court on appeal and, thus, was a good starting point for that issue. In that case, the bankruptcy court held that there is no meaningful distinction under Baker Botts between attorneys and non-attorneys and, thus, Baker Botts applies to non-attorney professionals, too. Fast forward to June: Mr. Vera relies on In re River Road in his objection (as he should).
We’ll keep an eye on Sports Authority and the River Road appeal. In the meantime, click here for the 2Q 2016 Edition of the AIRA Journal. You can also click that giant, subtle picture at the top!
That’s all for the moment. I’ll now go enjoy the last 15 minutes of my 30s!