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Opinions

Notice: Not all of the Judges Opinions will be made available on this site. Individual Judges have the option of specifying that all, some or none of their opinions be posted.

Audrey R. Evans

Court previously entered an Order suspending an attorney from practicing before the Arkansas Bankruptcy Courts while allowing the attorney 14 days to make arrangements for the continued protection of his clients’ interests (In re Burnett). Five days after entry of the suspension Order, the attorney filed a new bankruptcy case. After a hearing on an Order to Show Cause, the Court rejected the attorney's contention that he filed the new case for the protection of the clients' interests and found that the duties and responsibilities an attorney owes to a bankruptcy client extend beyond the mere preparation and filing of the case. As a result, the Court held attorney in contempt and entered sanctions.In re Burnett, 455 B.R. 187 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2011).

Court sustained creditors’ objection to Debtors’ claimed homestead exemption for real property on which they did not live at the time they filed bankruptcy where Debtors previously abandoned the property as a homestead and neither returned to it nor impressed upon it any characteristics of a homestead at the time they filed bankruptcy. The Court determined that the debtors’ intention to move back onto the property at some point in the future did not satisfy the requirements for claiming a homestead exemption under Arkansas law. In re Ellis, 456 B.R. 401 (Bankr. E.D. Ark. 2011).

Judge Ben T. Barry

The court granted creditor’s motion to dismiss; the court did not have subject matter jurisdiction for the enforcement of a post-confirmation employment agreement between two non-debtors that would have no effect on the bankruptcy estate.

In this chapter 13 case, the court applied the same factors previously recognized by the Eighth Circuit for determining good faith under § 1307(c) and § 1325(a)(3) to § 1325(a)(7). Because the objecting creditor failed to produce sufficient evidence to support her motion to reconvert and many of her substantive objections, the court denied her motion and overruled all but two of her objections to confirmation, which related to a domestic support claim and the debtor’s applicable commitment period.

The court found that provisions of an LLC operating agreement and Arkansas statute that make the filing of a bankruptcy petition an event of disassociation are invalid and not enforceable.

The Court denied a creditor's complaint to determine the dischargeability of debt under section 523(a)(2)(B) because the creditor did not prove that the debtor possessed the requisite intent to deceive or that the creditor reasonably relied on the debtor's financial statement in extending credit.

The debtor’s former employer requested a determination of dischargeability under § 523(a)(2)(A) and § 523(a)(6) for damages arising from an alleged breach of a non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreement signed by the debtor during employment. The Court found that the non-competition provision of the agreement was not valid, and that the employer did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that the debtor violated the remaining provisions of the agreement. Because this resulted in a finding that there was no underlying debt, the Court denied the employer’s causes of action under § 523(a)(2)(A) and § 523(a)(6).

Judge Richard D. Taylor

Trustee's objection to confirmation of proposed modification sustained.

Court adopts Sanderfoot precedent with regard to lien avoidance under § 522(f)(1)(A).

James G. Mixon

The creditor's claim was disallowed. Neither of the writings were enforceable contracts. The only enforceable agreement, the oral agreement for $250,000.00, had been paid in full. The creditor failed to meet his burden of proof that the initial agreement was for anything more than $250,000.00. Attorneys' fees were not appropriate as both parties were responsible for the writings that led to the litigation.

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