(6th Cir. B.A.P. Nov. 7, 2016)
The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. reverses the bankruptcy court’s order sanctioning the attorney under Bankruptcy Rule 9011 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927. The court holds that the movant failed to satisfy the twenty-one day safe harbor in Rule 9011 and the one exception to the safe harbor did not apply because the attorney did not actually sign the petition, although he did advise on the case. Further, sanctions under § 1927 were not appropriate because the bankruptcy judge found that the attorney’s behavior fell short of subjective bad faith. The statute requires tactics that far exceed zealous advocacy. Opinion below.
Attorney for Movant: Malone Akerly Martin, Bruce W. Akerly, Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, Carl Barry Ward
Attorney for Appellant: Edward Michael Bearman