January 22, 2018

Background:

  • Trustee applied to Court to serve as Counsel for a bankruptcy case in which he was the Trustee.
  • There were no objections to the application and the Court approved the application.
  • Trustee/Lawyer filed a Fee Application for services as Legal Counsel.
  • Debtor objected to the Fee Application stating the Trustee was double-dipping.
  • Debtor did not include in his written objection to the Court that the Trustee should not have been allowed to play two roles: Trustee and Attorney.

Court Ruling:

  • It is allowed under Section 327(d) that the Trustee can serve not only as a Trustee but also as an attorney for the Estate.
  • Trustee/Lawyer demonstrated how his office separates the specific tasks.
  • Efforts indicated by the Trustee/Lawyer did distinguish clearly between the Trustee’s administrative dues and legal serves by counsel.
  • Fee Application was approved as submitted.
  • Nothing presented by the Debtor neither at the hearing, nor in the post hearing brief convinced the Court that the Trustee’s appointment of counsel for the Trustee was not in the best interest of the estate.

 

Attorneys must keep very accurate records to clearly identify services performed, as demonstrated in this case.