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Partner John Melko Comments on Bankruptcy Attorney Fee Battle Now Before the Supreme Court

10.02.14

Law360 covered the battle by Baker Botts LLP to recover more than $5 million in attorneys' fees it incurred defending Ascaro LLC's bankruptcy, a fee award which was rejected by the 5th Circuit

Gardere Partner John P. Melko, who chairs the Firm's Bankruptcy and Business Reorganization Practice Group, assisted with drafting an amicus brief filed by the Texas State Bar's Bankruptcy Section. Chief among Mr. Melko's concerns about the 5th Circuit's ruling is that it could lead creditors who don't want to pay lawyers any more than required to file purposefully in Texas, Mississippi or Louisiana, or that debtors who want their counsel to have a better shot at being fully reimbursed would try to file in Delaware or New York.

"The concern about lawyers in this circuit being subject to a different rule is that it could perhaps drive forum shopping," Mr. Melko said. "All the cases are under the same federal statute, and we think the same rules should apply nationwide."

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