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DAVIS v. OLIVIER

United States District Court, S.D. New York


February 20, 2004.

In re JOHN H. DAVIS, Debtor; JOHN L. OLIVIER and ARMAND J. BRINKHAUS d/b/a OLIVIER AND BRINKHAUS, Appellants

The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEWIS KAPLAN, District Judge

ORDER

Appellants appeal from an order of the Bankruptcy Court which awarded the Trustee in this Chapter 7 case $8,216.33 in compensation and the Trustee's law firm, which had been engaged as counsel to the Trustee, $38,845.75 in fees and $720.67 in expenses. They contend that the court below should not have allowed the law firm (a) fees at increased hourly rates that came into effect during the engagement, (b) charges for paralegals who allegedly did secretarial or clerical work, and (c) fees attributable to intraoffice conferences. Further, they argue that the court should not have allowed fees to the Trustee both as Trustee and as an attorney for the Trustee.

The standard of review on an appeal from a fee award from the bankruptcy court to the district court is whether the bankruptcy court abused its discretion, i.e., whether it "failed to apply proper procedures or legal standards, or made factual findings that were clearly erroneous." In re Ferkauf, Inc., 56 B.R. 774, 775 (S.D.N.Y. 1985) (citing authorities). Appellants' brief suggests no abuse of discretion. Indeed, most of their arguments are frivolous and border on the sanctionable. See, e.g., Harrington Haley LLP v. Nutmeg Insurance Co., 39 F. Supp.2d 403, 411-12 (time reasonably spent in intraoffice conferences properly billable)

  Accordingly, the order appealed from is affirmed. The Clerk is directed to close the case.

  SO ORDERED.

20040220

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