From the Editor’s Desk – Jurisdiction and Authority of Bankruptcy Court

By The Honorable William Houston Brown (Retired)

Bankruptcy court had constitutional authority to determine fees but lacked authority to enter final judgment on debtor’s counterclaim under Deceptive Trade Practices Act. In ruling on fees for attorneys representing the Chapter 13 debtor (the attorneys recovered on a suit for the debtor in sufficient amount to pay all claims in full but the debtor objected to their fee applications), the bankruptcy court necessarily determined the debtor’s counterclaim for malpractice, and the bankruptcy court had constitutional authority to make factual determinations under the debtor’s Deceptive Trade . . .

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