In another swing and a miss, the Disbarred, Disgraced, and Former Durham DA Mike Nifong lost today in his Bankruptcy Court bid.
Former Duke Players Can Sue Nifong Outside Bankruptcy (Update1)
By Dawn McCarty
May 27 (Bloomberg) -- Three former Duke University lacrosse players cleared of rape charges brought by former prosecutor Michael Nifong can proceed with their lawsuit against him outside bankruptcy court, a judge ruled.
The former North Carolina district attorney, who lost his law license for mishandling the criminal case against the players, sought bankruptcy protection Jan. 15 in federal court in Durham, North Carolina. Nifong filed for Chapter 11 protection in hopes of ending the players' legal claims against him.
``It is clear that all of the claims should be tried in the same case in the same court in the interest of judicial economy and to avoid unnecessary and undue burden on the parties,'' U.S. Bankruptcy Judge William Stocks said in papers filed today.
Under bankruptcy law, all litigation against a company or individual who seeks protection is put on hold while the case is pending. A judge can grant a request to allow the claims to proceed outside bankruptcy court in some instances.
The case is In re Michael B. Nifong, 08-80034, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Durham). Bloomberg News Service
One of the Blog Hooligans, who is an attorney with expertize in this matters, had this comment on the LieStoppers Meeting Place.
A short version of the law of bankruptcy. When a petition is filed, an automatic stay issues. The stay, stops all attempts at collection, including tort claims. By law, no further action may taken until the Bankruptcy Court decides if the particular claim is a proper subject for bankruptcy or not. I wrote on the old site that I thought it was not because of the willful and malicious element of the conduct. Nifong made his own case more difficult by claiming that he was simultaneously not malicious or wilful and not liable. While in theory those are not mutually exclusive claims, given the facts of this case it was very difficult to argue one that he was not malicious or wilful and at the same time he was not liable to the players. I think Judge Stocks (of the Bankruptcy Court) agreed with me. Thus he, in the language of bankruptcy, he abandoned the litigation. That is to say, he sent it back to the District Court because it did not belong in bankruptcy. Walt-in-Durham
Hat Tip: Walt-in-Durham, sdsgo