Case Management Order
Judge Marvin Isgur entered a case management order in the 4E Brands North America case on Thursday, Dec. 7, pertaining to the Jackson Walker law firm and the Office of the U.S. Trustee’s stipulation
to withdraw the reference of the UST’s fee vacature motions
in certain bankruptcy cases affected by ethical concerns related to former judge David R. Jones’ undisclosed relationship
with former Jackson Walker partner Elizabeth Freeman.
The case management order says that “virtually identical motions” have been filed in 17 bankruptcy cases pending in Houston, and after Judge Isgur conferred with the other bankruptcy judges of the Southern District of Texas, the court transfers all matters “concerning whether the reference should be withdrawn to the District Court" to Chief Bankruptcy Judge Eduardo V. Rodriguez “for all purposes.” The order indicates that Judge Rodriguez will make a recommendation to the district court “as he deems appropriate with respect to the withdrawal of the reference in all cases in which the United States Trustee is requesting such relief.”
Judge Rodriguez has commenced and will preside over a miscellaneous proceeding captioned In re Professional Fee Matters Concerning the Jackson Walker Law Firm,
in which all documents, pleadings, discovery matters and pretrial issues regarding the motion to withdraw the reference and vacature must be filed, the order says.
As of the filing of this story, the court docket for the miscellaneous proceeding does not appear to reflect any docket entries.
Judge Isgur’s order adds, “For the purposes of clarity, the Court neither encourages nor discourages settlement of this matter in this case.”
Counsel for Jackson Walker suggested at a Dec. 1 status conference
in a different case the possibility of using a miscellaneous proceeding construct to aggregate the 17 proceedings administratively.