Friday, November 24, 2017
Lawyer Must Return Fees, Learn How to File Electronically
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed an order disgorging attorney fees paid to an attorney and barring him from filing papers electronically until he undergoes tutoring by the clerk’s office.
The memorandum opinion, filed Wednesday, affirms an order of the Bankruptcy Appeals Panel adverse to Contra Costa attorney Andrew W. Shalaby. It declares:
“The local rules of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California give the bankruptcy court the authority to impose sanctions on attorneys practicing before it for failure to comply with the court’s local rules….The local rules further provide that when an electronically filed document requires the signature of a third party, such as a debtor, the document must contain the original ink signature of the third party or a copy of the original ink signature….
“The record supports the bankruptcy court’s finding that Shalaby’s continued failure to obtain the debtor’s original ink signature on documents electronically filed with the court violated the local rules. The error was brought to Shalaby’s attention, yet he continued to violate the rules. The district court did not abuse its discretion by suspending his filing privileges until he had received training.”
Must Refund $4,000
The opinion says the Bankruptcy Appeals Panel correctly found that a bankruptcy judge did not abuse discretion in order that Shalaby return $4,000 to his client. It explains:
“By filing various amendments and advancing a number of arguments not supported by bankruptcy law, Shalaby prolonged the duration of the proceedings and delayed the debtor’s discharge, which resulted in greater cost and detriment to the debtor and the estate. The bankruptcy court found Shalaby’s services were neither necessary nor beneficial to the debtor.”
The case is Nakhuda v. Mansdorf, 16-60017.
Shalaby was admitted to practice in 2000. His law degree is from the John F. Kennedy University School of Law.
Sues President Trump
On Jan. 28, he brought an action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California “on behalf of the People of the State of California and United States” against Donald Trump, who had been inaugurated as president seven days earlier. Shalaby sought an order blocking an executive order “purporting to suspend visas and immigration benefits of a seemingly undefined class of persons, apparently based on ethnicity and/or religious beliefs.”
Judge James Donato dismissed the action without a hearing.
Shalaby has been found to be a vexatious litigant. The Ninth Circuit’s 2014 opinion in Shalaby v. Bernzomatic says:
“The district court did not abuse its discretion by imposing a pre-filing restriction against Shalaby after giving him notice and an opportunity to be heard, developing an adequate record for review, making findings regarding his frivolous litigation history, and tailoring the restriction narrowly….
“Shalaby lacks standing to appeal the district court’s extension of the pre- filing restriction to his wife. Sonia Dunn-Ruiz, who was not a party below.”
His petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari was denied April 6, 2016.
In a 2015 Court of Appeal case, the respondents sought $48,450 in sanctions against Shalaby for a frivolous appeal. The Third District Justice William J. Murray Jr. said: “Here, we will not say the appeal is totally and completely without merit….”
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