Fee enhancement affirmed in bankruptcy case

The bankruptcy court in CRG Partners v. Neary awarded a $1 million fee enhancement for  a “rare and exceptional” result in the Pilgrim’s Pride bankruptcy.  No. 11-10774 (Aug. 10, 2012).  The Trustee objected, arguing that Perdue v. Kenny A. ex rel Winn, 130 S. Ct. 1662 (2010) — a case rejecting a comparable enhancement under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 — impliedly overruled older Fifth Circuit authority that allowed them in bankruptcy.  The Court carefully reviewed Perdue under the “rule of orderliness,” a set of principles that guide a panel’s fidelity to older panel opinions, and found Perdue distinguishable factually and for policy reasons.  Op. at 22-25.  The Court reminded that it had recently reached a similar conclusion as to the effect of Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), on magistrate jurisdiction.

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