Georges Marciano file - In US justice, does the end justify the means?


MONTREAL, March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - A recent decision by the Honourable Victoria Kaufman, US Bankruptcy Court for California, suggests that under American bankruptcy law, the end justifies the means.

By ordering the immediate seizure of four properties held in Los Angeles by the CKSM Family Trust and the eviction of the occupants, Judge Kaufman does not appear to have followed the procedure prescribed for such situations.

According to documents filed in Court to appeal this decision, Mr. Marciano's American lawyers identified ten controversial points. Of these, three are of particular concern.

The first point is that Judge Kaufman proceeded in the absence of the parties concerned and, furthermore, without formally summoning them to appear. In fact, not one representative of the CKSM Family Trust was subpoenaed or had the opportunity to present the Trust's position.

The second controversy arises from the judge's refusal to acknowledge that the titles of these properties are held by the CKSM Family Trust registered in Canada and that US law has no jurisdiction over them. Furthermore, no procedure was instituted to call the Canadian trust to appear in Los Angeles.

Finally, and despite representations made by Mr Marciano's US counsel, the judge accepted as proof an email exchange between Mr. Marciano and his lawyers which, on balance, flouts the confidentiality that is supposed to hold sway in client-lawyer communications.

The urgency demonstrated by Judge Kaufman in this case raises a number of concerns.  Her decision, like the others, has been appealed.


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