It's been a long, difficult road for Mr. Bergstein. ... We're happy that our client was finally able to have some semblance of justice and peace.
San Clemente, Calif. (PRWEB) March 28, 2016
The U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts ended six years of contentious litigation by approving the settlements and dismissal of involuntary bankruptcy cases and related appeals of companies owned by noted entrepreneur and film financier David Bergstein.
The approval of the settlements and dismissal of appeals end a protracted legal battle and follow prior approvals of nearly $9 million awarded in settlements to Mr. Bergstein. Steve Katzman of Bienert, Miller and Katzman, Mr. Bergstein's lead counsel, said he is pleased with the result.
"It's been a long and difficult road for Mr. Bergstein," Katzman said, highlighting previous settlements, the Trustee's conduct, and a $50 million jury verdict against Bergstein's former in-house counsel. "Through the dismissal and settlements, we're happy that our client was finally able to have some semblance of justice and peace."
The bankruptcy cases were dismissed on motions filed by, among others, Steve Katzman and Anthony Bisconti of Bienert, Miller & Katzman. The bankruptcy court found the trustee appointed to manage the bankruptcy cases had engaged in "blatant abuse of the legal system," made "blatantly false statement[s]," and could not "be trusted," according to court documents.
The bankruptcy court ultimately held that "neither the Trustee nor his counsel can be trusted to properly manage the [bankruptcy cases]." While the trustee initially appealed the bankruptcy court's ruling, the trustee agreed to dismiss the appeals pursuant to a settlement agreement in which the trustee acknowledged that Mr. Bergstein presented evidence contradicting a number of the trustee's assertions against Mr. Bergstein.
The trustee also acknowledged in the settlement that of the more than 100 lawsuits filed in the bankruptcy cases against Mr. Bergstein and/or those related to him, nearly all were dismissed at the pleadings stage after the failure to establish that any of the claims had merit. As part of the settlement, Mr. Bergstein agreed not to take any legal recourse against the trustee and/or his counsel, according to court documents.
Anthony Bisconti, who worked extensively on the cases, further commented, "This outcome is a testament to Mr. Bergstein's resilience and refusal to back down."
Mr. Bergstein previously obtained a judgment in excess of $50 million against his former in-house counsel after a jury found she had breached her fiduciary duties and committed malpractice for providing confidential information to Aramid Entertainment Fund.
In a settlement negotiated in part by Bienert, Miller & Katzman, Aramid agreed to pay Mr. Bergstein $6 million to settle all disputes arising from Aramid's filing of the involuntary bankruptcy cases and related litigation.
In a separate settlement also negotiated in part by Bienert, Miller & Katzman, Aramid's prior counsel, a large law firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, agreed to pay $17.5 million to resolve disputes related to its conduct in connection with the involuntary bankruptcy cases, of which $2.9 million was allocated to parties related to Mr. Bergstein.
The settlement was approved in Durkin v. Bergstein et al, Case No.
2:15-cv-4211-PSG, United States District Court, Central District of California, Los Angeles Division.
The cases dismissed include In re: R2D2, LLC, case no. 2:10- BK-19912-BR; In
re: Thinkfilm, LLC, case no. 2:10-BK-19924; In re: CT-1 Holdings, LLC, case no. 2:10-BK-19927-BR; In re: Capco Group, LLC, case no. 2:10-BK-19929-BR; and In re: Capital Films Development, LLC, Case No. 2:10-BK-19938-BR; all pending before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Los Angeles Division.
The settlement amounts arose from Aramid Entertainment Fund Ltd. et al., case number 1:14-bk-11802, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The $50 million judgment award was derived from Bergstein v. Tregub, BC434558, filed with the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.