A national bankruptcy law firm is now in bankruptcy itself. Southern District Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman (See Profile) has granted the Chapter 7 request of creditors for Jacoby & Meyers Bankruptcy LLP.
The firm represented individuals in their own Chapter 7 and 13 petitions across the country. In March, creditors filed papers to force it into bankruptcy. The petitioners included online document service LegalZoom, which had a judgment of more than $1 million against the firm; three solo practitioners in the New York metropolitan area who claimed the firm didn’t pay them for their appearance work; and two Missouri attorneys who took over client cases.
The shuttered firm moved to dismiss, claiming New York was the wrong venue. But Chapman, after hearing about law firm clients who did not know what happened to their cases after the firm closed, said, “This is a case that needs to exist. There needs to be a fiduciary to administer this situation and find out exactly what’s going on.”
“There are hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals who have been affected by this,” Chapman said at a May hearing. After the firm missed a deadline to respond, the judge granted creditors’ request Monday.
Fred Stevens, a Klestadt & Winters partner representing petitioning creditors, said “We’re very pleased. We think the case should be in a Chapter 7 and we look forward to seeing what the trustee uncovers here.”
Jil Mazer-Marino, a member of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein in Garden City, was appointed as interim trustee of the estate.
The debtor’s new attorney, Michael Moskowitz, partner at Weltman & Moskowitz, did not return a call seeking comment.