A maritime lawyer’s misconduct, including his flight from New York to avoid arrest on contempt charges, has disqualified him from sharing in a contingency fee for work performed prior to his disbarment, a Southern District of New York bankruptcy judge ruled last week.

Disbarred lawyer Kenneth Heller’s refusal to turn over files in a matter that ultimately was resolved with a $3.7 million settlement was “symptomatic” of a 24-year record of “utter contempt for the judicial system,” Southern District Bankruptcy Judge Stuart M. Bernstein wrote, quoting from an opinion of the appeals court in Manhattan that disbarred Heller in 2004.

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