SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Friday morning questioned Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s motives in trying to yank its fee dispute with the Heller Ehrman estate out of bankruptcy court.

Breyer asked whether going the district court route would save the attorneys time or whether their move was in part fueled by a desire to avoid an adverse ruling from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali, who has shown he’s friendly to claims from bankrupt firms’ estates over fees for unfinished business.