A San Francisco district judge said litigation between the Heller Estate and law firms that took on defecting partners belongs in bankruptcy court, rejecting the notion that district courts were a better venue.

Heller is trying to recover profits from unfinished business that Heller partners took the new firms as Heller collapsed. The firms — including Jones Day; Davis Wright Tremaine; Winston & Strawn; Foley & Lardner; and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe — attempted in September to pull their cases from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Montali’s court. Montali fought the attempt, as did Heller’s outside counsel at Trepel Greenfield Sullivan & Draa.