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Scott L. Baena, who won the appointment of an employee committee in the Enron bankruptcy but lost out on the position to represent the newly formed group, may get another shot at the job. The grass-roots employee group, the Severed Enron Employee Coalition, has filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan objecting to the appointment of New York-based Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman to represent the employee committee. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for May 23. Baena, a partner with Bilzin Sumberg Dunn Baena Axelrod & Price in Miami, was retained by SEEC in January to win the appointment of a separate, employee-only bankruptcy committee. In February, after Baena filed motions on SEEC’s behalf, U.S. Trustee Carolyn Schwartz decided to appoint a five-person employee committee. Yet, in a surprising turn of events, last month, the committee did not hire Baena to represent it. Kronish Lieb in New York and McClain & Siegel in Houston jointly won the job. SEEC, the largest of the employee groups, is not objecting to the appointment of McClain & Siegel. SEEC is objecting to Kronish Lieb’s appointment citing conflicts of interest. In particular, SEEC argues that Kronish Lieb is currently representing St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. in litigation in federal court in New York while, at the same time, St. Paul is a member of the Unsecured Creditors Committee whose interests, according to SEEC, are adverse to the employees’ claims. Federal law states that an attorney representing a committee in a bankruptcy proceeding may not “represent any other entity having an adverse interest in connection with the case.” SEEC sent a letter to Kronish Lieb outlining the conflicts and asked the firm to voluntarily withdraw. Yet, it has declined to do so. Calls to James A. Beldner, a partner at Kronish Lieb who is representing the employee committee, were not returned by deadline. Baena did not return calls seeking comment.

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