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Ten former partners at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison have asked the San Francisco bankruptcy court to throw out suits filed against them by the firm’s bankruptcy trustee. In January, trustee Ronald Greenspan sued all former Brobeck partners for distributions they received in 2001 and 2002, during which time he alleges the firm was insolvent. The 10 partners challenging him were sued for $130,000 to $1.2 million. The partners claim that the trustee has misinterpreted California law governing limited liability partnerships to say they are not entitled to any compensation for their work. “Under the trustee’s interpretation of the statutes, law partners who stay with the partnership and continue working to generate receivables while the firm experiences financial difficulty face the greatest liability,” Cecily Dumas, who is representing eight junior partners, wrote in a June 1 filing. “Law partners are incentivized by the trustee to disassociate from the partnership at the earliest sign of financial trouble, with the first leaving facing the least liability exposure,” continued Dumas, of Friedman Dumas & Springwater. Greenspan’s attorneys filed a June 8 motion opposing the partners’ request. A hearing on the motions will be held June 30. As of last month, 212 partners had settled for amounts less than Greenspan cited in his complaint.

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