Bankruptcy Court Judge Has Sharp Words For David Bergstein

In denying a request to stay a motion concerning his request to litigate claims against five bankrupt companies, Judge Barry Russell shows his frustration.

In a sharply worded retort to movie investor David Bergstein’s request to stay an order which denied him the right to pursue litigation claims against the holding company for five firms forced into involuntary bankruptcy in 2010 – including Capitol and ThinkFilm -  federal bankruptcy court Judge Barry Russell on Wednesday denied his motion.

“On its face, the motion makes no sense,” wrote Judge Russell. “Motions for stays pending appeal are intended to stay actions authorized by court order. In this case, the order in question denied Mr. Bergstein’s motion to pursue litigation.”

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The underlining was done by the judge to emphasize his obvious frustration. He adds: “The actual purpose of the present motion is not to stay the effectiveness of the order; rather, it is in effect a disguised motion for reconsideration.”

“The obvious reason Mr. Bergstein did not file a motion for reconsideration,” adds the judge, “is that no grounds for such a motion exist.”

In denying the motion, the judge also shows his frustration with Bergstein’s ongoing efforts to use the judgment he won in state court against his former lawyer in the federal bankruptcy case.

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“It is also very troubling that the first six pages of the purposed memorandum of Points and Authorities (in his motion) are an exact copy of testimony at the Bergstein v. Tregub state court trial,” writes the judge adding: “I sustained evidentiary objections to that testimony as inadmissible hearsay. Nevertheless, knowing that the proffered evidence is inadmissible, Mr. Bergstein again offered it anyway.”

Separately, the judge set a new date for a hearing on bankruptcy court trustee Ronald Durkin’s motions for authority to settle claims by Aramid and others on Jan. 30, 2013.

He also set a hearing on Feb. 7 on motions by the trustee concerning his contention that amended bankruptcy schedules filed by Bergstein and his attorney contained incorrect information.

Bergstein and his attorney did not respond to an email request for comment on this article.