Posts Tagged ‘roy kronk’

A bankruptcy judge has ruled that Casey Anthony won’t have to pay most of her debts.  It is not clear exactly how much of the debt has been wiped clean, but Chuck Kilcoyne, a representative of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of Florida, told HLN that the only debt not discharged includes the pending defamation proceedings.  Bankruptcy Judge May signed the order Tuesday.  Anthony’s bankruptcy has taken almost double the length of a normal bankruptcy case.

A date has not been set for the two defamation lawsuits, but the federal judge could hear them early next year.

In recent years bankruptcies have skyrocketed due to economic downturns.  Currently, the bankruptcy filings in the U.S. are more than double that of those in the Great Depression.  An average person carries about $59,000 in debt.  Most bankruptcy filers have recently suffered catastrophic financial issues.  19% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 declared bankruptcy in 2001, according to USA Today.  The fastest growing group of bankruptcy filers are those people who are 25 years of age or younger, according to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.  Bankruptcies are often difficult despite their intended purpose of giving a “fresh start”, three-quarters of filers experience depression.

Casey Anthony owed nearly $800,000 in debts mostly as the result of her acquittal of capital charges in 2011.  Jose Baez, her lead defense attorney, was the largest creditor in the case with more than 60% of her debt.  According to a court document signed by May, the discharge does not dismiss the case yet.

“It does not determine how much money, if any, the trustee will pay to creditors,” the order said, “Most, but not all, types of debts are discharged if the debt existed on the date the bankruptcy case was filed.”

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The federal bankruptcy judge ruled today that both Zenaida Gonzalez’s and Roy Kronk’s lawsuits can move forward in federal court.  Casey Anthony most likely now faces a deposition in the Gonzalez case.  Both sides agree that the deposition will not be published and the time and location will not be revealed.  U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May declined to dismiss the two lawsuits though he ordered Kronk to amend his complaint before it moves forward.

Anthony’s lawyers argued that Gonzalez’s claim is based upon one out-of-context remark Anthony made to her mother.  May ruled there was “disputed issues of fact” sufficient for further proceedings.  In the Kronk complaint, Anthony’s lawyers argued that Anthony cannot be held liable for what her attorneys say.  Kronk’s lawyer, Howard Marks, countered saying attorneys act upon their client’s behalf and consent.

Marks said, “The fact that Ms. Anthony didn’t state it doesn’t get her anywhere.”

May ordered Anthony’s lawyers, David Schrader and Debra Ferwerda to pay Gonzalez’s lawyer Scott Shuker $500 for not consulting him on the motion to block the deposition.  Shuker claimed the motion was a waste of time because he would have willingly met with Anthony’s attorneys about security issues.

“…I’m not interested in publicity,” Shuker said.  Following the last hearing, Shuker became irate after the judge adjourned the hearing.  He used expletive language and personal insults to express thoughts about opposing counsel.  Shuker was asked to leave the courtroom following his outburst.  After getting outside, he told reporters, “You were there” when asked why he was so upset.  Ferwerda and Schrader shrugged off the encounter saying, “it was the heat of the moment”, but admitted it was “startling” because there had never been problems before.

Schrader countered Shuker’s publicity argument pointing out that they “learned about the deposition in the newspaper,” after Matt Morgan, another Gonzalez lawyer, talked with the media about it instead of talking with them about concerns and logistics.  It is unclear if Casey Anthony will assert her Fifth Amendment rights during the deposition.  The decisions on whether the cases meet the “willful and malicious” defamation legal requirement will come sometime next year.

According to the AP, Casey Anthony has decided to settle the Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery lawsuit in her bankruptcy.  Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery will be allowed to have an unsecured claim in Anthony’s bankruptcy case under the terms of the settlement.  In the settlement, EquuSearch agrees to not object to the bankruptcy and Anthony agrees to allow them to claim $75,000 as a creditor without objection.  The search group won’t be entitled to any other claims and won’t be allowed any further dealings in the case.  The group had objected to the bankruptcy, claiming it spent more than $100,000 searching for Casey Anthony’s daughter when she knew her daughter had already died.  Anthony was acquitted of murder in the death of her daughter in 2011.  She filed for bankruptcy in January of this year.

In a press release, EquuSearch said the decision to settle came “after considerable thought…the time and money that [EquuSearch] must spend to pursue these claims are being taken from other families that really need their help,” said EquuSearch lawyers Wites & Kapetan, P.A. and Meland Russin & Budwick, P.A.

In a hearing set early next month, a federal judge will hear oral arguments on two pending dismissal motions and decide whether the additional complaints filed by Zenaida Gonzalez and Roy Kronk have any merit.