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In re Black Diamond Mining Co., LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky

March 19, 2014

In re BLACK DIAMOND MINING COMPANY, LLC, et al., Debtors. TAFT A. MCKINSTRY, as Trustee of the BD Unsecured Creditors Trust, Plaintiff,
v.
IRA J. GENSER, et al., Defendants

Page 210

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 211

For Taft A. McKinstry, as Trustee of the BD Unsecured Creditors Trust, Appellant, Counter Defendant: Ellen Arvin Kennedy, Grahmn Morgan, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Mackenzie Mayes Walter, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP - Lexington, Lexington, KY.

For Ira J. Genser, Larry Tate, Alvarez & Marsal North America, LLC, Appellees: Chacey R. Ford, Jay Edward Ingle, Mary Elisabeth Naumann, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Jackson Kelly PLLC - LEXINGTON, Lexington, KY; John C. Goodchild, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP - Chicago, Chicago, IL; Shevon L. Scarafile, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP - Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

For Jones Day, Appellee: Matthew Curtis Corcoran, Robert Hamilton, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PRO HAC VICE, Jones Day - Columbus, Columbus, OH.

For Larry Tate, Alvarez & Marsal North America, LLC, Ira J. Genser, Counter Claimants: Chacey R. Ford, Jay Edward Ingle, Mary Elisabeth Naumann, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Jackson Kelly PLLC - LEXINGTON, Lexington, KY; John C. Goodchild, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP - Chicago, Chicago, IL; Shevon L. Scarafile, LEAD ATTORNEY, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP - Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

OPINION

Amul R. Thapar, United States District Judge.

Page 212

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Like a tornado, this bankruptcy case has a tendency to suck in everyone in its path. In this latest dispute, Black Diamond's lawyers at Jones Day are caught in the whirlwind. The trustee charged with pursuing claims against Black Diamond's former officers has moved for complete access to Jones Day's records regarding the company. Jones Day vigorously contests that demand, asserting work-product protection. But just as Jones Day may not invoke work-product protection directly against its own client, Black Diamond, the firm may not deny access to its client's successor-in-interest, the Trustee. The Court will thus grant the Trustee's motion for turnover.

BACKGROUND

Jones Day represented Black Diamond Mining Company, LLC, and its affiliates (collectively, " Black Diamond" ) during the company's Chapter 11 restructuring. B.R. 413 at 1.[1] A comprehensive history of the restructuring appears in Sergent v. McKinstry, 472 B.R. 387, 391-95 (Bankr. E.D. Ky. 2012). For the purposes of this opinion, a brief portion of that history will suffice. Before Black Diamond's creditors took the company into bankruptcy, they forced it to hire Alvarez & Marsal North America, LLC (" A& M" ), as a financial advisor. Id. at 392. Once in bankruptcy, Black Diamond brought on Ira Genser, a turnaround specialist from A& M, to manage the company and lead the Chapter 11 restructuring. Id. Genser in turn hired his A& M colleague, Larry Tate, as the company's Chief Financial Officer. Id. at 393. The ...


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