Friday, November 30, 2007

Karma Prevails

The Widget:

Court: First Circuit
Judge: Lynch
Subject: Condominiums
Tone: Understated exasperation
Importance: 3.7

The combination in Bourne v. Northwood Devo., LLC (in re Northwood Props., LLC), 1st Cir. No. 07-1146 – a condominium dispute involving pro se litigants – is just lethal.

The case involved a dispute between unit owners nominally opposed to continued development of their condominium. The condominium was in bankruptcy. Its only hope of moving forward was development of additional units. Though they had opposed the development before the bankruptcy, the plaintiffs were shameless enough to buy some claims of the development company’s creditors and propose a competing plan of reorganization that would have paid them off for consenting to the development and then given them control of the development company.

The opinion’s tone is civil. But the panel makes its feelings known when it takes the rather unusual step of granting the development company its costs (which, alas, is not the same thing as awarding the development company its attorneys’ fees).

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