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Orr v. Husch Blackwell LLP
United States District Court, D. Kansas
September 5, 2017
ROBERT D. ORR, Plaintiff,
HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP, DOUGLAS J. SCHMIDT, and JOHN J. CRUCIANI, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MURGUIA United States District Judge.
Robert D. Orr brings this action pro se, claiming that
defendants Husch Backwell, LLP, Douglas J Schmidt, and John
J. Cruciani (collectively “Husch”) caused
plaintiff significant damages in conjunction with the
financial collapse of Brooke Corporation (“Brooke
Corp.”) and Brooke Capital Corporation (“Brooke
Capital”), (collectively “Brooke”), in
2008. Plaintiff was an officer and director of Brooke Corp.
and Brooke Capital, which were publicly-traded companies with
large investments in franchise loans. The case is now before
the court on defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. 8).
After plaintiff amended his complaint, the parties filed
supplemental briefing to address the new claims. Defendants
ask the court to dismiss plaintiff's complaint on several
independent bases: (1) lack of standing; (2) res judicata;
(3) judicial estoppel; (4) statute of limitations; and (5)
failure to state a claim. For the following reasons, the
court grants defendants' motion.
the background of this case into a succinct overview is not
easy. The relationship between the parties is long and
storied. The court attempts to summarize it in the following
• September 2008: In a lawsuit in this court
(the “Special Master Suit”), Judge Lungstrum
appointed a special master, Albert Riederer (“Special
Master”), who took over Brooke's decision-making.
The Special Master directed the companies and certain
affiliates to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mr. Riederer
then became the Chapter 11 trustee (“Chapter 11
Trustee”) for the Brooke bankruptcy estate. Husch was
counsel for the Special Master, and then for the Chapter 11
• October 28, 2008: The companies filed for
bankruptcy. After that date, Husch did not perform any legal
work for the Special Master.
• December 1, 2008: Husch filed a fee
application, requesting approval of its fees and expenses for
representation of the Special Master. Plaintiff did not
object to the fees.
• December 16, 2008: Plaintiff filed for
• December 30, 2008: The district court
approved a portion of Husch's fees and expenses.
• January 7, 2009: Plaintiff filed his personal
bankruptcy schedules. He did not list Husch as an entity
against whom he held possible claims. He did, however, list
the Special Master.
• January 22, 2009: The district court approved
the remainder of Husch's fees. Plaintiff did not appeal
• February 13, 2009: Plaintiff amended his
personal bankruptcy schedules to add individuals and entities
against whom he held possible claims. Again, plaintiff did
not list Husch. He did, however, list “Other claims as
yet unknown, against others growing out of damage to
reputation, etc. growing out of all corporate
• June 29, 2009: The Chapter 11 bankruptcy was
converted to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and the court terminated
the Special Master's appointment.
• October 13, 2009: Husch filed an application
for fees incurred representing the Chapter 11 Trustee during
the Chapter 11 proceedings. Plaintiff did not object.
• November 12, 2009: The bankruptcy court
approved Husch's fees for the Chapter 11 proceedings, and
plaintiff did not object.
• April 12, 2010: Plaintiff was discharged from
his personal bankruptcy.
• August 11, 2010: Plaintiff sued the Special
Master in this court, before the undersigned judge. Plaintiff
claimed that the Special Master's conduct caused Brooke
to collapse, damaging plaintiff.
• October 26, 2010: The Chapter 7 Trustee filed
an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court against
Brooke Holdings, Inc. and members of plaintiff s family to
recover preference payments and fraudulent transfers (the
• December 21, 2010: The undersigned judge held
that plaintiff lacked standing to bring claims against the
Special Master of breach of fiduciary duty, intentional
misconduct, negligence, and unjust enrichment, stating,
“It is only because of the corporation's harm that
plaintiff suffered harm. In other words, plaintiffs injury is
indirect. The corporation is the party with the cause of
action, not plaintiff individually.”
• July 3, 2012: The undersigned judge granted
summary judgment against plaintiff on the remaining claims,
holding that the Special Master's failure to report
plaintiff's protests to the district court was not
misconduct. Plaintiff did not appeal this ruling.
• July 10, 2014: Judgment was entered against
BHI for $18, 244, 780.77 in the BHI suit.
• October 12, 2016: Plaintiff filed the instant
case against Husch. Plaintiff's claims arise out of
Husch's representation of the Special Master and the
Chapter 11 Trustee. Generally, plaintiff claims that Husch
caused the collapse and bankruptcy of Brooke, and mismanaged
the bankruptcy estate once Brooke was in bankruptcy. The
seventeen counts contained in ...
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