Kelley Drye Victory in Pro Bono Bankruptcy Case

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 15:19

Serving as pro bono counsel for the Staten Island Catholic school, Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Benedicta, Kelley Drye special counsel Benjamin D. Feder and associates Damon W. Suden and Levi M. Downing prevailed in a motion to dismiss in a case labeled as unprecedented. This case has received substantial media coverage in publications such the NY Post and the Staten Island Advance. The case was filed last March by New York’s Eastern District bankruptcy trustee, Robert Geltzer, who sought to recover $45,000 in tuition payments that a bankrupt Staten Island couple spent on their children, arguing that the parents did not benefit from the expenditure and that the private schooling of the children was “not reasonably necessary.”

Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Carla Craig ruled against Geltzer. Her decision stated that “the trustee’s claims are based on a fundamentally flawed legal theory that is, moreover, at odds with common sense. The education provided … to these minor children constitutes both a direct and indirect benefit to their parents, who, with their children, must be considered a single economic unit.”