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Closely Divided ABI Quick Poll Finds That Bankruptcy Courts Should Have Unfettered Discretion in Adjusting Fee Applications

Alexandria, Va.— Half of the respondents in a closely divided ABI Quick Poll believe that bankruptcy courts should have unfettered discretion in adjusting fee applications, even when no party-in-interest has raised objections. Twenty-nine percent of respondents “agreed strongly” while 21 percent “somewhat agreed.” The question is based on a new guideline proposed by the U.S. Trustee Program for reviewing applications for attorney compensation in larger chapter 11 cases. The question of allowing bankruptcy courts to have unfettered discretion in adjusting fee applications was also raised as a part of ABI's "Jaunty Judicial Debates" at the 8th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bankruptcy Workshop on August 4, 2012. During the debate, Bankruptcy Judges Kevin J. Carey (D. Del.) and Michael Kaplan (W.D.N.Y.) debated the pros and cons of the issue. Conversely, 46 percent of Quick Poll respondents (31 percent “strongly” and 15 percent “somewhat”) believe that judges should not have unfettered discretion in adjusting fee applications. ABI’s Quick Poll is posted on ABI’s home page, ABI members and the public are invited to respond to a question on a timely bankruptcy or insolvency issue. Visit to access the results of previous ABI Quick Polls. ### ABI is the largest multi-disciplinary, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency. ABI was founded in 1982 to provide Congress and the public with unbiased analysis of bankruptcy issues. The ABI membership includes over 13,000 attorneys, accountants, bankers, judges, professors, lenders, turnaround specialists and other bankruptcy professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. For additional information on ABI, visit For additional conference information, visit