his business * * * and, in addition, all matters which may affect the administration and settlement of his estate or the granting of his discharge * * *."
Rice only did that which the law plainly required him to do, and more than that, compelled him to do. Under the guise of "special services" he seeks to establish a basis for his allowances.
In Re Hines et al., 2 Cir., 69 F.2d 52, it was ruled that the bankrupt may be required to assist the trustee in administering the bankrupt's affairs so as to gather into the estate all possible assets. The corollary of this proposition, of course, is that the bankrupt may be required to protect the estate against any diminution of its assets by reason of improper or excessive claims.
Further, as previously stated, there was no authorization by this Court to employ Rice for his alleged "special services". In this connection, it was pointed out by this Court, in Re General Carpet Corporation (Claim of Edwin M. Otterbourg), 34 F.Supp. 379, that a bankrupt corporation has no right even to employ expert counsel without specific approval of the Court following the filing of a reorganization petition or an adjudication of bankruptcy.
Also, as was pointed out by the Circuit Court of Appeals in the appeal from the decision cited, 3 Cir., 116 F.2d 426, 427: "The reorganization trustee is vested with title to the debtor's property; §§ 186, 70, 11 U.S.C.A. §§ 586, 110. The debtor therefore no longer has power to bind the assets of the estate. * * *"
Additionally, it must be pointed out that the Chandler Act specifically provides that the trustee of a bankrupt estate cannot employ counsel or accountants or appraisers without express leave of court.
To permit "employment" by the trustee, or counsel for the trustee in bankruptcy, of the bankrupt himself as an "expert witness" so as to enable the bankrupt to make a claim for services which he is required to perform by the plaint terms of section 7, would be a palpable and wholly outrageous evasion of the Bankruptcy Act.
Crutcher v. Logan, 5 Cir., 102 F.2d 612, 613, is dispositive of the instant issue. In that case, the directors of the bankrupt corporation filed claims for allowances on the ground that they had furnished considerable information to the Trustee-Receiver in bankruptcy in connection with debt claims filed in the bankruptcy proceeding. The directors in that case also relied on their efforts in looking up records, dates, information and witnesses. The District Court found as a fact that in the determination of the claims against the bankrupt estate that the Trustee-Receiver "found it necessary to obtain a great amount of information from the appellants and to use them on many occasions as witnesses." In discussing the record the appellate court stated: "It is without dispute that in this regard the claimants rendered valuable services to the Trustee-Receiver." However, the Circuit Court of Appeals sustained the judgment of the District Court refusing any allowances to the directors, pointing out that the Bankruptcy Act required the directors of the bankrupt corporation to perform the very kind of services which they had rendered, but that there was no provision in the Bankruptcy Act for compensation for such services. The following quotation from the opinion (page 613 of 102 F.2d) is particularly pertinent: "The successful administration of a bankruptcy estate, of necessity, requires cooperation and assistance from the bankrupt, and where, as here, the bankrupt is a corporation the assistance must come from the officers and persons employed by the corporation prior to its bankruptcy. The officers should disclose all information which they have concerning the bankrupt's affairs. The inconvenience to the appellants, in furnishing this information, has been great in these proceedings. They have rendered valuable assistance, but there is no provision in the Bankruptcy Act, 11 U.S.C.A. § 1 et seq., for compensation for such services. In re Eureka Upholstering Co., Inc., 2 Cir., 48 F.2d 95."
For the reasons stated, the petition for a certificate of review is denied, and the opinion and order of the referee is confirmed and affirmed.