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IN RE AMERICAN BANTAM CAR CO.

March 7, 1952

In re AMERICAN BANTAM CAR CO.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

The matter before this Court concerns a petition of Robert C. Sproul, formerly operating Trustee but now resigned, for leave to employ legal counsel of his own selection.

By order entered on April 19, 1950, Robert C. Sproul, Jr., and W. W. Goldsborough were appointed Trustees of American Bantam Car Company, Debtor. On the same day the Court authorized the retention of Frank R. S. Kaplan, Esq., and Elliott W. Finkel, Esq., as counsel for the Trustees.

 On or about November 20, 1951, Sproul filed an application for an interim allowance of compensation, and an order was entered setting December 19, 1951 as the date for hearing on his application. Orders were also entered on November 20, 1951, accepting the resignation of Goldsborough as Trustee as of December 1, 1951, and fixing December 19, 1951 as the time for hearing on the final allowance application of Goldsborough and the interim allowance application of Kaplan and Finkel.

 In connection with these applications for allowances, the Securities and Exchange Commission, after giving appropriate notice, commenced taking the depositions of the applicants and other persons, and by reason of various developments in the precedings, the depositions have not yet been completed.

 On December 19, 1951, the Court entered an order compelling the allowance applicants to make certain answers and to produce certain documents at the taking of depositions, and continued the hearing on the applications to February 8, 1952. On the same day, the Court refused, without prejudice, a petition by Sproul for leave to retain counsel in connection with his allowance application and the taking of his deposition.

 On January 17, 1952, an order was entered accepting the resignation of Kaplan and Finkel as counsel for the Trustees.

 On January 23, 1952, Sproul filed a petition for leave to resign as Trustee and also a petition entitled 'Petition of Trustee for Leave to Employ Attorneys,' more fully described on the next page. On the same day, the Court entered an order, inter alia, requiring Sproul to submit to the taking of his deposition upon the Successor Trustee and his counsel certifying to the Court that, in order for them to proceed expeditiously with the administration of the estate, no further need exists for them to consult extensively with Sproul.

 On January 25, 1952, the Court found the office of Trustee vacant and appointed Melvin A. Zurn, Successor Trustee. On the same day, the Court authorized the retention of Harold E. McCamey, Esq., as counsel to the Successor Trustee.

 On February 1, 1952, the Court entered an order accepting Sproul's resignation as Trustee, effective as of January 25, 1952. On the same day, the Court also entered an order (a) denying Sproul's resignation petition insofar as it sought an order, inter alia, requiring him as expeditiously as possible to file a final accounting of his operations as Trustee; and (b) reserving jurisdiction over Sproul in respect of his final accounting.

 Sproul's petition for leave to employ attorneys recites that he needs counsel in connection with the following specific matters:

 (1) The transfer of the business and assets of the estate, subject to the debts incurred by Sproul, as Trustee.

 (2) His preparation of a final accounting, and his severance and discharge from the proceeding.

 (3) Amending his present application for compensation.

 (4) Depositions and court hearings which may be involved in the ...


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