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5th Circuit Bankruptcy Summary: In re Harry P. Goaz, No. 13-10282 (5th Cir. March 19, 2014) (per curiam)

Rolex sued Harry P. Goaz in federal court for various causes of action related to Rolex’s allegation that Goaz sold and distributed fake Rolexes.  Before the District Court was able to rule on a Rolex summary judgment motion, Goaz filed bankruptcy.  The District Court abated the case, pending the outcome of the bankruptcy case.  Rolex filed an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy case alleging that its claim should not be dischargeable under section 523(a)(6) for the “willful and malicious injury” inflicted by Goaz.  The Bankruptcy Court ruled in Rolex’s favor and the District Court affirmed.  Goaz appealed to the Fifth Circuit, on several grounds, including arguing against the “condensed approach” to section 523(a)(6).  Goaz asserted that courts are required to analyze “willful” and “malicious” separately.  The Fifth Circuit held that prior precedent forecloses this argument – the test is, in fact, condensed “into a single inquiry of whether there exists either an objection standard of certainty of harm or a subjective motive to cause harm on the part of the debtor.”

Goaz also made several other procedural arguments that the court found “meritless.”