Bankruptcy Judge Accused of Misconduct

The Sacramento Bee is reporting on a potential bombshell out of California.  The Sac Bee is citing public evidence that the federal Bankruptcy Court Judge in Montana may have violated ethics rules, awarding $22 million to his old law firm in Missoula, among other allegations.  The Sac Bee quotes a Stanford University ethics scholar, saying, if the complaint is true, it would expose “a flagrant violation of judicial procedure.”

The complaint comes from Yellowstone Club co-founder Tim Blixseth

Now the club’s co-founder, Timothy Blixseth, has accused federal bankruptcy judge Ralph B. Kirscher of misconduct in his handling of lawsuits spawned by that bankruptcy. Blixseth alleges that Kirscher facilitated a below-market sale of the club to CrossHarbor’s benefit. He also accused the judge of improper communications with Blixseth’s legal adversaries.

The complaint to the 9th Circuit adds evidence, said to come from public records, that Kirscher recently maintained an email address at Worden Thane and served as the firm’s vice president, then awarded the firm’s clients $22 million.

Emails obtained by The Bee show correspondence about the Yellowstone Club case between Kirscher and Worden Thane partner Ronald A. Bender via that email address just prior to the bankruptcy settlement.

The Blixseth complaint also alleges that Kirscher maintained an improper relationship with Missoula law firm Worden Thane PC, where he formerly was a partner. The firm represents former minority shareholders in Yellowstone Club, who say that Blixseth owes them millions of dollars. Kirscher’s award of $22 million to that group has been appealed.

Read more here:

Oddly enough, you may recall that Blixseth was back in the news in the days leading up to the announcement by former Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) that he would not run for the US Senate in 2014.   

After Blixseth won a key ruling in federal court down in Nevada, Mike Dennison filed this report for Lee Newspapers:

Blixseth also alleged that Schweitzer, Montana’s governor from 2005 to 2012, orchestrated the 2011 filing of the petition as a favor to the new owners of the Yellowstone Club. If the petition had succeeded and forced him into bankruptcy, his counter-lawsuits against the Yellowstone Club owners and Credit Suisse would be blocked until the bankruptcy was settled, he said.

Schweitzer had a close relationship with the new club owners because in 2007 they had donated large sums to the Democratic Governors Association, which Schweitzer chaired and which later transferred funds to the Montana Democratic Party to help Schweitzer’s 2008 re-election, Blixseth alleged.

You may also recall that Fox Business Network initially broke the news on a so-called “dark money” political group with ties to former Governor Schweitzer.  The funds were also tied to Schweitzer’s role within the Democratic Governor’s association. 


Vinny in Livingston

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 11:06 PM

Where there’s smoke, there could be fire.
However, Blixeth and ex can never come before the Court with clean hands in this matter!


Thursday, September 19, 2013 11:37 PM

There definitely is a mishandling of Federal cases in the Missoula Montana Federal court that are under Ralph B Kirscher. Ralph B Kirscher is one of the dirtiest Judges in the Federal court system. He has a bunch of greedy low-rate attorneys working in the Missoula area who are all in bed with him and are afraid to stand up to him. This group epitomizes “good old boys club”. Maybe he has met his Waterloo with Tim Blixseth because Tim Blixseth had a good mother who stood up for her rights. He was raised decently by, maybe not the wealthiest people, but by people who were ethical. Ralph B Kirscher, on the other hand, is an abuser of power. He has no conscience and is a typical narcissist, one who at any cost will get what he wants regardless of how he impacts others negatively. Because he has Federal Tort Liability protection he feels he is above the law. I hope Blixseth prevails against him and GOD willing he will. I am so happy he is using his resources to expose the Missoula Montana corruption that is coming from the top, Ralph B Kirscher down, Dick Samson and other unethical attorneys there. Their greed has gotten so far out of hand and their corruption should be stopped.


Monday, December 09, 2013 3:23 AM

I found myself at the mercy of Judge Ralph B. Kirscher and all the lawyers who are practicing in his courtroom. The reason I say “all the lawyers” is because they are all afraid to go against him.

It was baffling for me to believe (had to pinch myself) that there would be such cowardly men, riddled with greed and contempt for anyone who had material wealth. A great abuse of power went on under the hand of Ralph Kirscher during his tenure as judge. In all honesty, he should never be reappointed as a judge; he should be incarcerated.

The current political climate is definitely one of an extreme division in our country. There are many who feel that living off the dole is a birthright. There are many who feel that a person who works hard all his life and accumulates a measure of comfort should have to sacrifice it to someone else who is less fortunate or one who chooses not to work. This ideology that is permeating the thinking of many flies directly in the face of danger, danger of losing what our forefathers fought so hard for, our freedom and our constitutional rights.

Speaking of Veterans fighting for our freedom, Ralph B Kirscher has no respect for elderly men who have sacrificed for this country, men like Ren Bodecker : I suppose they wanted this man’s house so badly that they had to lock him out and exhume his wife from her grave. Shame on you Ralph B. Kirscher!!

There was much perjury going on in the court room by the US Trustees. When it was brought to Ralph B Kirscher’s attention he overlooked it over and over again.

Federal Judges, such as Ralph B. Kirscher, who are hired by the United States Department of Justice, should not be allowed to use the platform of a bankruptcy court to redistribute wealth or to distribute another man’s wealth to himself or his paraprofessionals with whom he has a silent partnership. Ralph B. Kirsher is such a man, he is extremely biased, especially towards wealthy people and women. Ralph B Kirsher, in my case, had an obligation to allow me due process. He and the attorneys whom he influenced were disinterested in due process. They also were disinterested in my right to be dismissed and my right to have a homestead. Not only did he and the trustees not maximize the value of my estate but also stole, pilfered and destroyed my estate and handed it over to their friends to auction as they pleased with no inventory and no accountability for lost, stolen or destroyed property. Every time I was forced to appear in Ralph B Kirscher’s courtroom I was emotionally traumatized by his blatant disdain for people seeking justice. I say disdain because if he were honorable as his title so declares he would have been disgusted with the actions of the trustees; not punishing the many who sought bankruptcy protection. Judge Ralph B Kirscher acted impetuously to convert our Chapter 11 case into a Chapter 7. His actions without thought or care actually had broad repercussions, as we stated over and over again that we sought chapter 11 to reorganize and pay all creditors. He allowed the US Trustee “Dick Samson” to draw out the bankruptcy for two and a half years all the while holding funds in his bank, neglecting to pay what was necessary to maintain the value of the estate and in the end a stalking horse sale that was completely illegal. Why illegal? Firstly, Ralph B. Kirshcer disallowed Greg Giles, an excellent licensed and extremely reputable and honest appraiser to show to the court the true value of the property being auctioned. Instead he relied on an agent who had never stepped foot on the property to downgrade it by millions of dollars. Any opposition that was stated in each event was promptly shut down and ignored, denied. Never in all my years have I been in a situation where I felt so abused and stripped of my rights. The auctioneer, Gardner, came to our outbuilding where over thirty tears of collected tools for the construction trade were housed and he said to Dick Samson “A buck for you Dick and a dime for me, a buck for you Dick and a dime for me.” Intrinsically there must exist extreme narcissism in these men. All of them are willing to do anything for their own gain at the expense of those around them. They are abusers of power. As public servants, they have an ethical obligation to abide by the letter of the law. These men did not even abide by the spirit of the law.

Even though the divide we are experiencing in our Nation between parties is a growing concern, I do believe we all agree that whatever party one belongs to, no one should be subjected to a governmental agent’s abuse of power. One thing that sets our great nation apart from many others is our constitutional rights and our Civil rights and our human rights; Our right to due process. Ralph B. Kirscher and his other Federal counterparts like Neil Jensen and Dick Samson are derelict in their duty; they are dehumanizing.

There is a parallel of this type of abuse to other types of abuse. Read between the lines!

There was so much more. It should never be allowed to happen again to one more person.

After we were dismissed, yes dismissed, we were left with bills that accumulated during the two and a half years that we were neither allowed to be dismissed nor discharged.

When we asked Dick Samson for an accounting he sent and FBI agent from Missoula to interrogate our son who works for NBC television in another State about a Thunderbird that he, Dick Samson, auctioned off in Missoula. This was a subtle way of trying to shut us up, I suppose. Hard to believe this is happening as he is using other branches of the DOJ , namely the FBI to try to retaliate against us because we asked for an accounting and for accountability!

Also Neil Jensen sent the IRS after us. More abuse from the IRS after they had erroneously assessed us for an over four million dollar tax debt. When it was corrected to show the accurate figure of ZERO, Judge Kirscher ignored it and proceeded with liquidation.
The erroneous IRS assessment was what prompted us to seek Chapter 11 in the first place as we needed time to have our accounts audited. We were in a vulnerable situation and instead of receiving from the bankruptcy our due process and our constitutional rights we were exploited!

This could happen to any one of you. You could suddenly be assessed a tax that you do not owe. You should have the right to due process and the right to present your case. A judge should not have the right without due process to take your assets and distribute them among his cronies.

Our estate was decimated and the spoils were distributed among the cronies. Ralph B Kirscher was presented with an abundance of evidence including emails and photos and internet posts and still he acted ruinously! We were left in a worse situation than when we started; no fresh start, thrown out of our house, tools stolen, our tractors and automobiles auctioned off and our business closed by the US Trustee and Ralph B. Kirscher. We had a very low loan to debt ratio almost zero; Ralph B Kirscher and his cronies looted our estate. They created more liability than we had to begin with.

Many illegal things were done and no attorney in Missoula that we spoke with wanted to go up against these men and stated that it would be career suicide.

In summary, we we were denied due process, the value of our estate was not maximized, The liquidation was not performed expeditiously, rather we were kept in bankruptcy for nearly three years, our estate was looted.

I believe a formal investigation should be made subpoenaing all phone and email records of these men. Also their bank accounts should be found and audited. I know they have Tort Liability act protection, however, they should not be serving the public or having the honor of representing the US Government.

My recommendation to David Madden of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the said committee of judges is that they should look deeper into the matter and thoroughly investigate these men and absolutely and vehemently deny considering Kirscher’s reappointment. Ralph B Kirsher is most likely not going to change the man he is inside; He is no better than the other Judge in Montana who let a rapist off Scot-free and humiliated the victim who in turn committed suicide.

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