Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club Seeks Bankruptcy As Refuge From 'Serial Litigator'

, Daily Business Review

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Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club
Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club

The Fort Lauderdale Bridge Club Inc. is one of the top bridge clubs in the country.

Samuel "Sandy" Rosen was a hard-knuckle litigator who represented the Church of Scientology against its detractors, among others.

When he retired from New York to Bal Harbour, he turned his passion to bridge. In an effort to test his new bidding theory for a book he was writing on the popular card game, he joined the club.

But he was shown the door for "alleged behavioral issues" in February 2010, according to court documents.

Rosen, who formerly worked for the international law firm Paul Hastings, sued the club and its volunteer board in state and federal courts. The club filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in February 2013.

Since then there have been more than 600 docket entries in the bankruptcy case as Rosen pursued numerous motions and litigation. A federal civil rights complaint filed by Rosen against club board members and the city of Fort Lauderdale was dismissed with prejudice in October.

The original court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, Kenneth Welt, resigned four days after submitting a plan for reorganization.

"The focus of the case should be reorganizing the debtor not in depleting estate funds in dealing with frivolous allegations of a serial litigant," Welt wrote in an Aug. 8 letter to the Office of the U.S. Trustee.

Rosen in April sought to convert the Chapter 11 case to Chapter 7, which would have liquidated the historic club with approximately 600 active members. He withdrew that motion in June and filed another seeking to dismiss the bankruptcy case completely.

Rosen said in his civil rights lawsuit that he drove daily the 1½ hours to the club from Bal Harbour because it had "the very best bridge players in South Florida."

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