People who handle cases in all kinds of civil courts, whether state, federal, or both, get an odd feeling when they wander into a special kind of civil court — the U.S. bankruptcy court. The oddness comes partly from the strange ways bankruptcy law handles disputes. Often, the merits of a claim seem to take a

Two makers of spray-tanning machines, Mist-On and Laughlin Products, sued a customer, Nouveau Body & Tan, for saying ugly things about their devices. 

Bad move.

Nouveau struck back by charging Mist-On with selling it bad spray-tanners.  Nouveau won a judgment against Mist-On and its president, Thomas J. Laughlin, for more than $1 million.  They couldn't pay, and Mr. Laughlin