Bankruptcy Constitutional Law

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Bankruptcy Bleak House—The Limited Ability of Bankruptcy Courts to Enter Final Judgments

In Stern V. Marshall, ____ U.S ___, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), the Supreme Court held that bankruptcy courts cannot issue final judgments on state law counterclaims even though they are “core proceeding”. Stern V. Marshall is...more

Mind the Statutory Gap (aka A Jurisdictional Mess)

As we all know, on June 9 of this year, the Supreme Court issued its long awaited decision in Executive Benefits Ins. Agency vs. Arkison, 134 S. Ct. 2165, 189 L. Ed. 2d 83 (2014), which we had hoped would resolve the open...more

“Blinded By the Light of God and Truth and Right”: Constitutional Arguments Carry the Day Against Zealous Insurance Receiver

Insurance receivers have the unenviable job of liquidating failed insurance companies: collecting the insolvent insurers’ assets and paying claims against the failed insurers in accordance with a statutory claim priority...more

Property Tax Foreclosure: Tax Authority May Have to Pay for Equity in Property

A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid a property tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and then to recover damages from the foreclosing county. The bankruptcy court agreed that the transfer was a fraudulent conveyance, but...more

PREPA Bondholders Seek Summary Judgment Invalidating Puerto Rico’s Public Corporation Bankruptcy Legislation

On August 11, Franklin Funds and Oppenheimer Rochester Funds filed a second amended complaint, opposition to motion to dismiss and cross-motion for summary judgment in the litigation they previously filed in the United States...more

Report from the BHBA’s Review of the Three Bankruptcy-Related Supreme Court Decisions

The Beverly Hills Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section recently held a program discussing the three recent bankruptcy-related Supreme Court decisions: Law v. Siegel (a case regarding surcharge, which was discussed on this...more

US Supreme Court’s Sleight of Hand in Bankruptcy Jurisdiction

With all attention focused on Executive Benefits, the Daimler decision could represent the real sea change in jurisdiction over non-core actions. Introduction - Recently, much of the bankruptcy bar was focused...more

Puerto Rico and PREPA Seek Dismissal of Bondholder Challenge to Territory’s Bankruptcy Statute

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) yesterday filed separate motions to dismiss the federal court complaint filed last month by some PREPA bondholders seeking to invalidate the...more

Federal Practice & Bankruptcy: SCOTUS on Bankruptcy: Jurisdiction and Inherited IRAs Clarified

In a rare burst of bankruptcy enthusiasm, the US Supreme Court in June issued two decisions on matters important to the administration of bankruptcy cases. In re Bellingham, decided June 9, addressed a seemingly...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Tackle Questions Left Unanswered by Stern and Executive Benefits

As we noted last month, the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, Case No. 12-1200, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), affirmed the constitutional authority of bankruptcy courts to issue...more

New Debt Enforcement Act Significantly Impacts Stakeholders In Puerto Rico’s Energy & Infrastructure Sectors

On June 28, 2014, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico adopted the Puerto Rico Corporations Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act, Act 71-2014 (the “Debt Enforcemen enabling certain Commonwealth public corporations in financial distress...more

Puerto Rico Bonds: Legislation and Litigation

For municipal bond investors and insurers, recent events in Puerto Rico have become a major concern. Puerto Rico has tried to address its mounting debt crisis by enacting legislation that would create, in effect, a...more

Christmas in July: Will Bankruptcy Lawyers Find a Lump of Coal in Their Stockings?

As spring rolls into summer, bankruptcy practitioners await the Supreme Court’s decision in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson. With the Supreme Court’s term ending June 30, 2014, some wonder if the Court will,...more

Summary Of Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act

On June 28, 2014, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico adopted the Puerto Rico Corporations Debt Enforcement & Recovery Act, Act 71-2014 (the “Debt Enforcement Act”), enabling certain Commonwealth public corporations in financial...more

Bankruptcy Beat: The US Supreme Court Clarifies the Role of the Bankruptcy Court in Stern v. Marshall-Type Proceedings

On June 19, 2014 the Supreme Court of the United States in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, 134 S. Ct. 2165 (2014) affirmed and clarified its prior decision in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011) which...more

Same-Sex Marriage Recognized as Valid in Non-Recognition State for Purposes of Interpreting the Bankruptcy Code

As a result of two Federal trial court decisions issued May 19, 2014 and May 20, 2014, Oregon and Pennsylvania became the 18th and 19th states where gay and lesbian couples can legally marry. In these decisions, U.S....more

The Supreme Court Continues to Limit Bankruptcy Court Powers: The Constitutional Powers of a Bankruptcy Judge: Why it Matters

On June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued the decision Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson, Trustee of the Estate of Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc., which deals with the constitutional limits on...more

You Got To Show It If You Don’t Want To Blow It

The filing of a bankruptcy petition creates a bankruptcy estate that includes “all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case.” Highland Capital Mgmt. LP v. Chesapeake Energy...more

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Madoff Appeal

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up an appeal brought by Irving Picard, the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee charged with recovering assets on behalf of Madoff’s bankruptcy estate and distributing them to...more

Did The Supreme Court Finally Explain Marathon And Stern? - Executive Benefits’ Impact on Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court has spoken once again on the limited jurisdiction of the bankruptcy courts, adding to the understanding derived from Northern Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U.S. 50 (1982),...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Procedure for Deciding Stern Claims in Bankruptcy Courts, But Leaves Big Questions Unresolved

Bankruptcy courts have jurisdiction over "core" and "non-core" proceedings. See 28 U.S.C. § 157. In "core" proceedings, bankruptcy courts can enter final judgments. See 28 U.S.C. § 157(b). In "non-core" proceedings, however,...more

Stern Revisited: Big Questions Remain Unresolved

In its recent decision, Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.), the Supreme Court reiterated and expanded on the reasoning in Stern v. Marshall and made clear that a...more

Supreme Court Permits Bankruptcy Court to Hear Adversary Proceeding; Bypasses Issues Regarding Party Consent

On June 9, the Supreme Court held that a bankruptcy judge may submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for review by a federal district court in otherwise “core” adversary proceedings where a non-debtor party...more

Supreme Court Ruling in Bellingham Offers Comfort but Little Clarity

A unanimous Supreme Court, in Executive Benefits Ins. Agency, Inc. v. Arkinson (In re Bellingham Ins. Agency, Inc.), 573 U.S. ___ (2014), confirmed a bankruptcy court’s power to submit proposed findings of fact and...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Plaintiff’s Lack of Standing for Failure to List Copyright as Bankruptcy Asset

Voss v. Knotts et al. - In a concise, unpublished decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a copyright suit on the...more

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