Bankruptcy Constitutional Law

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Constitutional Clarification for Nevada HOA Super-Priority Foreclosures

Since the Nevada Supreme Court’s infamous decision in SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A. in September 2014, the mortgage community has continued to fight to save senior deeds of trust from extinguishment due to an...more

Strong Arm Powers: Does Sovereign Immunity Trump a Claim Based on State Law?

Kohut v. Wayne County Treasurer (In re Lewiston), 528 B.R. 387 (Bankr. E.D. Mich. 2015) – The debtor made property tax payments on behalf of several real estate projects.  The chapter 7 trustee sought to recover those...more

The Viability of the Equitable Mootness Doctrine in the Third Circuit: A Moot Point?

In the bankruptcy context, effectively appealing an order confirming a debtor’s plan of reorganization is not always a sure bet, as a court may refuse to entertain the appeal in the name of equitable mootness. Equitable...more

Wellness: Is Consent the Cure?

In Wellness Int’l Network Ltd. v. Sharif, the U.S. Supreme Court has added another piece of the puzzle needed to resolve the long-discussed issue of bankruptcy court authority. This issue stems from the structure of the...more

Illinois Court Strikes Down Chicago Pension Reforms, Deepening City's Financial Crisis

On July 24, 2015, Judge Rita M. Novak of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois struck down recently enacted legislation designed to shore up two of the City of Chicago’s severely underfunded pension plans by, among other...more

New York Appellate Court Confers Standing on Assignee of Note Previously Discharged in Bankruptcy

A mortgage lender has standing to foreclose even when it obtains assignment of the underlying promissory note after the note has been discharged in bankruptcy, a New York appellate court has ruled. The case arose after the...more

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Homeowner's Wrongful Foreclosure Claims

On July 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court granted review of Boyce v. T.D. Service Company (2015) 235 Cal.App.4th 429. (Supreme Court Case No. S226267.) In Boyce, the Court of Appeal held that a plaintiff's wrongful...more

Meet the New Sharif: Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction in the Wake of Wellness International

The 1978 Bankruptcy Code was hailed as a comprehensive bankruptcy overhaul, designed, in part, to eliminate the uncertainty as to which matters could be handled by a bankruptcy referee depending on the outcome of a summary...more

Supreme Court Update: Elonis V. United States (13-983), Taylor V. Barkes (14-939) And Bank Of America V. Caulkett (13-1421)

The Court handed down four opinions and a summary reversal to kick off the busiest month of the term. This update will cover Elonis v. United States (13-983), the much anticipated "Facebook threats" case, along with Taylor v....more

Supreme Court Holds That Parties May Consent to Adjudication by Bankruptcy Court of “Stern-Type” Claims

On May 26, 2015, the Supreme Court in Wellness Int’l Network, LTD v. Sharif answered one of the foremost questions left open after its decision in Stern v. Marshall – is it permissible for litigants in a Bankruptcy Court to...more

Supreme Court Holds that Bankruptcy Courts can Adjudicate Stern Claims

In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that bankruptcy courts have the authority to adjudicate Stern claims so long as the litigant parties provide “knowing and voluntary consent.” This decision in Wellness...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Implied Consent Sufficient for Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction

On May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, so long as parties knowingly and voluntarily consent, a bankruptcy court can issue final orders on matters that it otherwise would not have the constitutional authority to decide....more

Supreme Court Decides to Maintain the Viability of the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, But a Key Question Remains Unresolved

Four years ago, in Stern v. Marshall, the Supreme Court stunned many observers by re-visiting separation of powers issues regarding the jurisdiction of the United States bankruptcy courts that most legal scholars had viewed...more

“Wellness” Has Made Us Better

On Thursday I published a blog article entitled Will “Wellness Make Us Better?, in which I posed the question of whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court would finally rule on whether or not bankruptcy courts can, in Stern type...more

Supreme Court Decides Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, (No. 13-935), holding that Article III does not prevent bankruptcy judges from entering final judgment on claims that seek only...more

Will “Wellness” Make Us Better?

The United States Supreme Court will hand down its decision in the next few weeks in the case of Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd. v. Sharif (“Wellness”), 727 F.3d 751 (7th Cir. 2013) regarding bankruptcy courts’ jurisdiction. ...more

A Looming Crisis: Illinois Supreme Court Strikes Down Statute Reducing Benefits

On May 8, 2015, the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois struck down recently enacted state public pension reform legislation on the grounds that the legislation violated the “pension protection clause” of the Illinois...more

Suit Challenging Constitutionality of CFPB Fails for Lack-of-Standing and Other Procedural Defects, D.C. Circuit Holds; Morgan...

Last week, in Morgan Drexen, Inc. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a divided panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of an action challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB. The court did...more

USDC For Delaware Affirms Bankruptcy Court’s Denial Of Derivative Standing

On March 13, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, in the case of Walnut Creek Mining Company v. Cascade Investment, LLC, Civ. No. 14-738-LPS (In re Optim Energy, LLC, Bankr. Case No....more

A WARN Act Roundup: Jury Trial Rights, the Unforeseen Business Circumstances Defense, and the Single Employer Rule

Towards the end of 2014, three federal courts explored developing issues under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act), 29 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2109 et. seq. Below is a summary of three...more

Update: Finding the Earliest and Least Expensive Exit from Financial Services Class Actions

In this Newsletter: - Gather The Facts And Assess The Risk Up Front. - If The Class Action Is Filed In State Court, Think Strategically About Whether To Remove. - Invest Time, Effort And Resources In...more

Puerto Rico Debt Recovery Act Ruled Unconstitutional1

On Friday February 6, the Puerto Rico Federal District Court ruled the Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (the “Recovery Act”) unconstitutional. Franklin Calif. Tax-Free Trust, et al. v. Comm. Of Puerto Rico et al., (D.P.R.,...more

U.S. District Court Holds that Puerto Rico's Recovery Act is Unconstitutional

On February 6, 2015, Judge Francisco Besosa of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico held that the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (the “Recovery Act”) is expressly preempted...more

Beneficiaries Lack Standing to Challenge Trustee's Actions in Bankruptcy Court

In a recent ruling on In re Land Securities Investors, Ltd., the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado ruled that trust beneficiaries do not have standing to appear in a bankruptcy case even when the...more

Wellness International Oral Argument: Supreme Court Justices Grapple With Implications of Narrowing Bankruptcy Court Powers

There were nearly a million bankruptcy cases filed by individuals and businesses in 2014. It is safe to say that only the tiniest fraction of such debtors have any familiarity with the Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v....more

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