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American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Reform Commission Releases Report Recommending Significant Changes to Chapter 11

On December 8, 2014, the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11 published a 400-page report containing far-reaching recommendations. The report is the result of a three-year study...more

The Supreme Court Keeps Its “Stern” Promise Not To Change Bankruptcy Court Jurisdiction

The bankruptcy bench and bar breathed a sigh of relief when the Supreme Court issued Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Insurance Agency, Inc.), No. 12-1200 (June 9, 2014) (“Bellingham”). Its...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

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

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

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

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

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

The “Law’s” Limits On The Bankruptcy Court’s Ability To Impose Sanctions For Debtor Misconduct

In the first six months of 2014 the Supreme Court has already issued two opinions concerning the authority of the bankruptcy courts. The first opinion, Law v. Siegel, 134 S. Ct. 1188 (2014), was issued in March. In Law,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Ruling in In re Bellingham

On June 9, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Exec. Benefits Ins. Agency, Inc. v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Ins. Agency, Inc.), 573 U.S. ___ (2014), affirming the Ninth Circuit and holding...more

Supreme Court Set To Rule On Waiver Of Article III Rights

Bankruptcy practitioners are anxiously awaiting a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that will determine whether a party can waive its right to trial before an Article III tribunal. In Exec. Benefits Ins. Agency, Inc. v....more

Dodd-Frank’s Intersection with the Bankruptcy Code Could Have Significant Impact for Unsecured Creditors

On February 11th, the three private plaintiff-appellants and eleven State plaintiff-appellants in State National Bank of Big Spring, et al. v. Jacob J. Lew, et al. filed briefs with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District...more

Equitable Mootness: Two Recent Third Circuit Decisions

Equitable mootness is a judge-made remedy that is misnamed. Judges apply it to seek an equitable result, but mootness in the constitutional sense is absent. Article III, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution bars federal...more

Bill on Bankruptcy: Detroit Falls Short on Good-Faith Test [Video]

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Although Detroit was found eligible for municipal bankruptcy, the judge said the city came up short of conducting required good-faith negotiations, as Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News...more

Court Rules That Detroit Is Eligible For Chapter 9 And That Pensions May Be Impaired In Chapter 9

On December 5, 2013, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan released its 143 page decision upholding the City of Detroit’s eligibility to be a debtor under chapter 9 of the United States Bankruptcy...more

Bill on Bankruptcy: Madoff Victims Rooting for Stanford Victory  [Video]

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- How the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a case involving the R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme may decide whether those defrauded by Bernard Madoff recover in full, as Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg...more

Bill on Bankruptcy: Detroit Shows Need for Amending Bankruptcy Law  [Video]

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Detroit's municipal bankruptcy is reason Congress should consider amending Chapter 9 governing municipal debt adjustment, as Bloomberg Law's Lee Pacchia and Bloomberg News bankruptcy columnist Bill...more

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