Civil Procedure Bankruptcy

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Absolute Priority Remains Absolute – US Supreme Court Holds Structured Dismissals Cannot Violate Priority Rules

In a highly anticipated bankruptcy opinion, the United States Supreme Court, in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., held that courts may not approve structured dismissals providing for distributions that deviate from the...more

Jevic - The Supreme Court Puts the "Dis" in Structured Dismissals

In a much anticipated decision issued on March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court determined in Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. (“Jevic”) that a “structured dismissal” of a bankruptcy case cannot include a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules WARN Claimants/Workers Must Get Priority Over Other Unsecured Creditors In Bankruptcy

Seyfarth Synopsis: A bankruptcy court overseeing an employer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding allowed the employer to pay certain unsecured creditors before paying Worker Adjustment And Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”)...more

Supreme Court Gives WARN-ing To Companies In Bankruptcy: Don’t Ignore Wage Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court held today in a 6 to 2 decision that “structured dismissals” resolving Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings cannot deviate from the Bankruptcy Code’s priority scheme without the consent of the affected...more

Tenth Circuit Joins Missouri River to Divide Kansas City Over What Constitutes A Stay Violation

On February 27, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit joined a minority approach followed by District of Columbia Circuit: failing to turn over property after demand is not a violation of the...more

Breach of Fiduciary Duty (and Related) Claims Are Not Easily Defeated: A Case Study in Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings

Just what must be alleged for claims for breach of fiduciary duty to proceed past initial pleadings and into meaningful fact development? In a recent decision, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Truck Drivers In Challenge To Structured Dismissals in Bankruptcy

We previously wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear a group of truck drivers’ challenge to the dismissal of a chapter 11 bankruptcy case that was designed to avoid paying the drivers’ claims. Today, the U.S....more

Burr Alert: Lenders Beware: 11th Circuit holds borrower’s false oral statement regarding single asset does not provide basis for...

Section 523(a)(2) of the Bankruptcy Code is clear that a debtor can discharge a debt for money obtained by a false statement respecting the debtor’s financial condition unless that statement is in writing. What hasnot been...more

Courts Continue Trend of Recognizing Tribal Immunity in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Judge Christopher S. Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (Court) issued a decision on Feb. 28, 2017, that has important – and positive – significance for Native American tribal governments, their...more

Driver’s License Please – Article 9 Style

If you are loaning money in Pennsylvania on a secured basis you must use the name of your individual debtor as stated on his/her driver’s license for your financing statement. 13 Pa.C.S.A. § 9503(a)(4). Secured lenders...more

Ruined, Missing Wine leads to Million Dollar Hangover for Debtor

A Chapter 7 debtor’s failure to comply with a bankruptcy court order to preserve a $2 million dollar-plus collection of fine wines has led to the imposition of sanctions of over $1 million, most of which could be charged...more

District Court Upholds Bankruptcy Court’s Ruling on Rejection of Gathering Agreements

On March 10, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) affirmed on appeal a bankruptcy court’s prior decision in In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. that permitted a debtor to reject...more

Nortel Judge Rejects Noteholders’ Challenge to Indenture Trustee’s Fees

Judge Kevin Gross of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware handed down an important ruling last week that turned aside most of an unusual challenge to the fees and expenses of an indenture trustee in the...more

Supreme Court defended secured creditor stating that premises in insolvency management shall be treated as being part of the...

In Russian insolvency procedures, it is quite common for third parties to try to exclude property from a debtor’s insolvent estate (konkursnaya massa) by claiming title to its real property in the absence of the registered...more

IRS Opposes Granting of Certiorari in Cases Addressing Definition of Return

Two petitions for certiorari are pending before the Supreme Court of the United States, asking the Court to resolve the question of whether a tax return filed after an assessment by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a...more

Bankruptcy Dispute Regarding “Coolcore” Trademark Heats Up in the First Circuit

In December 2015, the TMCA blogged about a decision in In re Tempnology, LLC, in which the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Hampshire held that a debtor’s rejection of a licensing agreement in bankruptcy terminated...more

Mediation Statements in Federal Courts May or May Not be Privileged and Can Be Waived

The Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri declined to recognize a mediation privilege in In re Lake Lotawana Community Improvement District, 2016 WL 7984347 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. Sept. 19, 2016), despite the fact...more

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Reminds Us to “Get the Note” or File a Financing Statement

In a recent opinion, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon reminds all finance lawyers (and participants trying to document a finance transaction without legal assistance) that recording an “assignment” of a...more

Court Finds That There Is A Fact Issue On Whether Corporate Shareholder And Officer Breached Fiduciary Duties To Creditors

In Tow v. Wellington Yu, a bankruptcy trustee sued a corporation’s shareholder and officer for breaching fiduciary duties by entering into a settlement agreement that required the sale of real estate where the defendant would...more

Case Dismissed! Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect Your $1 Million

Following dismissal of a bankruptcy case, what is the bankruptcy court’s authority to enforce an award for attorneys’ fees? While you might think that the bankruptcy court retains authority to enforce its own orders, a recent...more

Committees: Can the U.S. Trustee Disband What the U.S. Trustee Forms?

Sometimes the smallest bankruptcy cases give rise to the most interesting legal questions. One such case was that of ScripsAmerica, Inc., which gave rise to the question of whether the Office of the United States Trustee...more

Does “Act” Mean Also a Failure to Act?

No, says the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in In re Cowen, adopting the minority rule and parting ways with four other Courts of Appeals. The automatic stay provision of the Bankruptcy Code addressed in Cowen...more

Coming Down the Pipeline: Mitigating the Payment Risk in Oil and Gas Construction Through Lien Claims

Since 2015, the oil and gas market has experienced significant distress. Recent reports have tracked at least 114 North American oil and gas producers and 16 midstream companies that have filed for bankruptcy since the...more

The Increased Use of Combined Hearings and Combined Plan and Disclosure Statements in Delaware

Since February 2016, the Local Rules for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware provide for combined hearings on approval of disclosure statements and confirmation of plans and for the use of combined...more

Buyer Beware: Bankruptcy Assets not “Free and Clear” if Due Process is Lacking

One of the most powerful and oft used devices in bankruptcy is the sale of assets “free and clear” of liens, claims and interests. One issue a buyer at a bankruptcy sale must consider, however, is whether due process has been...more

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