Category Archives: 9th Circuit Caselaw

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Double Whammy: In a Sweeping New Opinion, the Ninth Circuit Creates a New Mechanism for Completely Wiping Out Unexpired Leases in Bankruptcy, and Also Undercuts a Critical Protection for Buyers in 363 Sales

In In re Spanish Peaks Holdings II, LLC, Case No. 15-35572 (9th Cir. Sept. 12, 2017), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a bankruptcy trustee may use Section 363(f) of the Bankruptcy Code to sell real property free and clear of unexpired leases without affording the non-debtor lessees the right to retain possession … Continue Reading

The Stockton Saga Continues: Untouchable Pensions on the Chopping Block?

Judge Christopher M. Klein’s decision to accept the City of Stockton’s petition for bankruptcy on April 1, 2013 set the stage for a battle over whether public workers’ pensions can be reduced through municipal reorganization. Stockton’s public revenues tumbled dramatically when the recession hit, leaving Stockton unable to meet its day-to-day obligations. Stockton slashed its police … Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Holds that Bankruptcy Courts Have Authority to Recharacterize Debt as Equity

On April 30, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the bankruptcy court has authority to recharacterize as equity, rather than debt, advances of funds made purportedly as a loan to the recipient prior to its bankruptcy. In re Fitness Holdings International, Inc., — F.3d —-, 2013 WL 1800000 … Continue Reading

Claims Trading From The Inside Out: Ninth Circuit BAP Holds That A Non-Insider Claimant’s Vote On A Plan Is Not Discounted Merely Because The Claimant Purchased Its Claim From An Insider

By Michael M. Lauter  In an unpublished decision in In re The Village at Lakeridge, LLC, BAP Nos. NV-12-1456 and NV-12-1474 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Apr. 5, 2013), the United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit held that a vote on a plan of reorganization submitted by a non-insider claimant is not to be … Continue Reading

Dead Zone? Direct Claims by Creditors of a California Corporation May Not Lie Against Management Based on Management’s Allegedly Shifting Duties When Corporation Is in the Zone of Insolvency or Even Insolvent

The California Court of Appeal recently rejected the argument that directors and officers owe fiduciary duties to the company’s creditors when the company is in the so-called "zone of insolvency," or is even clearly insolvent. In Berg & Berg Enterprises, LLC v. John Boyle, et al., 100 Cal. Rptr. 3d 875 (Cal. Ct. App. 6th Dist. … Continue Reading

Equitable Subordination of a Creditor’s Secured Claim when such Secured Creditor is, itself, in Bankruptcy

In a majority opinion dated December 15, 2009, the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel held that a chapter 11 debtor may not equitably subordinate a creditor’s claim and transfer the lien securing that claim, when such creditor is, itself, in bankruptcy, before first obtaining relief from the automatic stay under section 362 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code … Continue Reading

California State Courts Continue to Validate Assignments for the Benefit of Creditors

In 2005, in a blow to assignments for the benefit of creditors ("ABC") in California, the Ninth Circuit in Sherwood Partners Inc. v. Lycos ("Sherwood I"), 394 F.3d 1198 (9th Cir. 2005), held that an assignee in an ABC cannot bring preference actions under California law because the Bankruptcy Code preempts state preference law. Since … Continue Reading
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