Category Archives: Other Nationally Significant Cases

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Lenders Cannot Prevent Borrowers From Filing Bankruptcy By Owning Minority Equity With Veto Power Over Borrower’s Decision To File Bankruptcy

In a recent decision, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware refused to enforce a provision in the debtor’s LLC operating agreement requiring a unanimous vote of the debtor’s members to authorize the debtor to file for bankruptcy.  In re Intervention Energy Holdings, LLC, et al., 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 2241 (Bankr. D. Del. … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rulings on Equitable Mootness in Transwest and Sunnyslope Impact Third Party Investors

The doctrine of equitable mootness provides that Chapter 11 reorganization plans will be deemed moot, and therefore not subject to appellate review, if a plan has been substantially consummated and granting appellate relief would impair the rights of innocent third parties relying on the confirmation order.  Since the development of the court-created mootness doctrine nearly … Continue Reading

Federal Court Limits Tribe’s, Secretary’s Options When States Balk at Gaming Compact

A federal district court in New Mexico has issued a decision finding that the U.S.  Department of the Interior’s regulations permitting the Secretary of the Interior to adopt Class III gaming procedures for a tribe lacking a Tribal-State Compact are invalid and violate the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et. seq. (“IGRA”).  … Continue Reading

When Goods Are Shipped from Overseas, When Are They Considered “Received by the Debtor” for Purposes of Asserting a Section 503(b)(9) Administrative Claim?

A bankruptcy court in Pennsylvania recently held that trade creditors who supplied goods to a debtor prior to its bankruptcy filing were not entitled to administrative priority status under Bankruptcy Code section 503(b)(9) because the goods were “received by the debtor” at the time they were placed on the vessel at the port overseas more … Continue Reading

Continuity of Enterprise is Enough for Successor Parties to be Liable

Successor liability is often a concern for the acquirer when purchasing substantially all of a seller’s assets.  While this risk is well known, the circumstances under which an acquirer will be found liable under the theory of successor liability are less clear.  The recent decision in Call Center Techs., Inc. v Grand Adventures Tour & … Continue Reading

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 of Columbia Circuit in their appeal of the District Court’s decision that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge … Continue Reading

Attacking LBO Payouts as State Law Fraudulent Transfers

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (the “Court”) in Weisfelner v. Fund 1 (In Re Lyondell Chemical Co.), 2014 WL 118036 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Jan. 14, 2014) recently held that the safe harbor provision of 11 U.S.C. § 546(e) did not bar unsecured creditors from seeking, under state fraudulent transfer … Continue Reading

Equityholder’s Strategy for Shifting Tax Burdens to Creditors Upheld by Third Circuit

In re Majestic Star Casino, LLC, F.3d 736 (3rd Cir. 2013), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit broke from other courts by holding that S corporation status (or “qualified subchapter S subsidiary” or “QSub” status) is not property of the estate of the S corporation’s bankruptcy estate. Other Circuits have routinely held … Continue Reading

Cherry Picking Contract Provisions in Bankruptcy: Not so Taboo After All?

One of the quintessential principles of the Bankruptcy Code is that when a debtor assumes an executory contract, it must assume the contract as a whole – a debtor cannot cherry pick the contract provisions it wants to assume while rejecting others. Two recent bankruptcy court decisions – In re Hawker Beechcraft, Inc. and In … Continue Reading

Committee’s Attack upon Lender’s Make-Whole Premium Denied

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Court”) recently upheld a $23.7 million make-whole payment (the “Make-Whole Payment”) in In re School Specialty (Case No. 13-10125), denying the assertion by the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (the “Committee”) that the fee is unenforceable under the United States Bankruptcy Code and applicable … Continue Reading

Delaware Court Provides Critical Guidance as to the Commercial Reasonableness of a UCC Article 9 Foreclosure Sale

Secured lenders often resort to non-judicial foreclosure sales of personal property upon a borrower’s default. Article 9, Part 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code requires that every aspect of such a sale must be commercially reasonable. However, the courts have historically provided little guidance as to what exactly constitutes a commercially reasonable sale. Fortunately, the … 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

Judge Rules In Favor Of Stockton And Accepts Chapter 9 Petition

By Danielle Kennedy Round one of the fight between the City of Stockton, California and its creditors is finally over. On April 1, 2013, Bankruptcy Judge Christopher M. Klein held that Stockton satisfied the eligibility requirements for a Chapter 9 debtor. Back on June 28, 2012, Stockton filed a petition seeking to adjust its debts … Continue Reading

Lenders Beware — Fifth Circuit has lowered the bar for cramdown plan confirmation

By Eugene Kim  In a recent Fifth Circuit decision, Western Real Estate Equities, LLC v. Village at Camp Bowie I, L.P., No. 12-10271 (5th Cir. 2013), the court held that the acceptance vote from a minimally and “artificially impaired” class of claims meets the 11 U.S.C. § 1129(a)(10) requirement for the confirmation of a non-consensual … Continue Reading

Lenders Beware — California decision may ignite next wave of lender liability litigation

By Reed Mercado  In a recent decision from the California Court of Appeals entitled Jolley v. Chase Home Finance, LLC, the Court severely curtailed lenders’ ability to dispose of lender liability claims on summary judgment, thereby adopting a marked departure from existing law. In so doing, the Court admonished lenders that the “world [has been] … Continue Reading

Tribal Corporate Bankruptcy Petition Raises Issues of First Impression for Bankruptcy Court

By Christine Swanick, Carren Shulman, Wilda Wahpepah, and Shawn Watts On March 4, 2013, ‘SA’ NYU WA, Inc., a tribally-chartered corporation wholly owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe, filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Arizona. This is a very important case for tribes and any party conducting … Continue Reading

Canonized Credit-Bidding: The Supreme Court Unanimously Affirms Secured Creditor’s Right to Credit-Bid at Free and Clear Sale in Plan

By Michael M. Lauter  On May 29, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 that a debtor could not confirm a plan over a secured creditor’s objection if the plan provided for the sale of the secured creditor’s collateral free and clear of liens, but did not provide the secured creditor with the option of credit-bidding at … Continue Reading

A Chapter 11 Diaspora? House Judiciary Committee Considers Chapter 11 Venue Reform

The House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to consider an amendment to the venue provisions of the Bankruptcy Code proposed by the Committee’s Chairman that would require corporations to file voluntary chapter 11 petitions in the district where they maintain their principal place of business or have their principal assets. Under the current bankruptcy venue … Continue Reading

A Shock to the Core: The Supreme Court Pries Jurisdiction Away from the Bankruptcy Courts on Counterclaims to Proofs of Claim, and Possibly More

On Thursday, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision ruled in Stern v. Marshall[1] that the congressional grant of jurisdiction to bankruptcy courts to issue final judgments on counterclaims to proofs of claim was unconstitutional. For the litigants, this decision brought an end to an expensive and drawn out litigation between the estates of former … Continue Reading

Reinstatement of Debt: A Bankruptcy Court’s Strict Interpretation and Application of Change-in-Control Provisions to Protect Senior Secured Lenders

In In re Young Broadcasting, Inc., et al., 430 B.R. 99 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2010), a bankruptcy court strictly construed the change-in-control provisions of a pre-petition credit agreement and refused to confirm an unsecured creditors’ committee’s plan of reorganization, which had been premised on the reinstatement of the debtors’ accelerated secured debt under Section 1124(2) of … Continue Reading

In Re TOUSA: District Court Reverses Bankruptcy Court’s Order Requiring Lenders To Disgorge $480 Million As Fraudulent Transfer

On February 11, 2011, the Hon. Alan Gold of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a 113 page opinion and order quashing the bankruptcy court’s order requiring the lenders involved in TOUSA, Inc.’s Transeastern joint venture to disgorge, as fraudulent transfers under Section 548 of the Bankruptcy Code, settlement monies … Continue Reading

Reversal Of Decision In Bayou Group Bankruptcy Offers Little Guidance For The Institutional Investor Wishing To Redeem From A Fraudulent Ponzi Scheme

In a partial reversal of a decision from Bayou Group LLC’s bankruptcy case, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York reconsidered a controversial ruling that sent shivers down the spines of institutional investors in 2008.  See In re Bayou Group , LLC, No. 09 Civ. 02577 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 17, 2010).  Specifically, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide Whether To Review Seventh Circuit Decision Holding That Bankruptcy Does Not Discharge Environmental Clean-Up Liability Under The Resource Conservation And Recovery Act

In a decision that may create a significant roadblock for companies saddled with environmental clean-up liability to continue as a going concern, the Seventh Circuit in U.S. v. Apex Oil Company, Inc., 579 F.3d 734 (7th Cir. 2009) affirmed a district court injunction requiring the clean-up of a contaminated site in Illinois under section 7003 … Continue Reading
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