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Commentary & Analysis on Current Events & Issues in Large & Mid-Market Chapter 11 Cases
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    The U.S. Supreme Court will rule this term in RadLAX Gateway Hotel Inc. v. Amalgamated Bank on whether the Bankruptcy Code permits a debtor in a chapter 11 case to sell encumbered assets without providing the secured lender an opportunity to credit bid its debt. Determination of this question will require the Court essentially to choose … Continue Reading

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      The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in RadLAX Gateway Hotel over whether the Bankruptcy Code permits a debtor in a chapter 11 case to sell encumbered assets without providing its secured lenders an opportunity to credit bid their debt.  As previously described on this site, a circuit split arose last year, when the Seventh … Continue Reading

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      The U.S. Supreme Court today in Radlax Gateway Hotel, LLC, et al. v. Amalgamated Bank unanimously upheld the right of secured creditors to credit bid their debt upon a sale of their collateral pursuant to a nonconsensual chapter 11 plan of reorganization.  As described in numerous prior posts on this site, the ruling resolves … Continue Reading

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    Two years ago in Stern v Marshall, the Supreme Court surprised many observers by placing constitutional limits on the jurisdiction of the United States Bankruptcy Courts. The Court, in limiting the ability of a bankruptcy court judge to render a final judgment on a counterclaim against a party who had filed a claim against a debtor’s … Continue Reading

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    The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday, in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkinson, limited somewhat the ramifications of its landmark opinion two years ago in Stern v. Marshall.  The Court in Executive Benefits could have thrown the entire federal bankruptcy court system into disarray by advancing Stern’s hard line view on the limited powers of Article … Continue Reading

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    Three years ago, in Stern v. Marshall, a case that arose out of the endless litigation between Anna Nicole Smith and the son of her late husband, the Supreme Court stunned the commercial legal community by reopening what many had believed were long-settled questions regarding the constitutionality of the United States bankruptcy courts.  Although the … Continue Reading

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    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. Marshall nearly four years ago.  (If they do, it almost assuredly is only because the case arose… Continue Reading

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    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 as long settled. Stern significantly reduced the authority of bankruptcy courts, and bankruptcy judges and practitioners both have since been grappling… Continue Reading

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    The Supreme Court has not handled its recent major bankruptcy decisions well. The jurisdictional confusion engendered by its 2011 decision in Stern v. Marshall was only partially clarified by this term’s opinion in Wellness International Network v. Sharif. The Court’s ruling this week in Baker Botts v. Asarco, while narrower, stands as another example of… Continue Reading

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    The U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case of Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp. during the new term that began last week.  The questions it presents are relatively simple.  First, can a bankruptcy court, in dismissing a case under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, permit parties to “structure” the dismissal to include substantive provisions regarding the … Continue Reading

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    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in the case of Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp.  Although veteran Court watchers caution about seeking to predict ultimate rulings based on justices’ questions and stated concerns, it is difficult to read the hearing transcript and not come away with the view that at least some … Continue Reading

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    In Millenium Lab Holdings, Delaware District Court Judge Leonard Stark, on an appeal from a bankruptcy court order confirming a plan of reorganization, recently upheld a challenge to the bankruptcy court’s constitutional authority to release claims against non-debtor third parties under the plan.  Judge Stark’s opinion demonstrates the extent to which the constitutional questions raised...… Continue Reading

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    The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in PEM Entities LLC v. Levin, in which it will decide whether federal or a state law should apply when a debt claim held by a debtor’s insider is sought to be recharacterized in bankruptcy as a capital contribution and treated as equity.  The case raises important questions about...… Continue Reading

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    The Supreme Court two years ago ruled in Baker Botts v. Asarco that bankruptcy professionals entitled to compensation from a debtor’s bankruptcy estate had no statutory right to be compensated for time spent defending against objections to their fee applications.  Since then, “estate professionals,” i.e., those retained in a bankruptcy case by a trustee, debtor...… Continue Reading

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    In December 2015, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Laurie Silverstein of the District of Delaware confirmed a plan of reorganization in the Millennium Lab Holdings chapter 11 case that included the non-consensual release of certain claims against various non-debtor third parties.  Earlier this year, ruling on an appeal from that decision, U.S. District Court Judge Leonard...… Continue Reading

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    The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a patent dispute case, Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC.  Although the case has nothing to do with bankruptcy law, its outcome could have a substantial impact on bankruptcy practice and litigation. Oil States Energy concerns the limits of Congress’s ability to create courts...… Continue Reading

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    The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc. has appropriately drawn significant attention.  The Court, by narrowing the “safe harbor” provision of Section 546(e) of the Bankruptcy Code, has opened the door for representatives of bankruptcy estates to use the avoidance powers of the Bankruptcy Code to seek to...… Continue Reading