Friday, December 02, 2022

Counsel's Retention of "Wet Signatures" Overcomes Debtor's "Faulty" Memory

Sometimes debtors get buyer's regret after filing a bankruptcy petition.  However, once a bankruptcy petition is filed, it remains on the debtor's credit for ten years. One debtor sought to throw his attorney under the bus by claiming that the bankruptcy filing had never been authorized. Fortunately the debtor's attorney had retained his client's wet signatures and text messages which protected him from the Court's Order to Show Cause. In re Wilson, 2022 Bankr. LEXIS 3378 (Bankr. D. N.J. 11/30/22).  

Monday, November 28, 2022

Judge Gargotta Nixes Non-Dischargeability Claim Against Corporate SubV Debtor

 Distinguishing a precedent from his own district and disagreeing with the Fourth Circuit, Judge Craig Gargotta has ruled that non-dischargeability only applies to human Subchapter V debtors. Adv. No. 22-5052, Avion Funding, LLC v. GFS Industries, LLC (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 11/10/2022).  The decision can be found here. The decision was especially sweet for me personally because the case it distinguished, New Venture Partnership v. JRB Consolidated, Inc. (In re JRB Consolidated, Inc.), 188 B.R. 373, 374 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 1995), was one that I lost and always thought was wrongly decided. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

NCBJ 2022: The Devastating Impact of the Opioid Crisis featuring Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Eric Eyre

 "The opioid crisis is nothing short of sinister."

Eric Eyre and Patrick McGinley from the West Virginia University College of Law, told the story of how a small town journalist discovered the cause of the opioid epidemic in Appalachia. Along the way, Mr. Eyre developed Parkinson's disease, won the Pulitzer Prize for his book and had his newspaper file for Chapter 11 relief. Prof. McGinley represented the newspaper pro bono in making open records act requests which were repeatedly rebuffed.  

Monday, November 07, 2022

NCBJ 2022: Mass Torts in Bankruptcy: Two Steps Forward or Two Steps Back


One of the big themes appearing in this year's National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges was the effect of mass tort cases on the bankruptcy system. The panel Mass Torts in Bankruptcy: Two Steps Forward or Two Steps Back focused on third party releases. The speakers were Hon. Craig Goldblatt (Bankr. D. Del.), Karen Cordry from the National Association of Attorneys' General, Prof. Douglas Baird and Sander Esserman.  

Third party releases have been in the news a lot lately. In Purdue Pharma and Mahwah Bergen Retail Group, District Courts struck down overly broad provisions, while they were allowed in the Mallinckrodt PLC case. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

NCBJ 2022: Bankruptcy Boom or Bust - How Far Is Too Far and Is the Day of Reckoning Here?

The first plenary session of NCBJ was a panel consisting of Professor Melissa Jacoby, Jennifer Hagle from Sidley and Austin and Judge Lisa Beckerman (Bankr. S.D.N.Y.). My overall impression of the panel was that it consisted of Prof. Jacoby asking why parties in big bankruptcy cases should be allowed to bend the rules, Ms. Hagle saying that its necessary to meet the demands of her creditor clients and Judge Beckerman trying to make sense of what parties are telling her. The Moderator, Judge Elaine Hammond, brought in the views of some of her judicial colleagues in the audience.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

NCBJ 2022: Post-Pandemic Ethics

Besides sweeping away the competition in ballroom dancing competitions and having been a law school dean at a young age, Prof. Nancy Rapoport is known as the teacher who can make ethics interesting.  She gave the keynote address for the Commercial Law League luncheon titled Brave New World--Ethics Issues That We Never Knew We Had. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

NCBJ 2022: Five Secrets to a Magical Sub-V

Judge Catherine McEwen (Bankr. M.D. Fla.) and panelists David Mawhinney (Bowditch, Framingham, Mass.), Amy Denton Mayer (Stichter Riedel Blain Postler, PA, Tampa, Fl) and Kirk Burkley (Bernstein-Burkley, P.C., Pittsburgh, PA) donned their wizard's hats to present 5 Secrets to a Magical Sub-V. Both David and Amy serve as Subchapter V trustees and represent SubV debtors, while Kirk offered the creditors' viewpoint. Their program covered five areas of Subchapter V law and practice.