Bankruptcy

  • May 25, 2016

    Abengoa Affiliate OK'd To Sell Stake In Texas Water Pipeline

    A U.S. affiliate of Spanish alternative energy company Abengoa SA received approval from Delaware bankruptcy court Wednesday to sell its membership stake in a project partnership to build a pipeline supplying San Antonio with a significant portion of its water.

  • May 25, 2016

    Lenders Need Justices' View On Madden To Thaw Debt Markets

    The federal government on Wednesday told the U.S. Supreme Court that the Second Circuit was wrong in deciding that state usury caps should be enforced when a national bank sells debt, but experts say that investors will need to see the certainty of a court decision to revive the stalled securitization market. 

  • May 25, 2016

    Sabine Decries Fight Over Axed Midstream Contracts

    Sabine Oil & Gas objected Wednesday to an attempt by its former midstream service provider Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering to stay a New York bankruptcy court ruling that nixed gathering contracts between the companies, saying the dispute could disrupt Sabine’s ongoing effort to restructure its debt.

  • May 25, 2016

    9th Circ. Backs CFTC In Row Over Losing Trades

    An independent trading adviser and an executive from now-defunct Peregrine Financial Group Inc. had permission to conduct commodities future trades on an investor's behalf that ultimately went south, the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday, affirming the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

  • May 25, 2016

    Samson Creditors Seek To Wrest Control Of Ch. 11

    The committee representing Samson Resources Corp.’s unsecured creditors on Tuesday sought to wrest control of the oil driller’s Delaware Chapter 11 case from the company’s secured lenders, accusing Samson of using tools in the restructuring to secure broad liability releases for private equity owners over a 2011 leveraged buyout.

  • May 25, 2016

    Wyly Estate Suit Judgment Not Affected By Stay, SEC Says

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal bankruptcy judge in Texas on Tuesday to clarify that an automatic stay in the case involving billionaire and fraudster Samuel Wyly doesn't keep the SEC from collecting the funds to satisfy its judgment.

  • May 25, 2016

    9th Circ. Won't Rethink Ruling 'Shaming' Bankrupt Atty

    The Ninth Circuit on Tuesday refused to reconsider its ruling in favor of a bankrupt California attorney looking to avoid paying a former client’s arbitration award, despite her allegations that the court’s opinion included remarks “publicly shaming” an attorney seeking bankruptcy protection.

  • May 25, 2016

    Intervention Energy Facing Dismissal Review In $140M Ch. 11

    Intervention Energy LLC’s $140 million Chapter 11 took a first-day detour Wednesday in Delaware bankruptcy court into a dismissal action, sought by secured creditors who accused the company of acting without authority, ducking a foreclosure and breaching its limited liability company agreements.

  • May 25, 2016

    11th Circ. Denies Rehearing Bid In Fla. Bar Denial Suit

    The Eleventh Circuit refused on Tuesday to rehear part of its decision that a Florida attorney’s suit challenging the state Supreme Court’s denial of her admission to the Florida bar over bankruptcy and character issues is barred under sovereign immunity.

  • May 25, 2016

    Sports Authority Unsecured Creditors Can Hire Houlihan

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Wednesday allowed Sports Authority’s creditors committee to hire Houlihan Lokey as its investment banker retroactive to March 13, over the objection from the U.S. Trustee’s Office, which questioned whether the firm actually brought any benefit to the case.

  • May 25, 2016

    Fla. Firm Says Ex-Client's Bankruptcy Bills Suit Is Skimpy

    Kaufman Englett & Lynd PLLC argued Wednesday that the necessary facts are lacking in a proposed class action alleging the Florida-based law firm unlawfully billed an ex-client $1,700 in retainer fees while he explored filing for bankruptcy, while also challenging a law restricting debt-relief agencies.

  • May 25, 2016

    Ryckman Creditors, Lenders Reach Temporary Discovery Deal

    Unsecured creditors of bankrupt natural gas storage firm Ryckman Creek Resources reached a short-term agreement with the company’s secured lenders to conduct discovery on the banks’ email communications. 

  • May 25, 2016

    Puerto Rico Debt Relief Bill Moves To House Floor

    Congress' proposed response to the burgeoning debt crisis in Puerto Rico took a step forward after lawmakers voted Wednesday to send to the House floor a bill that would create an oversight board to control the U.S. territory's finances and debt restructuring.

  • May 25, 2016

    Holland & Knight Can't Pin Mistakes On Client, Court Told

    Holland & Knight LLP can’t shake malpractice claims blaming the firm for failing to prevent Inofin Inc. from violating securities laws by arguing that the motor vehicle finance company was at least equally at fault for the violations, when in fact they were a result of the firm's negligent advice, Inofin’s Chapter 7 trustee told a Massachusetts federal judge Tuesday.

  • May 24, 2016

    White House Asks High Court To Nix Jevic Ch. 11 Decision

    The Obama administration urged the U.S. Supreme Court Monday to overturn a controversial decision that allowed a trucking company and its senior creditors to use a structured dismissal of a Chapter 11 case to avoid paying legal claims arising from employee layoffs, saying such maneuvering upends the bankruptcy payment scheme.

  • May 24, 2016

    Steptoe Beats $129M Legal Malpractice Suit Midtrial

    A California judge Tuesday tossed a $129 million legal malpractice suit brought against Steptoe & Johnson LLP and a former partner midtrial, saying the plaintiffs had agreed to the settlement they were now suing over.

  • May 24, 2016

    11th Circ. Finds Collectors At Risk In Pursuing Old Debts

    Debt collectors are not free from liability under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act if they try to make claims against bankrupt debtors after the statute of limitations has run out, the Eleventh Circuit ruled Tuesday.

  • May 24, 2016

    ACLU Says State Takeover In AC Bailout Would Harm Voters

    The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey said it reached out to state lawmakers on Tuesday to voice its concerns that an Atlantic City bailout plan working its way through the Legislature that allows for a possible state takeover of municipal finances "raises several constitutional and civil rights concerns."

  • May 24, 2016

    NML Seeks Sanctions For Mossack In Argentina Bond Suit

    Hedge fund NML urged a Nevada federal judge Tuesday to sanction Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca in its suit seeking to recover $1.6 billion in bonds from Argentina, saying the release of the Panama Papers proved the firm withheld or destroyed key documents.

  • May 24, 2016

    Money Centers Trustee Chases $2.4M In Casino Payments

    Bankrupt casino check-cashing company Money Centers of America Inc.’s Chapter 11 trustee hit a batch of Native American tribes, tribal businesses and casinos with a series of adversary suits in Delaware federal court Monday, seeking to recover or avoid at least $2.47 million in transfers made to casino patrons.

Expert Analysis

  • A Cautionary Tale For Oversecured Creditors

    Steven Wilamowsky

    It emerges from a North Carolina federal court decision in the bankruptcy case of Construction Services that the allowed amount of a secured claim under Section 506(b) is not identical to the amount of secured claim that is entitled to protection under Section 507(b) of the Bankruptcy Code. This likely was not the governing assumption prior to the issuance of this decision, say Steven Wilamowsky and Michael Benz of Chapman and Cutler LLP.

  • When Breaking Up Is Hard, Call A Partition Referee

    Byron Z. Moldo

    When partners dissolve a business or are forced to part with property, it’s not uncommon that one party is too stubborn to try to work things out. Byron Moldo of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP describes the role a court-appointed partition referee can play under California law in pushing past the stubbornness.

  • Panama Papers: Reminders About Law Firm Cybersecurity

    Sean Doherty

    Nowhere is the attractiveness of law firms as cybercrime targets more evident than the recent Mossack Fonseca hack, believed to be the most significant data theft event in history. Firms represent a treasure trove of information and historically have had dreadful cybersecurity practices. There has been some progress, but firms can also commit to better defending their information by taking a simple, three-step approach, says Sean D... (continued)

  • Scope Of The Amendments To Bankruptcy Rule 3002.1

    Phoebe S. Winder

    Although the recently adopted amendments to Rule 3002.1 clarify when a notice of payment change is required, they do not address the difficulties of calculating timely payment amounts for daily simple interest accounts and home equity lines of credit, and the burdens associated with filing PCNs for the often de minimis monthly changes on these types of accounts, say attorneys with K&L Gates LLP.

  • High Court’s Decision In Husky Is A Narrow One

    G. Eric Brunstad Jr.

    It seems fair to conclude that all the U.S. Supreme Court actually decided in Husky International Electronics v. Ritz was that a fraudulent transfer could be an example of actual fraud, not whether Daniel Ritz’s particular obligation was actually nondischargeable. The Fifth Circuit will have to decide that question, says G. Eric Brunstad Jr. of Dechert LLP.

  • OPINION: Sotomayor's Solution To Pro Bono Is Incomplete

    David A. Lash

    In calling for mandatory pro bono service, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is effectively using her bully pulpit to advance the cause of access to justice for the poor. Her courageous leadership is a clarion call to action that must be heeded. But bold as it may be, the pronouncement is incomplete, says David Lash, managing counsel for pro bono at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and a member of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Creating Barclay Damon: Lessons From A Law Firm Merger

    John P. Langan

    Joining two firms with long histories meant not only combining cultures, philosophies and deeply rooted ways of doing business, but also combining two IT systems, two accounting systems, and two ways of handling many other administrative functions. It didn't help that the firms had different fiscal year ends, says John Langan, managing partner of Barclay Damon LLP.

  • Considerations For Power Generation Co. Restructuring

    Deryck Palmer

    Many power generation companies are experiencing difficulties under current market conditions. As restructuring discussions commence across the capital structure, creditors seeking to improve their recoveries should bear in mind lessons learned from recent cases such as Dynegy and Edison Mission Energy, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Reflecting On The 20th Anniversary Of BMW V. Gore

    Andrew Frey

    On May 20, 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a $2 million punitive damages award imposed for a tort that caused $4,000 in economic harm was unconstitutionally excessive. In the ensuing 20 years, BMW v. Gore has proved to be a foundational case in punitive damages jurisprudence. We were fortunate enough to have played a role in this historic decision, say Mayer Brown LLP partners Andrew Frey and Evan Tager and Maserati North Am... (continued)

  • Corporate Counsel: Consumer Becomes Provider (The Sequel)

    Mark A. Cohen

    Last week, we discussed why corporate legal departments are taking on so much more work themselves instead of outsourcing it to law firms. This is, of course, an ominous sign for law firms and the traditional partnership structure. So too is disaggregation and the emergence of legal service providers as well as others — notably the Big Four — poised to enter the gargantuan legal services market, says Mark A. Cohen of Legal Mosaic LLC.