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Bankruptcy

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Immunity Through Bankruptcy For The Sackler Family, Daniel G. Aaron, Michael S. Sinha Apr 2024

Immunity Through Bankruptcy For The Sackler Family, Daniel G. Aaron, Michael S. Sinha

All Faculty Scholarship

In August 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked one of the largest public health settlements in history: that of Purdue Pharma, L.P., reached in bankruptcy court. The negotiated bankruptcy settlement approved by the court would give a golden parachute to the very people thought to have ignited the opioid crisis: the Sackler family. As the Supreme Court considers the propriety of immunity through bankruptcy, the case has raised fundamental questions about whether bankruptcy is a proper refuge from tort liability and whether law checks power or law serves power.

Of course, bankruptcy courts often limit liability against a distressed …


Against Bankruptcy: Public Litigation Values Versus The Endless Quest For Global Peace In Mass Litigation, Abbe Gluck, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Adam Zimmerman Feb 2024

Against Bankruptcy: Public Litigation Values Versus The Endless Quest For Global Peace In Mass Litigation, Abbe Gluck, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch, Adam Zimmerman

Scholarly Works

Can bankruptcy court solve a public health crisis? Should the goal of “global peace” in complex lawsuits trump traditional litigation values in a system grounded in public participation and jurisdictional redundancy? How much leeway do courts have to innovate civil procedure?

These questions have finally reached the Supreme Court in Harrington v. Purdue Pharma L.P., the $6 billion bankruptcy that purports to achieve global resolution of all current and future opioids suits against the company and its former family owners, the Sacklers. The case provides a critical opportunity to reflect on what is lost when parties in mass torts find …


Rethinking Antebellum Bankruptcy, Rafael I. Pardo Jan 2024

Rethinking Antebellum Bankruptcy, Rafael I. Pardo

Scholarship@WashULaw

Bankruptcy law has been repeatedly reinvented over time in response to changing circumstances. The Bankruptcy Act of 1841—passed by Congress to address the financial ruin caused by the Panic of 1837—constituted a revolutionary break from its immediate predecessor, the Bankruptcy Act of 1800, which was the nation’s first bankruptcy statute. Although Congress repealed the 1841 Act in 1843, the legislation lasted significantly longer than recognized by scholars. The repeal legislation permitted pending bankruptcy cases to be finally resolved pursuant to the Act’s terms. Because debtors flooded the judicially understaffed 1841 Act system with over 46,000 cases, the Act’s administration continued …


Bankruptcy Fiduciaries, Christopher D. Hampson Jan 2024

Bankruptcy Fiduciaries, Christopher D. Hampson

UF Law Faculty Publications

Does social enterprise end with insolvency? Is bankruptcy all about the bottom line? The answer to these questions begins with understanding the estate in bankruptcy and the fiduciaries that control its fate. Yet the law of fiduciary duties in bankruptcy is undertheorized, conflicted, and muddled. After almost fifty years of confusion, this Article provides the first comprehensive examination of the nature and source of fiduciary duties in bankruptcy. Although the Supreme Court has intoned “maximize the value of the estate” as a shorthand, I argue that the trustee’s duty of obedience in reorganization cases gives rise to a “duty to …


Johnson, John T., 1820-1875 (Sc 3699), Manuscripts & Folklife Archives Oct 2023

Johnson, John T., 1820-1875 (Sc 3699), Manuscripts & Folklife Archives

MSS Finding Aids

Finding aid and scan (Click on "Additional Files" below) for Manuscripts Small Collection 3699. Case file for T. T. Melburn v. John T. Johnson, U.S. District Court for the District of Kentucky, filed 26 May 1870. Petitioner Melburn, a carpenter and stair builder of Bowling Green, Kentucky, sought an accounting for transactions during his 1869-1870 partnership with Johnson, also a carpenter, of Woodburn, Kentucky, claiming that Johnson had misappropriated assets of the firm and had committed an act of insolvency by transferring land to a relative. The inquiry, conducted by Warner Underwood as Register in Bankruptcy, included depositions from …


Silencing Litigation Through Bankruptcy, Pamela Foohey, Christopher K. Odinet Oct 2023

Silencing Litigation Through Bankruptcy, Pamela Foohey, Christopher K. Odinet

Articles

Bankruptcy is being used as a tool for silencing survivors and their families. When faced with claims from multiple plaintiffs related to the same wrongful conduct that can financially or operationally crush the defendant over the long term—a phenomenon we identify as onslaught litigation—defendants harness bankruptcy’s reorganization process to draw together those who allege harm and pressure them into a swift, universal settlement. In doing so, they use the bankruptcy system to deprive survivors of their voice and the public of the truth. This Article identifies this phenomenon and argues that it is time to rein in this destructive use …


The Housing Bubble And Consumer Banruptcy (Parts Iii And Iv), David G. Carlson Oct 2023

The Housing Bubble And Consumer Banruptcy (Parts Iii And Iv), David G. Carlson

Articles

During the COVID pandemic housing prices have soared. Consumers who have filed for bankruptcy are now looking at enormous realized and unrealized capital gains. This article assesses the chances that these consumer debtors can keep these gains out of the hands of their creditors. Part II of this two-part article addresses chapter 13 issues, which concern plan modification by the chapter 13 trustee to capture realized and unrealized capital gains. It also covers whether a trustee in a converted case can capture these gains. The law of the coverted chapter 7 case is spectacularly contradictory.


Modular Bankruptcy: Toward A Consumer Scheme Of Arrangement, John A. E. Pottow Aug 2023

Modular Bankruptcy: Toward A Consumer Scheme Of Arrangement, John A. E. Pottow

Law & Economics Working Papers

The world of international bankruptcy has seen increasing use of the versatile scheme of arrangement, a form of corporate reorganization available under English law. A key feature of the scheme is its modularity, whereby a debtor can restructure only a single class of debt, such as bond indentures, without affecting other debt, such as trade. This is the opposite of chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code’s comprehensive reckoning of all financial stakeholders. This article considers a novel idea: could the scheme be transplanted into the consumer realm? It argues that it could and should. Substantial benefits of more individually …


The Housing Bubble And Consumer Bankruptcy (Parts I And Ii), David G. Carlson Jul 2023

The Housing Bubble And Consumer Bankruptcy (Parts I And Ii), David G. Carlson

Articles

During the COVID pandemic housing prices have soared. Consumers who have filed for bankruptcy are now looking at enormous realized and unrealized capital gains. This article assesses the chances that these consumer debtors can keep these gains out of the hands of their creditors. Part I of this two-part article addresses chapter 7 issues, which concern lien stripping, abandonment, and monetary exemptions. It also addresses lien stripping in chapter 13 cases. Part II will address whether a chapter 13 debtor must surrender appreciation value to the chapter 13 trustee or to a trustee in a converted chapter 7 case.


Due Process Discontents In Mass-Tort Bankruptcy, J. Maria Glover Apr 2023

Due Process Discontents In Mass-Tort Bankruptcy, J. Maria Glover

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

No abstract provided.


Two Valid Approaches For Determining Whether “Taxes” Get Priority In Bankruptcy Cases, Jonathan Fuller Jan 2023

Two Valid Approaches For Determining Whether “Taxes” Get Priority In Bankruptcy Cases, Jonathan Fuller

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

In bankruptcies, tax status often effects whether claims are entitled to priority. Thus, debates about whether charges are penalties or taxes date back to the early twentieth century. In 1930, the Supreme Court established that courts are not bound to the characterization given to a charge by the municipality that created it. Rather, courts have a duty to consider the “real nature” and “effect” of the charge. Accordingly, different circuits have implemented different approaches to make these determinations.

This Article examines the ambiguity among circuits regarding charges’ “tax” status and resulting priority entitlement. Part I outlines In re Lorber …


The Intersection Of The Bankruptcy Courts And Ferc, Amanda Gazzo Jan 2023

The Intersection Of The Bankruptcy Courts And Ferc, Amanda Gazzo

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

In the past, the bankruptcy courts and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) have been involved in a power struggle with one another. Congress has granted bankruptcy courts exclusive authority to allow debtors to reject executory contracts in chapter 11 reorganization cases. Additionally, Congress has granted FERC authority to govern over utility entities’ filed-rates, which are sometimes contained in executory contracts. It is in this intersection, regarding executory contracts containing filed-rates, where the power struggle between the two exists.

An executory contract is a contract where both parties still have material obligations to perform under the contract. Filed-rates may …


Sales Free And Clear Of An Intellectual Property Licensee's Interests In Bankruptcy -- Looking To In Re Tempnology For Guidance, Summer Chandler Jan 2023

Sales Free And Clear Of An Intellectual Property Licensee's Interests In Bankruptcy -- Looking To In Re Tempnology For Guidance, Summer Chandler

Journal Articles

Uncertainty surrounds many issues that exist at the intersection of bankruptcy law and intellectual property law. Section 363(f) of the Bankruptcy Code permits the debtor to sell assets free of a third party’s interest in such assets, provided one or more preconditions is satisfied. When a debtor rejects a license agreement pertaining to the debtor’s intellectual property, however, § 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code allows the licensee to choose to retain its rights to use the intellectual property that was the subject of the rejected license agreement. One unsettled question is whether a debtor may sell intellectual property pursuant to …


Bespoke, Tailored, And Off-The-Rack Bankruptcy: A Response To Professor Coordes's 'Bespoke Bankruptcy', Christopher D. Hampson Jan 2023

Bespoke, Tailored, And Off-The-Rack Bankruptcy: A Response To Professor Coordes's 'Bespoke Bankruptcy', Christopher D. Hampson

UF Law Faculty Publications

Toward the end of every semester that I teach bankruptcy, I let my students vote on which “non-traditional” insolvency regimes they would like to study, including municipal bankruptcy, sovereign bankruptcy, and financial institutions. What I am really trying to do is convey to the students that the default procedures and substantive rules in Chapters 7 and 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code do not apply to all types of enterprises.


Stakeholderism Silo Busting, Aneil Kovvali Jan 2023

Stakeholderism Silo Busting, Aneil Kovvali

Articles by Maurer Faculty

The fields of antitrust, bankruptcy, corporate, and securities law are undergoing tumultuous debates. On one side in each field is the dominant view that each field should focus exclusively on a specific constituency—antitrust on consumers, bankruptcy on creditors, corporate law on shareholders, and securities regulation on financial investors. On the other side is a growing insurgency that seeks to broaden the focus to a larger set of stakeholders, including workers, the environment, and political communities. But these conversations have largely proceeded in parallel, with each debate unfolding within the framework and literature of a single field. Studying these debates together …


Third-Party Releases Under The Bankruptcy Code After Purdue Pharma, Jeanne L. Schroeder, David G. Carlson Jan 2023

Third-Party Releases Under The Bankruptcy Code After Purdue Pharma, Jeanne L. Schroeder, David G. Carlson

Articles

The biggest bankruptcy case ever (as measured by unsecured claims against a debtor-in-possession) is In re Purdue Pharma, LLC. The bankruptcy court affirmed a plan discharging the Sackler family (equity owners and often officers of Purdue) of all “derivative” claims that belonged to the debtor-in-possession. The settlement was bought for a substantial sum payable over time by the Sacklers. A debtor-in-possession is the sole owner of a derivative claim and has the power to bind all the creditors to a settlement. Under the Bankruptcy Code, a plan discharging derivative claims is confirmable. In fact, as we will, show, a great …


The Purloined Debtor: Edgar Allan Poe’S Bankruptcy In Law And Letters, Erin L. Sheley, Zvi Rosen Jan 2023

The Purloined Debtor: Edgar Allan Poe’S Bankruptcy In Law And Letters, Erin L. Sheley, Zvi Rosen

Faculty Scholarship

This Article represents the first interdisciplinary case study of Edgar Allan Poe’s bankruptcy as an inflection point in the legal and cultural history of debt. Although Poe hardly leaps to mind for portrayals of legal procedure, much of his oeuvre reveals a terror of legal process as an interstitial principle. The anxiety around identity in Poe’s work reveals an ongoing struggle between an individual subject and two opposing yet equally degenerate legal statuses: possession and indebtedness. This opposition renders a distinct form of legal process legible in these texts: the then emerging law of bankruptcy. Poe declared bankruptcy at a …


Going Concerns And Environmental Concerns: Mitigating Climate Change Through Bankruptcy Reform, Alexander Gouzoules Oct 2022

Going Concerns And Environmental Concerns: Mitigating Climate Change Through Bankruptcy Reform, Alexander Gouzoules

Faculty Publications

This article examines how legislative reforms to the Bankruptcy Code could mitigate the effects of climate change, speed the adoption of renewable energy, and contribute to U.S. compliance with the Paris Agreement of 2015. It analyzes the benefits derived by the fossil fuel industry from Chapter 11, which allows extractive firms to survive boom-and-bust cycles caused by volatile oil and gas prices. Insolvent polluters are preserved as going concerns during price collapses, only to resume and expand production as prices recover.

This article proposes novel legislative reforms to the Bankruptcy Code that would require insolvent fossil fuel producers to liquidate …


Generalized Creditors And Particularized Creditors: Against A Unified Theory Of Standing In Bankruptcy, David G. Carlson, Jeanne L. Schroeder Oct 2022

Generalized Creditors And Particularized Creditors: Against A Unified Theory Of Standing In Bankruptcy, David G. Carlson, Jeanne L. Schroeder

Articles

Courts have struggled toward a unified theory to explain when the trustee has exclusive jurisdiction to sue a third party for harms done to a bankrupt debtor, and when creditors have exclusive jurisdiction to sue the third party. Courts have proclaimed that when every creditor can sue the third party, then none of them can, and the right belongs solely to the trustee. Creditor rights are “generalized.” If only a proper subset of creditors can sue the third party, then the trustee is not able to subrogate to the subset. Such creditors are “particularized.” This paper proclaims the test a …


Bankruptcy As Social Safety Net, Pamela Foohey Jun 2022

Bankruptcy As Social Safety Net, Pamela Foohey

Online Publications

One in ten Americans have filed bankruptcy at some point during their adult lives. Contrary to the pronouncements of some politicians, these filings do not reflect a series of personal failures and should not be understood as failures of character. Indeed, most of the people who file bankruptcy struggle for years to pay their debts before turning to bankruptcy law and courts for help. And most of the people who file say that they felt shame upon filing. Instead, the bankruptcy filings of millions and millions of people reflect systematic policy choices over the past forty years that have left …


Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne Apr 2022

Portraits Of Bankruptcy Filers, Pamela Foohey, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne

Articles

One in ten adult Americans has turned to the consumer bankruptcy system for help. For almost forty years, the only systematic data collection about the people who file bankruptcy has come from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project (CBP), for which we serve as co-principal investigators. In this Article, we use CBP data from 2013 to 2019 to describe who is using the bankruptcy system, providing the first comprehensive overview of bankruptcy filers in thirty years. We use principal component analysis to leverage these data to identify distinct groups of people who file bankruptcy. This technique allows us to situate the distinctions …


Sometimes, The House Loses: Caesars In Chapter 11, Mitchell Gladstein, Christian Wilkinson Jan 2022

Sometimes, The House Loses: Caesars In Chapter 11, Mitchell Gladstein, Christian Wilkinson

Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Case Studies

No abstract provided.


Bankruptcy & The Benefit Corporation, Christopher D. Hampson Jan 2022

Bankruptcy & The Benefit Corporation, Christopher D. Hampson

UF Law Faculty Publications

As pressure grows for money-making businesses to prioritize social responsibility, the benefit corporation - a recent innovation in corporate governance - promises to require the directors of socially minded businesses to balance public benefit with shareholder interests. But will that promise survive the crucible of financial distress? While most discussions of the benefit corporation give only passing treatment to insolvency (or ignore it altogether), this Article provides the first complete analysis of how bankruptcy principles would apply to benefit corporations, informed by the practical context of out-of-court workouts and negotiations that take place in the shadow of the bankruptcy laws. …


A Hotel Does Not Meet The Definition Of "Single Asset Real Estate" And May Reorganize Under Subchapter V Of Chapter 11 Of The Bankruptcy Code, Patrick Canavan Jan 2022

A Hotel Does Not Meet The Definition Of "Single Asset Real Estate" And May Reorganize Under Subchapter V Of Chapter 11 Of The Bankruptcy Code, Patrick Canavan

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

Enacted via the Small Business Reorganization Act ("SBRA") in 2019, Subchapter V streamlines the reorganization process, allowing small business debtors to file bankruptcy in a timely and cost-effective manner. The goal behind the legislation is to encourage reorganizations, which will generally result in creditors receiving a higher distribution than in a liquidation and more small businesses surviving. Section 1182(1) of title 11 of the United States Code (the "Bankruptcy Code") limits those who can file a Subchapter V case to a "small business debtor" who does not own a "single asset real estate" project ("SARE"). Thus, if the debtor …


Courts Apply A Case-By-Case Analysis In Distinguishing A Meritorious Motion To Disqualify From A Delaying Litigation Tactic, Cathrena Collins Jan 2022

Courts Apply A Case-By-Case Analysis In Distinguishing A Meritorious Motion To Disqualify From A Delaying Litigation Tactic, Cathrena Collins

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

It is becoming increasingly rare for an attorney to remain at the same firm for an entire career. Lateral movements of lawyers coupled with large firms employing hundreds of attorneys creates ample opportunity for conflicts of interest to arise. The American Bar Association explains a conflict of interest is present when "there is a significant risk that a lawyer's ability to consider, recommend or carry out an appropriate course of action for the client will be materially limited as a result of the other lawyer's responsibilities or interest." Furthermore, Rule 1.10(b) dictates that a lawyer joining a new firm …


The Various Methods Circuit Courts Use To Define "Initial Transferee" In Fraudulent Transfers, Anthony J. Crasto Jan 2022

The Various Methods Circuit Courts Use To Define "Initial Transferee" In Fraudulent Transfers, Anthony J. Crasto

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

Transfers of a debtor's interest or obligation in property to a third party, made to prevent creditors from reaching assets in a bankruptcy case, are known as fraudulent transfers. Under current law, there are two types of fraudulent transfers: actual fraud and constructive fraud. Actual fraud requires findings of a debtor's "intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any entity to which the debtor was or became, on or after the date that such transfer was made or such obligation was incurred, indebted." Constructive fraud does not require a finding of intent and occurs when a debtor receives "less than …


Chapter 15 Recognition Is Necessary For Efficient And Consistent Cross-Border Proceedings, Sarah Franzetti Jan 2022

Chapter 15 Recognition Is Necessary For Efficient And Consistent Cross-Border Proceedings, Sarah Franzetti

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

When Chapter 15 of title 11 of the United States Code (the "Bankruptcy Code") was adopted in 2005, it repealed the former section 304, which had often led to ad-hoc and inconsistent rulings for foreign debtors seeking assistance in U.S. bankruptcy courts. The new Chapter was passed to achieve greater efficiency on a domestic scale, as well as the "fair and efficient administration of cross-border insolvencies" by promoting greater cooperation between U.S. and foreign courts. For a foreign debtor to reap the benefits of this cooperation, a representative of the foreign bankruptcy proceeding must petition a U.S. bankruptcy court …


Erisa Withdrawal Liability Claims Unlikely To Receive Administrative Expense Priority Status In A Chapter 11 Reorganization, Bridget Golden Jan 2022

Erisa Withdrawal Liability Claims Unlikely To Receive Administrative Expense Priority Status In A Chapter 11 Reorganization, Bridget Golden

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

An employer who withdraws their participation in a multi-employer defined benefits plan is statutorily required to pay the plan a withdrawal liability. Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), as amended by the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 ("MPPAA"), provides a number of formulas to assist a multi-employer defined benefits plan's actuary with calculating the withdrawal liability amount. Congress imposed withdrawal liability on withdrawing employers "(1) to protect the interests of participants and beneficiaries in financially distressed multiemployer plans, and (2) ... to ensure benefit security to plan participants." An employer's ability-and willingness-to pay withdrawal liability …


Enforceability Of Third-Party Releases In Foreign Proceedings Under Chapter 15, Anastasia Greer Jan 2022

Enforceability Of Third-Party Releases In Foreign Proceedings Under Chapter 15, Anastasia Greer

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

In our increasingly globalized world, cross-border insolvency proceedings brought under chapter 15 (herein "Chapter 15") of title 11 of the United States Code (the "Bankruptcy Code") are on the rise - with over 100 additional filings in 2020 alone. Third-party releases are provisions in bankruptcy plans intended to release non-debtors (including shareholders, directors, officers, and affiliates) from claims creditors hold against other members of their class. A third­ party release can "act as a complete release, waiver, and discharge of that party ... arising out of or in connection with the debtor and its plan of reorganization." While the …


The Approval Of Retirement Contributions In Chapter 13 Payment Plans, Jennifer Hepner Jan 2022

The Approval Of Retirement Contributions In Chapter 13 Payment Plans, Jennifer Hepner

Bankruptcy Research Library

(Excerpt)

In the United States, employees often contribute a portion of their annual income to their 401(k) retirement plans. These contributions may fluctuate based on age, income, or additional contributions by employers. At the same time, chapter 13 debtors are often required to pay at least a portion of what is owed to creditors as part of their court-approved payment plans. A court will only approve a debtor's chapter 13 payment plan if a debtor contributes all of his "projected disposable income" to pay creditors over the "applicable commitment period." While disposable income is defined as the "current monthly income …