10 Practical Lessons for Cities Facing Bankruptcy – From a New Ninth Circuit Ruling

By: Donald L. Swanson The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a new ruling, helps point-the-way for cities facing the complexities of Chapter 9 bankruptcy. The Facts On March 28, 2003, three citizens of Vallejo, California, have a violent encounter with two of Vallejo’s police officers.  A lawsuit ensues. Then, the City of Vallejo files... Continue Reading →

Can a City File Bankruptcy to Deal With Police Misconduct Liability? — “Good Faith” Requirement (Part 3 of 3)

By Donald L. Swanson “[I]t is unlikely that a city could file for bankruptcy solely for the purpose of shedding liability associated with unconstitutional police practices.” --Conclusion in a Report, dated 8/21/2016 and titled: “Who Pays for Police Misconduct in Bankruptcy Cities?” This conclusion is undoubtedly accurate when a City is capable of paying the... Continue Reading →

Will Police Misconduct Liability Allow a City to File Bankruptcy? — “Insolvent” Eligibility Standard (Part 2 of 3)

By Donald L. Swanson Hypothetical: A City has been struggling for years to provide adequate services. Then, the City and its police officer are sued for violating the plaintiff’s civil rights. A jury verdict is for many-millions of dollars—an amount multiple times the City’s annual budget. Defendants appeal. Plaintiff starts executing on the judgement. So... Continue Reading →

Police Abuse Claims and Municipal Bankruptcy — A New Report (Part 1 of 3)

By Donald L. Swanson Detroit’s mediated settlements are “an extraordinary accomplishment in bankruptcy and an ideal model for future municipal debt restructurings.” --Judge Steven W. Rhodes, from Detroit Bankruptcy’s Plan Confirmation Ruling A new report “Who Pays for Police Misconduct in Bankrupt Cities” is the title for the report of a study, published on August... Continue Reading →

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