First Two Bankruptcy Opinions From The U.S. Supreme Court (Reily v. Lamar & U.S. v. Fisher)?

The first of its kind? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson The U.S. Supreme Court issues its first-ever opinion—of any type—on August 3, 1791. [Fn. 1]  But it does not address a bankruptcy question for quite some time thereafter.  In fact, the first U.S. law on the subject of bankruptcy did not exist until... Continue Reading →

Hard-Knocks Rule: Hiding True Reasons For A Position Can Backfire (In re Heaven’s Landing)

This did not end well (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Here’s a hard-knocks rule: When you can’t or won’t explain the true reason for taking a position in negotiations or litigation, distrust and suspicion of the worst-possible motives will follow. An Exhibit A for this rule is an opinion issued February 9, 2023,... Continue Reading →

Bankruptcy Cases = 75% Of All Federal Court Filings? (A Study)

Three out of four? By: Donald L Swanson “Consistently, the highest percentage of filings in the federal docket is bankruptcy cases, which can be up to 75% of filings.” That’s a conclusion by the authors of a 2014 study.[Fn. 1]  Bankruptcy-Specific Here are bankruptcy-specific details and explanations from that same study: The number of bankruptcy cases... Continue Reading →

Waiver Of Tribal Sovereign Immunity In Bankruptcy? (At U.S. Supreme Court: Lac du Flambeau Band)

Tribal sovereignty (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson On January 13, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court grants the Petition for a writ of certiorari in Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Coughlin, Supreme Court Case No. 22-227, and on January 31, 2023, the Supreme Court enters this order therein: "Set... Continue Reading →

At U.S. Supreme Court: Can A Government Get Away With Cheating A Property Owner In Tax Foreclosure? (Tyler v. Hennepin County)

Some call it theft (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Cruelty prevails, for now, in Hennepin County, Minnesota—with approval from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is Tyler v. Hennepin County, Minnesota.[Fn. 1]  Get this.  Hennepin County: confiscates the home of 93-year-old Geraldine Tyler to pay a $15,000 property tax bill; sells... Continue Reading →

Third Circuit’s Choice Of Huge Disparities For Similarly Situated Claimants Is Inexplicable (Johnson & Johnson)

An inexplicable choice? (Photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) has, for a very long time, produced and sold a baby powder product containing talc—a mineral milled into fine powder that includes traces of asbestos. In recent years, that baby powder product has spawned a torrent of lawsuits alleging that it... Continue Reading →

When “Projected Disposable Income” Means “Actual Disposable Income”—And How U.S. Supreme Court Disagrees

Projected v. Actual (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson The phrase “projected disposable income” is a plan confirmation standard in all reorganization chapters of the Bankruptcy Code for individuals and businesses: Chapter 11—in § 1129(a)(15); Subchapter V—in § 1191(c)(2);          Chapter 12—in § 1225(b)(1); and Chapter 13—in § 1325(b)(1). Inexplicably, three courts (two bankruptcy... Continue Reading →

Proposed Uniform Commercial Code Amendments—In State Legislatures Throughout The Land

By: Donald L Swanson Proposed 2022 amendments to the Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) are being introduced in state legislatures all across the land—providing the first major update to the Uniform Commercial Code in thirteen years. The proposed UCC amendments address emerging technologies and update commercial transaction rules on virtual currencies, artificial intelligence and other technologies. Most... Continue Reading →

“Grab What You Can Get, When You Can Get It”: A New Bankruptcy Law Of The Land (Siegel v. U.S. Trustee Program)

Grab what you can get? (photo by Marilyn Swanson) By: Donald L Swanson Remember the old saying, “Grab what you can get, when you can get it”? Well . . . that old saying is now the federal law of the land, applying exclusively to bankruptcy laws in Alabama and North Carolina.  Here’s how.  Congress imposed... Continue Reading →

Some Bankruptcy Law History: Debtor Benefits Are Always A Tough Sell (Part III, The Bankruptcy Code)

A bankruptcy courtroom By: Donald L Swanson Bankruptcy benefits for individual debtors are a tough sell—always have been.  That’s because no one likes bankruptcy—unless they need it. But relieving people from debts in unfortunate circumstances is essential to our collective way of life in these United States.  That’s always been true. What follows is the third... Continue Reading →

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